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Great Foods for Healthy Skin

A diet rich in key vitamins and nutrients can help fight a variety of skin conditions, including premature aging, dry skin, sun damage and skin cancer.

The saying goes, "we are what we eat." And when it comes to skin care, that saying can be taken literally. With a diet rich in key vitamins and nutrients, skin health can be nourished and maintained effortlessly.

High Antioxidant Fruits Neutralize Free Radicals

According to the USDA, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and plums contain the highest concentrations of antioxidants among all fruits. Antioxidants protect the body’s cells by neutralizing free radicals – harmful molecules in the body’s cells.

“Antioxidants and other photochemicals in these fruits can protect the cell so there is less chance for damage,” says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, and clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City in a article titled, "Foods for Healthy Skin: You Are What You Eat." She adds, "When you help protect the cells from damage and disintegration, you also guard against premature aging.”

Oily Fish Fights Dry and Sun-Damaged Skin

Oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, swordfish and sardines are packed with essential fatty acids (EFA), or “good fat.” Good for those who suffer from dry skin or eczema, EFAs are particularly helpful in maintaining moisture in the skin.

What’s more, EFAs have been shown to protect the skin against DNA damage caused by the sun. In a study published in a issue of Cancer Detection and Prevention, researchers with the department of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine uncovered specific evidence to support a correlation between omega-3 fatty acids and a reduced incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Vitamin A-Packed Fruits and Vegetables Help Repair Sun Damage to Skin

Beta carotene also plays a role in the prevention of skin cancer. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A is known for its ability to repair the skin’s cells from sun damage. Foods rich in beta carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe, have also been shown to help maintain moisture balance in the skin and fight off infection.

Brazil Nuts, Sunflower Seeds and Shellfish Help Prevent Skin Cancer and Acne

What do these three foods have in common? They all contain a high concentration of selenium, an essential antioxidant proven to protect the body from a multitude of ailments. Foods rich in selenium are highly beneficial to the skin.

The skin is highly susceptible and often a victim of toxin build-up. When this happens, acne rears its ugly head. With their toxin-flushing properties, selenium-rich foods can be very effective for acne sufferers, particularly when used in conjunction with vitamins A and E.

Selenium has also been shown to help prevent certain types of skin cancer. In a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, researchers with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research uncovered a connection between higher selenium concentrations and a reduced incidence of both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.

Green Tea Packs a Powerful Skin-Protecting Punch

With an antioxidant concentration more powerful than that of most fruits and vegetables, green tea has been specifically proven to benefit the skin in a variety of ways. “Experimental studies suggests that green tea possess anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic potential,” say researchers with Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in a study published in the Archives of Dermatology.

But the benefits don’t end there. This power-packed beverage is considered highly effective in the fight against UV-damaged skin, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and dandruff.

Achieving good skin doesn’t require a complicated formula of fancy skin care products. By following some simple dietary guidelines, healthy skin can be easily achievable and sustainable.


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