June is here, and summer is just around the corner. Summer is such a great time to spend more time out in the sun and enjoy the yummy foods from my veggie garden. Nothing tastes better than a home grown tomato, right?

When we are outdoors, it’s important to wear protective eyewear and sunscreen, but it also feels good to wear summer clothes that are lighter and cooler. And with more of your skin being exposed, did you know that there are foods that are fabulous for your skin as well? Well, here is your summer list of foods that are fabulous for your skin now and all summer long.

1. Broccoli: High in Vitamin C, and a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that foods high in this Vitamin keep skin smooth by soaking up free radicals created by ultraviolet rays

2. Carrots: contain carotene and lycopene, a carotenoid that may help to keep your skin smooth and shield your skin from damage. In a study published in 2008 in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, researchers found that of the 20 individuals studied, those who had higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin.  In another study, participants that were exposed to UV light and drank 1 and 2/3 cups of carrot juice or ate 2 and ½ Tablespoons of tomato paste daily for 10-12 weeks had 50% less skin reddening

3. Coffee : Drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer. In one study of more than 93,000 women, published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank one cup of caffeinated coffee a day reduced their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer by about 10 percent. And the more they drank — up to about six cups or so per day — the lower their risk. Decaf didn’t seem to offer the same protection.

4. Edamame: rich in isoflavones — and isoflavones act like antioxidants, picking up harmful free radicals caused by sun exposure. Isoflavones may also help to preserve skin-firming collagen — which begins to decline starting in our 20s.

5. Tea: Research suggests caffeine in tea may help to protect your skin against skin cancer. Caffeine basically kills precancerous and ultraviolet-damaged skin cells by blocking a protein that they need to divide, In a study where mice were exposed to harmful sunburn-causing ultraviolet B rays, caffeine inhibited the formation of skin tumors.

6. Tuna: and other omega-3-rich fish — may help keep your skin looking youthful and prevent skin cancer. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fats in fatty fish, has been shown to preserve collagen, a fibrous protein that keeps skin firm. And EPA in combination with the other omega-3 in fish, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), helps to prevent skin cancer by reducing inflammatory compounds that can promote tumor growth. Aim to eat two servings of fatty fish each week: not only are the omega-3s good for your skin, they’re good for your heart too.

7. Spinach: boasts lutein, a carotenoid that protects your skin from UV damage. When buying spinach, pick the one right up in the light: New research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, reveals that spinach stored continuously under the light for as little as three days boasted higher levels of vitamin C and preserved levels of K, E, folate and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

8. Cocoa: (and tea and red wine) contain a type of flavonoid called epicatechin. In a study of 24 women, published in the Journal of Nutrition, drinking an epicatechin-rich cocoa beverage daily for 12 weeks improved skin texture. The authors explained that epicatechin increased blood flow to the skin, boosting nutrient and oxygen supply — both factors essential for keeping skin healthy.

Here’s to a happy and healthy summer!