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Are grapes the secret to glowing skin this summer?

Our climate can wreak havoc on the skin, but natural remedies can help.

As the first line of defense against the outside world, skin is the body’s largest organ and takes on an important role in maintaining overall health. While products like sunscreen and moisturiser can help skin thrive, healthy skin starts from within where food and beverage choices can play a key role.

One example is grapes: Emerging research suggests consuming grapes may help protect healthy skin even when exposed to UV light, which is known to be damaging. A study published in the journal Antioxidants, in which people consumed 2 1/4 cups of grapes every day for two weeks, showed increased resistance to sunburn and reduced markers of UV damage at the cellular level.

This study reinforced previous and similar findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Grapes are also a hydrating food with 82% water content; hydration is essential to healthy skin. Here are some skin-friendly health tips.

Protect your skin from the Maltese sun (and pollution)

While perhaps an obvious step to some, one of the most direct ways you can protect skin is by applying sunscreen – most experts recommend 50 SPF for Malta – before heading outdoors and reapplying every one to two hours. Additionally, consider wearing protective clothing, such as a hat large enough to shade your face and neck. If you plan to spend extended time in the sun, opt for a lightweight, long-sleeve shirt and pants for maximum skin coverage.

Fill your plate with healthy, hydrating foods

Nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables, can play an important role in achieving an overall balanced diet with adequate hydration. Enjoying the goodness of fresh or frozen grapes can provide extra hydration and a boost of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols that help protect the health and function of the body’s cells, including those in the skin.

Drink water throughout the day, and for added flavor, infuse with fruits like frozen grapes. Simply rinse, pat dry, remove from the stems and freeze the grapes for 2 hours in a single layer on a sheet pan for flavorful ice cube replacements.

For an easy, refreshing way to add grapes to your menu and stay hydrated on warm days, try this Frosty Grape Hibiscus Slush for a subtly sweet, fruity tea in frozen form.

Manage stress

Whether it’s caused by a lengthy to-do list or general anxieties, stress can negatively impact skin health while even exacerbating certain conditions. Managing stress can offer a reprieve in multiple ways, including encouraging healthier skin. Some simple ways to relieve stress include exercising, getting enough sleep, lightening or limiting your workload, scaling back on to-do lists and making time for things you enjoy.

Frosty Grape Hibiscus Slush

You’ll need: 9 hibiscus tea bags; 6 cups boiling water; 3 cups grapes (green, red, black or mixture); 4 1/2 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed; 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (optional).

Method: Steep tea bags in boiling water. Remove tea bags and stir in grape puree, lemonade concentrate and lime juice, if desired.  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze overnight until firm.  In blender, blend until slushy, stirring as needed.

Visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com for more information on grapes and health and delicious recipes.

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