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7 Best Foods For Healthy Skin

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By Addah Arcilla | August 24, 2014 11:40 PM EST

The secret to healthy, glowing skin isn't in what you put on it, but what you feed it. Everything we eat becomes a part of our inner and outer being. Hence, eating a healthy, nutritious diet can only result to better looking skin.

While a well-balanced diet is a sure way of getting your share of good food for healthy skin, there are a number of foods that are more likely than others to protect the skin from sun damage while promoting healthy glowing skin.

1. Spinach

Spinach is chock-full of nutrients essential for healthy skin cells and antioxidants that combat premature aging. In a Medical News Today article that discusses the health benefits of popular foods, spinach was cited as a super food loaded with nutrients beneficial to the body, including skin and hair.

Spinach is rich in vitamin A, which is vital in the production of lipids that keep skin and hair moisturized. It also helps to improve the skin tone and promote skin renewal. .

Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which is vital in the production and maintenance of collagen, a type of protein that gives the skin elasticity and strength.

2. Carrots

Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a pro-vitamin that converts into an active form of vitamin A called retinol. Human skin is prone to damage and sun exposure that can speed up skin aging. Vitamin A enhances the skin's immunity, strengthens tissue and facilitates skin renewal for a healthy, glowing skin.   

Beta carotene is also a potent anti-oxidant that helps delay sun-induced skin aging. Skin is prone to dryness and wrinkles when exposed to sunlight. Beta carotene protects the skin from oxidation and hampers the effects of skin breakdown, according to a 2011 review in the "Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition."

3. Tomatoes

According to an article that discusses the health benefits of tomatoes in Medical News Today, tomatoes are rich in vitamin c and lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant that gives tomatoes its rich red color. Lycopene acts as a natural sunscreen that prevents the UV damage that causes sun spots, dryness and wrinkles. Vitamin C works to help in the production and protection of collagen against oxidation by reducing the damaged caused by pollution and smoke.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals that help neutralize free radicals, which might otherwise damage skin cells. According to WebMD, free radicals formed from sun exposure can damage the cell membrane of skin cells. The anti-oxidants and phytochemicals found in blueberries help protect the cells from damage, thereby helping in keeping the skin younger looking.

Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, which helps in strengthening the capillaries under the skin, preventing the appearance of spider veins and blotches on the skin.

5. Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential in keeping the skin healthy. According to an article published in Nutrition 411, deficiency in essential fatty acids can result to many skin problems, including skin dryness, inflammation and acne. Inflammation can result to the production of free radicals, which causes skin ageing.  

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), helps regulate oil production in the skin, thus keeping it hydrated and prevents it from dryness. EPA also acts as an anti-oxidant that protects the cells from free radicals and the sun's damaging rays.

6. Nuts

Nuts are also a good source of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids help maintain healthy cell membranes, which is responsible for holding water in the cells. Stronger cell membranes are better in keeping the moisture in, resulting in plumper and younger looking skin, according to WebMD.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt, along with other dairy products, is a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps protect the skin from sun damage and modulates the rate of skin regeneration, as discussed in Nutrition411. Deficiency in vitamin A leaves the skin dry and chapped.

Yogurt contains true vitamin A, which is an important feature for people with diabetes or thyroid conditions. Nutrition expert Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, told WebMd that people with these conditions cannot convert beta carotene into vitamin A, which is the form usually found in foods associated with vitamin A.

Yogurt is also a good source of acidophilus, the live bacteria that is beneficial for intestinal health as well as for the skin. Lipski explains that anything that helps keep digestion normal also results in healthier looking skin.

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