07/18/2016 12:03 EDT | Updated 07/18/2016 12:59 EDT

Top Foods To Get Your Summer Glow On

Smiling woman holding a kiwi fruit in front of her eye
Eric Audras via Getty Images
Smiling woman holding a kiwi fruit in front of her eye

It's summer, and we are all showing a bit more skin to keep cool. Our skin reflects what is happening inside our bodies, and I see so many people spending money and time to improve its appearance. The foundational pieces need to be in place, or it is an uphill struggle!

As I get older, I am starting to notice myself subtle changes to my skin and want to ensure that I am eating the right foods to support it. Before you turn to lotions and potions, let's turn to Mother Nature and back to basics for some simple ways to get your summer glow on all year long.

• Do properly hydrate

• Consume nutrient dense foods 

• Exercise regularly

Here are my top foods I eat to ensure I have my glow on during the summer.

Stay Supple With Sunflower Seeds

Why?  Sunflower Seeds are packed with vitamin E to help keep your skin soft and supple and help protect the skin's top layers from the sun.

How? Add to salads, oatmeal, granola or snack on a handful of sunflower seeds as a snack.

How Much? 1/3 cup daily

To Try: Try using sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter in any meal or recipe that calls for it.


UV Ray Protection With Blackberries

Why?  Blackberries are a source of an antioxidant called ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has been shown to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun. Ellagic acid also helps prevent sun damage by reducing an inflammatory body response caused by sun exposure.

How? Add ½ cup of blackberries to your morning granola, add to salads, top on yogurt or puree the ½ cup of dark berries with one ripe banana for a quick non-dairy "ice cream."

How much? ½ cup of  blackberries 3x per week

To try: BlackBerry "Ice Cream."

Puree ½ cup of fresh or frozen blackberries and one frozen banana

Fight Hormone Acne With Hemp

Why? Hemp seeds contain gamma-linoleic acid. Gamma-linoleic acid helps regulate hormone levels and helps diminish hormone-related breakouts.

How? Add four tablespoons of hemp seeds on top of your salad, snack with fruit in the morning or afternoon, add to your yogurt or granola in the morning.

How much? four tablespoons daily every day. 

Firm Up With Kiwi

Why? Kiwi is a high source of vitamin C, boasting more vitamin C per volume than an orange. Vitamin C is an ingredient needed for the production of collagen. Collagen is required by the skin to keep it firm.

How? Slice kiwi and add to salads, cut in half and scoop out with a spoon for a mid- day snack, add to your homemade fruit salad or swap out your sliced oranges at breakfast with sliced kiwi.

To Try: Make 30-Second Kiwi Jam

  • Two mashed kiwis
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seed

Mash and let sit. The fiber in the chia seeds will create a ' jam.'

What you DO eat is just as important as what you should avoid. Read my top 13 foods to avoid for your skin on UK Yahoo News here.

It's important to remember that real beauty is more than skin-deep. There isn't a fruit or VEGETABLE out there that can replace the glow of someone who is kind, compassionate and loves life. Be THAT person and glow -- from the inside out!

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