Load up on watermelon to look younger this summer.Of course, you should slather on plenty of SPF 30+ sunscreen all summer long -- year-round, really -- to help prevent aging sun damage and skin cancer. But compounds in summer-fresh fruits and veggies also have anti-aging benefits to boost your skin's natural resilience against wrinkles and sun damage. Pick up these four goodies next time you're at the farmers' market:
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- Cherries: Eat a daily handful and you may enjoy fresher, less puffy skin. It's all thanks to the inflammation-fighting anthocyanins and melatonin in cherries, according to Allison Tannis, author of Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles. Melatonin may boost UV protection and cell growth as well -- two great ways to keep wrinkles at bay. Tart cherries tend to be highest in melatonin.
- Nectarines: These smooth-skinned sisters of the peach provide a mini-spa's worth of nutrients that may help correct sun damage from the inside out, according to Tannis. They offer skin goodies like lycopene, lutein, niacin, copper, and vitamins A, C, and E. The A, C, and E trio also works to control inflammation and free radical damage in both the watery and the fatty layers of skin.
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- Watermelon: Nibbling on watermelon wedges has the power to refresh your face as much as your palate, thanks to the fruit's high water and lycopene content. Lycopene helps protect and preserve connections between skin cells so skin is tighter, smoother, and better able to retain moisture.
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- Cucumbers: You know about putting cukes on your skin to relieve puffy eyes, but eating them is even better. Cucumbers contain vitamin C, which boosts collagen and elastin to keep skin looking young, and caffeic acid, which helps protect cells from UV radiation.
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