It’s peak cherry season, which makes me very happy as I love these luscious purple-red fruits.
Cherries are one of the best sources of anthocyanins, a type ofantioxidant that’s been shown to suppressinflammation and stabilise collagen, makingthem a top skin-friendly fruit. One studyshowed that anthocyanins helped alleviatephotoageing as well as helping protecthuman skin from collagen degradationafter being exposed to UVB radiation.Of course, eating cherries isn’t asubstitute for a good skincare regime andwearing sunscreen, but they’re a deliciousway to give your complexion a boost fromthe inside out. I like the super-dark andjuicy Bing variety – they’re delicious as asnack on their own, thrown into a smoothieor chopped on top of porridge.Cherries aren’t the only colourful producethat can boost your summer skin. Orange-red-hued fruit and veg, such as carrots, redpeppers, tomatoes, orange-fleshed melonand apricots are rich in carotenoids, whichUniversity of Düsseldorf researchers foundprovided a small measure of sun protectionfrom the inside out.Other top dietary tips for your skininclude getting enough lean protein andzinc (from foods such as wholegrains, leanred meat and seafood, such as crab), tohelp wounds and breakouts heal faster.To ensure your skin stays plump andhydrated, drink plenty of fluids. Water, tea,coffee and juices all count. Why not trytasty, low-sugar birch or bamboo water?
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COOK WITH CAULI
The humble cauliflower is still in vogue,cropping up on fancy menus andfinding its way into artsy food shots allover Instagram.It’s a member of the cruciferous familyand, as such, has many of the samebenefits as its greener cousins kale,broccoli and cabbage – including goodamounts of the B vitamin folic acid, whichhelps make red blood cells, immune-boosting vitamin C and anti-cancercompounds known as isothiocyanates.Try these simple, healthy ways to eatit at home this summer: slice crosswisethrough the head to produce very low-fat, meat-free steaks for barbecuing(marinade in olive oil, garlic and lemonbefore chargrilling), or make a fast,healthy dip by whizzing steamedcauliflower florets with Greek yoghurt,lemon zest, garlic, cumin and olive oil totaste. You might find low-carb cauliflower‘rice’ appeals more in the warmerweather, too – look for a recipe online.
Q Is the VB6 (Vegan before 6pm) diet good to help me go vegan?
A The VB6 diet involves following a vegan diet before 6pm. After this,you’re ‘allowed’ to eat meat, fish, dairy and eggs, but you’re still advised tolimit processed foods. I don’t think there’s a particular evidence base behindit, but it’s good if it leads to eating more fruit, vegetables and wholegrains,and less meat and processed foods. Of course, if you save up all the high-fat and high-calorie stuff until the evening and don’t eat much more healthilyoverall, it may not lead to weight loss or health benefits. But if you’re usingit as a gradual switch to a vegan diet, you can practise and prepare healthyvegan meals containing sufficient nutrients such as zinc,iron, vitamins Dand B12. Visit vegansociety.com for more helpful info.