Keeping your skin in good shape is a priority in the summer sun. Luckily, a lot of the produce we enjoy in the warmer seasons naturally contain nutrients that support our skin health, and even protect against damage from the sun (thank you, Mother Nature!). Watermelon, in particular, is one of the top foods on this list.
Watermelon may not be the first thing you think of when you hear of lycopene (tomatoes are usually more famous for that perk), but it actually contains much more than a tomato. The phytochemical is what turns the fruit red, but it also absorbs ultraviolet light, meaning it helps reduce skin damage due to sun exposure. While you don’t get that benefit from sipping a watermelon margarita on the weekends, regular consumption of lycopene-containing foods can build up your ability to stay protected.
As the name implies, watermelon is a great source of hydration at 92% water. It—along with the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, jalapeño, and lime in this recipe—is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which supports collagen production and helps prevent wrinkles.
All in all, this recipe makes a great skin-loving soup to enjoy on a hot summer day, and it comes together pretty quickly. Blend, chill, and serve!
- 5 cups watermelon, plus more for garnish
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 cups tomatoes
- ½ large cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded
- ¼ red onion
- Small handful basil, plus more for garnish
- 1-2 small jalapeños, seeded or not (see directions)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of salt
- Roughly chop watermelon, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion (they're going in the blender, so it's okay if they're big chunks) and add to your blender with basil leaves. Depending on your tolerance for heat, you can decide what to do with your jalapeños. Keeping the seeds in will be SPICY and I'd stick to 1, but if you don't have a good blender, scoop out the seeds carefully with a paring knife and start with 1. Blend until smooth, and if it's not spicy enough, add another seeded jalapeño.
- Add vinegar, lime, and salt, and blend again. Taste, and adjust for more lime or salt.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with small diced watermelon and chopped basil.
For more foods that protect you from the sun, check out my article for Healthline: 6 Foods That’ll Repair and Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage.