The Summer Diet

the summer diet


Before talking of the damage that the long exposure to the sun rays could lead to, it is important to reiterate that the sun performs many beneficial actions for health, for example it stimulates the production of vitamin D, essential for fixing calcium in bones, but also for hormones important for well-being, both physical and mental.

On the other hand, however, it also represents a stress for the organism, which defends itself from its rays causing the “tan”. In fact, to increase the defenses against radiation, the skin tans thanks to a brown pigment, melanin, produced by melanocytes, cells present in the skin tissue.
And the more melanin there is, the darker it gets.

This sort of natural shield changes according to the criteria of exposure to sunlight. For example, those who expose themselves in the central hours of the day will have a more intense reddish color, due however not to the production of melanin, which is brown, but due to the burn of the sun.
It should also be added that regardless of exposure, melanin production is genetically predetermined. Who has a very light complexion will always have a different result than those who are naturally darker in pigmentation.

Do tanning foods even exist?

For years carrots have been attributed tanning capacities, but is it really so? Yes and no. It is true that the high consumption of carrots or other vegetables rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene, causes some colored pigments to deposit at the level of the skin. This gives a pale yellow to the skin that overlaps with the melanin intensifies the color of the tan. It is therefore a chromatic effect, albeit pleasant. But the role that nutrition plays to protect and promote the integrity of the superficial and deep layers of the epidermis is certainly much more important.

A is in first place

It starts with vitamin A, the most important for skin health and beauty. This vitamin promotes the synthesis of all the mucopolysaccharides present in the skin and under the skin. And it is precisely from these connective tissue molecules that the elasticity and hydration of the skin depend, as well as the delay in the formation of wrinkles. Remember, in fact, that the sun’s rays dry out the skin and tend to destroy the fibrous component of the connective tissue: the presence of the vitamin A promotes the cellular multiplication of the cells responsible for the production of these fibers and therefore plays a protective function. Moreover, in recent years the emphasis is increasingly placed on the fact that a prolonged exposure to the sun increases oxidative stress, ie the production of free radicals, toxic substances that accelerate the aging of cells and, therefore, also of the skin.

To neutralize the action of these toxic compounds, it is essential to take the well-known antioxidant substances with the diet every day: in addition to vitamin A, vitamins C, E and minerals such as selenium and zinc (see the box at the bottom).
Among other things, one of the main tasks of vitamin C is the production of collagen, a protein found in the skin, hair, nails but also constituent of containment structures such as connective tissue, cartilage, tendons and so on. To satisfy the needs of these precious health allies, it is sufficient to remember the rule of the famous five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, within a varied and balanced diet.

No to drastic diets

Sun exposure, even if it causes its main effects on the epidermis, certainly also affects the beauty of hair and nails, especially if you spend your holidays by the sea. However, it should be kept in mind that diets that are nutrient-poor or excessively low-calorie – due to an excessive rush to lose weight before departure – can have a decisive influence on the health of skin and skin appendages. A dry and scaly skin, thin and fragile hair and nails, can signal decided protein deficiencies even after a few days from the beginning of a too rigid diet. In particular, the reduced contribution of sulfur amino acids (constituents of proteins) such as cysteine ​​and methionine, minerals (zinc, copper, selenium and iron) and B vitamins such as biotin is harmful. A deficiency of the latter, also called vitamin H, it also facilitates hair loss. A curiosity: avidin, a substance present in raw egg white, prevents its absorption.

Drink transparent and eat green

But in addition to a proper diet, it is important to remember that the skin hydrates from the inside, not from the outside. And water is the best product to combat dryness and maintain a beautiful elastic skin.
In conclusion, fortunately, following all the elements mentioned is not difficult. A breakfast of yoghurt, wholemeal bread and fruit, a light lunch of cereals and vegetables with little protein (legumes, an egg, a soft cheese) and a dinner of fish and vegetables, satisfies the needs needed. Even better if you always choose fruit as a snack and if you use extra virgin olive oil as a condiment. In short, a naturally Mediterranean diet, to be enjoyed on the shores of your favorite beach.

Feed the skin in the summer

To help the natural defenses of skin, (but also of hair and nails), against “sun stress” here are the micronutrients that should never be missed and their main natural sources.


