Imogen Wintersohl takes a closer look at what food can actually DO for YOU! Let's spend this summer feeling good about ourselves.
It’s that time of the year again - magazines are flashily advertising the newest diet fads to get summer-body-ready, shopping is all about bikinis and those shorts, while instagram is going nuts with travel photos and girls showing off their half-eaten watermelons. It feels a bit like ground-hog day just dressed in a different colour each year (this year it’s lavender according to Vogue Italy, in case you were wondering). If you are like me, those shorts you bought last season seem to feel tighter after the winter months and your immediate response is to add that extra day at the gym, throw out the leftover Easter candy, and restrict your beloved ice cream treats to once a week.
But where is the lightness and fun in that? How about this summer we don’t make it about restrictions and the ‘perfect’ summer body? How about this year we take a closer look at what food can actually DO for YOU!
I want to introduce you to how we can feel better and more comfortable about ourselves, nourishing our bodies from the inside and forgetting about those extra pounds on the scale during summer. After all, summer is the season for activity and creativity and we should all feel inspired, energised by nature’s abundance and beauty.
Where to start?
Here are essential foods that will help you channel your inner beauty and will bring out your summer glow.
Mint has two effects: it is very uplifting, while it also helps to relax the body. It is important to remind yourself that whenever you relax, you also reduce your stress hormones, which in turn is gentler to your skin. Mint also may help reduce androgens which can cause oil production and acne. Keep in mind that stress is a cause for acne and for premature aging.
Cucumbers are similar to watermelon in that they’re hydrating foods. Similar to the effects of watermelon, the silica in cucumbers has anti-aging qualities. So stock up on those cooling and delicious veggies! This refreshing essential is way more than your facemask accessory.
Watermelon is an example of edible water. Especially during the hotter months, it is so important to consume plenty of water – not only drinking it, but eating it too as it makes up 93 per cent of this fruit. Watermelon also contains vitamins A and C, which make your skin glow! Similarly, watermelon seeds are little nutritional powerhouses in their own right: they contain beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants that keep the skin hydrated and can help with acne.
Due to recent health trends and superfood debates, avocados have become increasingly popular over the last few years. But it is important to remind ourselves what avocados are: a fat. They’re now saluted as a ‘healthy fat’, recognised not as promoting weight gain but as being beneficial to your health. The reason why they should be incorporated into your summer diet is that they are effective for the skin. According to experts, avocados improve skin elasticity and contain monounsaturated fatty acids which help to repair skin's UV damage.
"Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect the skin from damage from the sun and the environment, e.g. pollution, that can cause dark spots, lines, dryness, and skin roughness," according to Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, and owner of BZ Nutrition. So if you have ever wanted to remove those sun spots and burns, how about tossing a few raw tomatoes into your salad?