Here Are 5 Foods You Should Be Eating This Fall to Maintain Your Summer Glow
The sun is setting earlier, the leaves are falling, and you're craving hot cocoa and pumpkin spice lattes. Fall has officially arrived.
Personally, during the summer, I crave fresh salads, but as we shift into the fall, I find myself gravitating towards comfort food (read: carbs). When it's cold, I like to eat hot, hearty dishes — the problem is, my portion sizes tend to increase, and my diet becomes significantly unbalanced.
And once my fall cravings hit, I tend to notice shifts in my skin, too. The summer glow I was proudly strutting seems to diminish, and I'm left with skin that looks dry and dull.
According to New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., the main reason our skin glows in the summer is that our sebaceous gland output increases in warmer months, which contributes to a natural glow.
However, Engelman adds that radiant skin is attainable all year-round, and our diet plays a major role in this. "We are what we eat — nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats, and probiotics found in fermented foods can help our skin to look and feel better. A healthy, balanced diet and plenty of hydrating fluids go some way to improve elasticity, boosting the skin's appearance and helping to protect from UV damage," she explains.
She also validates my own seasonal eating patterns: "We also tend to eat a little healthier in the summer as there is an abundance of fruits and vegetables to enjoy and we may not be carb-loading as much as we do in the colder winter months."
Chef Eros, a celebrity chef, known on social media as The Billionaire Chef, adds that preparation and choice of ingredients are also extremely important, especially in the fall. "Typically, I work with ingredients that are in season, and I choose the best quality organic produce with high nutritional value," he explains. "How you prepare the food is also important — if the heat is too high or if you cook the food for too long, you will lose the nutritional value, so it's important to cook with care."
So, the question is, what should we be eating during the fall to give our skin the boost it needs to glow from the inside out? Marisa Moore, a registered dietician nutritionist and Nurish by Nature Made partner, says that as summer fruits that are rich in vitamins go out of season, other fall foods can help nourish the skin. Below, our experts share exactly what these foods are, and the best way to add them to your diet.
"Avocados are packed with nutrients and healthy fats that are beneficial to achieving glowing skin," says Dr. Engelman. The fats in this creamy green fruit help to keep the skin moisturized, flexible, and reduce the appearance of aging. But that's not all. Avocados are also filled with vitamin C and antioxidants like vitamin E, lutein, and beta carotene. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin from oxidative damage while vitamin C is used in the creation of collagen, a structural protein that helps to keep skin firm.
"I like to puree avocado and add in some onions and tomatoes, almost like making guacamole," says Chef Eros. "Another thing I like to do is top a salad with avocado, but first make sure you drizzle some lemon over it so it doesn't start to oxidate — no one wants salad with avocados that have turned black."
"Butternut squash is packed with skin-nourishing vitamins A and C," says Moore. This bright orange fruit is one of the best things you can eat to get more vitamin A from your diet — and glowing skin and vitamin A go hand in hand, so you'll want to get on board with this fruit. "The nutrients found in butternut squash help support the skin's immune system and aid cell repair," adds Dr. Engelman.
"I love making butternut soup," says Chef Eros. "I like to infuse African spices into my food as they are very soothing and contain lots of nutrients; it also allows me to export my culture whilst giving others the opportunity to try these flavors." It's also easier to make than you might think: "I add spices to the butternut, roast it in the oven, then blend it with some stock to create the soup — it's delicious," he says.
"Berries are hydrating and an accessible, affordable way to get the supply of antioxidants that help boost skin radiance," says Moore. "Whether you prefer blueberries or raspberries, both are high in fiber and packed with rich vitamins, like vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory agents that help protect the skin against free radicals and premature aging," says Dr. Engelman.
"Berries are great in smoothies mixed with bananas and oats," says Chef Eros. "I also like to use them in desserts, especially compotes mixed with yogurt."
Walnuts contain essential fatty acids like omega-3 fats which help to keep the skin smooth and moisturized. "The delicious nut is also a rich source of zinc which acts as a protective barrier and helps to reduce inflammation and bacteria," explains Dr. Engelman.
"There are so many great things you can do with walnuts — I love to mix them into yogurt," says Chef Eros. "You can also blend them with avocado to create a walnut and avocado butter or toast them with honey to make a delicious snack."
"Brussel sprouts are high in vitamin C which helps to boost immune health and contribute to glowing skin," says Moore. "Vitamin C also promotes collagen production, an essential protein for strengthening the skin, diminishing fine lines, and protecting skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure."
We might as well just call Brussel sprouts skin medicine because they're also an excellent plant-based source of iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus — all nutrients and minerals that contribute to good skin health, and a year-round glow, Moore adds.
"The benefits of eating these small nutritious balls are endless, I personally love to roast them and top them with parmesan cheese and garlic," says chef Eros.
The bottom line? "As we age our skin gets thinner, less elastic, and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles, but by including the right foods in your diet you really can nourish from within," says Engelman.