Best Summer Salads for Your Skin

Nowhere is the old saying “are what you eat” truer than when it comes to the appearance of your skin. While some foods in particular are associated with breakouts (such as dairy products), others—like leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables—are celebrated for their skin-healing properties. Spinach, kale, and arugula, for example, all contain skin-nourishing compounds like vitamin A, C, and K. When topped with some almonds or walnuts for a kick of Omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats which are reputed to protect the skin) they can form the basis for a powerful skin-healing meal. As Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, explains: “[Omega 3] fatty acids are responsible for the health of the [skin] cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell.”

So, what typically combines leafy greens, fruits, and nuts, all in one convenient dish? You guessed it: Salad. This once-underappreciated meal has undergone something of a renaissance in the last decade, and today a number of specifically skin-healthy blends are available for you to try. Some of our favorites include:

Fresh Cucumber and Celery Salad with Mint And Fennel Dressing

Key properties:

  • Diuretic that helps remove toxins from the body
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Makes two servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped into 1/2″ cubes (leave the peel on)

1/2 cup celery, chopped into 1/2″ cubes

1 cup loosely packed spinach

1 bulb fresh fennel (cut the fronds into thin strips and dice the bulb)

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, stems removed

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup avocado oil

Large pinch salt

Large pinch pepper

Directions:

Combine the mint leaves, fennel fronds, apple cider vinegar, and mustard in a blender and blend on high. Add avocado oil and keep blending until a runny dressing is formed. Mix the fennel, celery, spinach, and cucumber in a bowl. Add dressing and toss.

Avocado, Walnut, and Toasted Coconut Salad with Tropical Ginger Lime Dressing

Key properties:

  • Loaded with skin-protecting Omega 3s and nourishing Vitamin E
  • Hydrating and anti-inflammatory
  • Makes two servings

Ingredients:

1 avocado, pitted and cubed

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup flaked toasted coconut

1″ piece of ginger, grated

1 lime (plus zest)

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup coconut milk

Large pinch salt

1 cup mixed greens

Directions:

Combine lime juice and zest in a bowl before adding grated ginger, coconut milk, honey, and salt. Mix vigorously to make the dressing. Toast the coconut and walnut, then add them to a bowl along with the avocado and greens. Toss together with dressing.

Shaved Asparagus and Roasted Grapefruit Salad

Key properties:

  • This salad works to reduce acne breakouts because the grapefruit encourages pores to tighten
  • The high level of Vitamin C in this salad improves collagen strength and helps the skin to cleanse itself
  • Makes two servings

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus

6 green onions, (remove the tips and ends and cut each in half)

1 medium grapefruit (plus zest)

2 teaspoons honey

5—6 springs thyme, roughly chopped (stems removed)

1/4 cup hemp oil

Large pinch salt

Large pinch pepper

Directions:

Zest the grapefruit, chop it in half, and place it on a baking sheet (cut side up). Broil for 2—3 minutes, then let cool. Once cooled, squeeze the grapefruit juice into a small bowl and add salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil; mix vigorously to form the dressing. Using a vegetable peeler, shave ribbons off the asparagus, then toss them together with the green onions and dressing. Let sit for ten minutes before serving.

Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin

In addition to incorporating skin-nourishing salads into your diet, try to avoid heavily processed foods; the more whole foods you consume, the better your skin will look. As biochemist Elaine Linker, PhD, co-founder of DDF skin care, advises: “It’s definitely true that diet can play an important role in all skin conditions—not just helping combat wrinkles and lines, but other skin problems as well, including acne, eczema, psoriasis—even dry flaking or very oily skin.” The fastest route to achieving a natural glow is therefore to eat healthily, regularly (The rest of your body will thank you for it, too!). Want to get your skin even more radiant? Contact Abadir Associates, a premier dermatology and cosmetic practice now, for a consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

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