Superfoods for Beautiful Skin
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Eat Well1 of 10
By Alexandra Gekas for WomansDay.com
You’ve heard the sayings “You are what you eat” and “Beauty is on the inside,” and when it comes to your skin care regimen, both just might be true. Not only does a healthy diet help keep skin in tip-top shape, but there are foods that may actually combat specific skin problems. Here are nine foods that can help you toward achieving glowing, healthy skin.
Low-fat Dairy2 of 10
An important contributor to overall skin health, vitamin A helps your cells mature properly, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s dermatology department in New York City. Low-fat dairy products like plain yogurt are a great source of vitamin A, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, as are liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.
Flaxseed3 of 10
You’ve heard a million times how good salmon is for fighting wrinkles because it contains omega-3 fatty acids (otherwise known as “good fats”), but according to the Mayo Clinic, flaxseed also contains high levels of these super fats. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids make your cell membranes stronger—which helps prevent harmful toxins from being absorbed—but they also keep moisture from getting out. ON WOMAN'S DAY: Get Younger Looking Hands
Green Tea4 of 10
Green tea has garnered a lot of attention for its various health benefits, but it’s truly a powerhouse when it comes to preventing skin damage. The polyphenols in green tea contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to a study from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, which means they protect against damaging ultraviolet rays.
Tuna5 of 10
In recent years, tuna has gotten a bad rap because of high mercury levels. However, when eaten in moderation, it still offers numerous nutrients, including selenium. According to the National Institutes of Health, the trace mineral helps prevent cellular damage. It also promotes elastin, a protein in your connective tissue that keeps your skin smooth, tight and flexible. Selenium can also be also found in beef, cod and turkey. ON WOMAN'S DAY: Anti-Aging Secrets
Avocados6 of 10
The high levels of monounsaturated fats in this smooth and savory fruit protect your skin cells and prevent wrinkling. “Similar to fatty acids, monounsaturated fats are incorporated in your cell walls, making them stronger,” Dr. Zeichner says. “There have even been studies showing that cultures with a high intake of monounsaturated fats have less wrinkling.” Other good sources include olive oil, almonds and peanut butter.
Cooked Tomatoes7 of 10
Tomatoes—particularly cooked ones—are a terrific source of lycopene, an antioxidant compound in the carotenoid family that gives the fleshy fruit its red color. Lycopene helps defend against sun damage and wrinkles—and might even help both prevent and treat skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. “A very potent antioxidant, it can neutralize free radicals caused by ultraviolet exposure from the sun,” Dr. Zeichner says.
Sweet Potatoes8 of 10
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which has been shown to support the growth of collagen, a protein that smoothes out wrinkles and gives the appearance of a fuller, more youthful face. In fact, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that volunteers who consumed 4 milligrams of vitamin C daily for three years were 11 percent less likely to have a wrinkled appearance.
Berries9 of 10
Packed full of antioxidants, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries protect the skin against sun damage. Blueberries are particularly rich in flavones, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. “Kind of known as longevity genes, they are involved in expanding the lifespan of cells, leaving them looking younger and healthier for a longer period of time,” Dr. Zeichner says. ON WOMAN'S DAY: Beauty Gadgets
Almonds10 of 10
Several vitamins work as natural sun blockers and are often included in sunscreen formulas; vitamin E—which almonds are chock full of—is one of the most common. “Antioxidant vitamins are used in sunscreens because anything that does get through in theory can be neutralized by the antioxidants to prevent free radical damage,” Dr. Zeichner says.