Vitamin A and carotenoids
While vitamin A is contained in foods of animal origin (milk, cheese), carotenoids, which in case of need the body transforms into vitamin A, are contained in vegetables. The A has a beneficial action against epidermis and mucous membranes (a sign of deficiency is a dry and wrinkled skin); carotenoids, which give yellow, red, orange to vegetables and fruit, play a predominantly antioxidant action.
Where it is found: Apricots, watermelon, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, persimmons, cabbage, endive, lettuce, melon, red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, pumpkin.
Vitamin C
Participates in the formation of collagen, the supporting tissue of the epidermis, to which it guarantees elasticity; it has an antioxidant role fighting the formation of various types of radicals.
Where it is found: Citrus fruits, broccoli, cabbage, strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, mango, papaya, peppers, tomatoes, black currants, spinach.

Vitamin E
It seems particularly effective in protecting the skin from damage caused by sunlight, so much so that it is often added to sunscreens and cosmetic preparations.
Where it is found: Plant sources: garlic, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, cereals (especially if they are whole), onions, mushrooms, celery.
It is an essential oligoleum for the formation of an enzyme (glutathione-peroxidase) which has a general antioxidant action. Selenium acts in synergy with vitamin E.
Where it is found: Mainly in vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, olive) but also in avocado, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios.
Animal sources: meat (lamb, duck, pork, chicken), aged cheeses, fish (crustaceans, seafood, sardines, tuna), egg yolk.
This trace element has a beneficial function towards the integrity of the skin (whose cells are continuously renewed) protecting it from free radicals. It also participates in the formation of collagen.
Plant sources: all cereals and legumes, oily fruit. Among the vegetables: carrots, green cabbage, celery, spinach. Animal sources
Animal sources: meat and fish in general (anchovies, octopus, cuttlefish, oysters).
Animal sources: veal liver, milk, egg yolk. Plant sources: soy, oilseeds, brewer’s yeast, whole grains.
Plant sources: cereals
Animal sources: meat, milk and dairy products, eggs
Only animal sources: meat, fish, milk, eggs
Plant sources: oil seeds (cashews, peanuts, walnuts), wheat germ, lentils, oats and barley, mushrooms.
Animal sources: mussels, oysters, salmon, honey
Plant sources: whole grains, muesli, sugar cane molasses, dried vegetables, oil seeds, dried fruit, green vegetables (rocket, radicchio, dandelion, endive) and dried tomatoes.
Animal sources: liver, meat, fish (corvina, caviar, murmur, scorpion fish, red bream, salpa, octopus, boga, sea bass, sea bream), seafood (oyster, mussel)

14 thoughts on “The Summer Diet

  1. Adelle Ray says:

    Taking fruits and vegetables helps to withstand the heat and naturally nourishes the tan. –While I do not believe that there is a food classifiable as “tanning”, I am aware that taking fruits and vegetables helps to withstand the heat and naturally might nourish the tan a bit

  2. Kendrick Hays says:

    Sure there is: Carrots, salads, chicory, lettuces, melons, peppers, tomatoes, apricots, strawberries and cherries are all part of the top ten “tanning foods”

  3. Eugene Needham says:

    All the fruit and vegetable cited here stimulate the production of melanin, and therefore the tan, but also they protect from the summer heat.

  4. Rumaysa Bernal says:

    At the top of the ranking we always find carrots, the natural tanner that excels in Vitamin A

  5. Nicholas Aguirre says:

    Obviously better take them at day time so that your body can fully take advantage while active at work or else at the beach if you are in Vacations

  6. Jules Kemp says:

    It is worth to mention that when you go to spend a nice sunny day, meals should not be too abundant, it is better to make small meals (at least 4) than one or two binges a day ”.

  7. Elyas Allison says:

    Good food must be accompanied by common sense rules when exposed to the sun, especially at the beginning of the season. It is therefore important to know your skin type and use creams suitable for your skin

  8. Manraj Brookes says:

    Especially on children, avoid being in the sun for an excessively long time, especially in the middle of the day (from 12 to 15), do not expose yourself to the sun with perfumes and essences and use appropriate clothing (hats, shirts, glasses).

  9. Ed Palmer says:

    All good advice, but we must be careful: another detail that not many are aware of is that carotene can have contraindications. Excessive ingestion of foods with carotene can cause a skin disease called carotenemia and that causes a bad yellow coloring of the skin that makes it look jaundiced.

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