I like to think of food as medicine. Usually I think of food in terms of heart disease, or diabetes, or cancer… almost any disease. Eating right is one of the most effective—and easiest—things you can do to stay healthy. This time of year, though, I like to think about some of the more tangible things food can do, like improve the look and feel of your hair, skin and nails.Why now?  The end of August is bursting with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to harvest, either from your own garden or at a local farmer’s market. (Even grocery chain stores now sell great, locally-sourced produce!)COLUMN: The Power of Homemade Salad DressingEnjoying all of these yummy foods now can help you maintain that great summer feeling as we work our way toward fall. And what’s more, it will keep your skin looking bright and fresh!Most of us know that berries are great: great to eat and great for you. But there are wonderful benefits to other fruits that are ripe now. For example, stone fruits—peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines—are chock full of phytonutrients. They contain beautifying antioxidants and vitamins, especially A and C. You may have even noticed, for example, vitamin C listed in some of your facial care products. Why? Because vitamin C helps our bodies produce collagen, the protein that helps to keep our skin’s elasticity.And vegetables such as kale and spinach also contain many different nutrients that benefit your skin. Like stone fruits, they are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A, which has been found to be helpful to treat acne (ever heard of Retin-A?).Here is one of my favorite salads that combines the greens and fruits of the season—and helps your skin keep that gorgeous summery glow. (It’s my family’s take on this great recipe from chef Johnny Monis.)Easy End-of-Summer Salad

  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked and cooked
  • 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes (any variety works well)
  • 4 ripe peaches (I like white, but yellow works just as well!)
  • 1 cup little mozzarella balls
  • 2 scallions, white part minced and green part thinly sliced for decoration
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil

Preparation1. Slice corn kernels off the cobs2. Slice tomatoes in half3. Pit peaches and slices into little bite size pieces4. Toss corn, tomatoes and peaches together5. Add mozzarella6. Mix together minced scallion, cilantro, lemon juice7. Whisk in olive oil and add salt & pepper to taste8. Add salad dressing to salad and toss9. Garnish with greens of scallion, and extra cilantroQUIZ: What Beauty Nutrients Did You Eat Today?