Summer is here. For most of us, it means essay deadlines in modules you can’t remember and long spells of imprisoning yourself in Hallward, but also (more positively) Kopperbergs in the sun surrounded by your best pals. But this stress takes its toll, and when you start looking so tired and haggard from said drinking and self-imprisonment that children cry when they see your withered face, it is time to take action. It is easy to neglect taking care of your body at this time of the year, but it is important to protect your skin against the elements as best you can. One of the simplest ways to do so is by looking after your body from the inside out.  It is time to eat yourself beautiful, or you know, eat yourself average-looking-but-with-great-skin.

Blue: The king of all super foods, the blueberry is high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and A, and is said to aid digestion and help relieve bowel problems. These little beauties are perfect for eating as snacks on their own or throwing into pancakes, cakes or muesli for delicious bursts of fruity sweetness. You can even cook them as an accompaniment to your barbecue, as they have even been found to fight off the carcinogens that come from grilling meat.

Orange: Peppers are not only tasty but rich in health properties as well. They are typically high in vitamin C, something that is needed to support the renewal of collagen in the skin and fight against the damaging effects of sun exposure. Eat raw or fried with onions and chilli!

Red: Tomatoes are truly amazing (and so mysterious too. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Oh, the intrigue!). Scientific study has found that not only do tomatoes boost our skin’s natural defences against harmful UV rays, but they also lower cholesterol and contain antioxidants that are known to fight cancer-causing free radicals.

Yellow: Omega-3 Fish oils. You might not be rushing to grab your wallet right now, but fish oils are renowned for their anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, which are essential in maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. Take two to three capsules a day with food for glowing skin, or alternatively, just eat oily fish like sardines and tuna a few times a week.

Green: Broccoli. Dark, leafy greens such as broccoli, watercress and pak choi are full of minerals and vitamins that nourish and replenish dehydrated skin cells. They are also a powerful source of iron, a mineral needed to carry oxygen around the body and promote the growth of blood cells. Eat a little portion with everything!

Brown: In normal circumstances, brown would hardly be a source of joy, but it truly is a wonderful thing in this case, as this colour stands for cocoa! This powder has antioxidant properties that sweep away cancer-causing particles and it has even been discovered to play a role in protecting the skin from sun damage.

Whitish: Even more tenuous than brown, this next group technically doesn’t even have a colour equivalent (you don’t get many ‘monosaturated fat’ paint samples in B&Q) but it still deserves a mention. Healthy fats are still an essential and crucial part of getting radiant skin, with the best sources of this found in olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados, all full of the fats that keep your skin elastic and supple. They do this by protecting the fatty layer around your skin cells, which in turn keep the skin moisturized and fresh.

So go forth and eat as much seasonal, brightly coloured things as you can and drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. This is a great way of combating an otherwise horrifically hedonistic lifestyle so eat what is fresh, eat what is available and eat what is delicious. Remember, healthy is beautiful!

Phoebe Harkin

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