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5 Foods for More Beautiful Skin

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Katherine Brooking, RD - Blogs
By Katherine Brooking, MS, RDRegistered dietitianMarch 16, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

Let’s face it: we all want beautiful, radiant skin. Everywhere you turn, there’s another lotion, potion, or cream promising a youthful glow. The good news is that research suggests that what you put in your body, not just on it, can help give you gorgeous skin. In today’s post I’ve listed five “must-have” beauty foods to give your skin a boost.

Mango: This superfruit delivers key nutrients that pack a powerful punch when it comes to skin health: vitamin C, vitamin A/beta carotene and folate. One cup of mango delivers a whopping 100 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C. This antioxidant supports collagen formation, regeneration, and wound repair. What’s more, research has linked vitamin C with improved appearance of aging skin. One study found that people with higher intakes of vitamin C had a less wrinkled appearance and reduced skin dryness and thinning associated with aging. For a delicious beauty beverage, try this peach-mango smoothie.

Kale: As one of the most nutrient-rich produce picks, it’s not surprising that kale can also help your skin look its best. Kale is loaded with potent antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and carotenoids to help combat the stress of sun exposure and other environmental pollutants that can leave skin wrinkled and sallow. Studies indicate that lower levels of vitamin A in the  may lead to a more wrinkled appearance. As a beauty bonus kale is also rich in iron and B6, which can keep hair looking full and shiny. Just 1 cup of kale meets 180% of your vitamin A and 200% of your vitamin C daily requirement. All this in just 36 calories!Not sure how to fit kale into your beauty routine? Check out this raw kale salad with oranges.

Salmon: In addition to their heart health benefits, the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon are important for your skin’s health. While the research is still early, one study published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that older people who consumed more fish over their life had fewer wrinkles than those who ate more meat.

And the omega-3s in salmon may even help protect against skin cancer. In a study of skin cancer researchers found that people who ate diets rich in fish oils and other omega-3 fats had a 29 percent lower risk of squamous cell skin cancer than those who ate very little omega-3 fats.

Salmon and other fish rich in omega-3s are easy to fit into a “beautiful” diet. A couple of my current favorite salmon dishes: Grilled Gingered Salmon and Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter.

Tea: Tea contains compounds known as polyphenols that have potent antioxidant properties. According to some studies, polyphenols may help prevent sun-related skin cancers. Plus green tea is especially rich in a compound known as EGCG that may keep skin looking youthful. Potential beauty benefits aside, unsweetened tea is always a good, calorie free hydration choice.

Edamame: Be sure to order a side of edamame with your sushi, as the isoflavones in the edamame beans (and all soy-based foods) help prevent the breakdown of collagen, keeping skin firm and wrinkle-free. In one study, mice fed foods with isoflavones and then exposed to UV light developed fewer wrinkles than those that didn’t eat isoflavones.

Small changes can lead to big results. What healthy step can you take today?

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About the Author
Katherine Brooking, MS, RD

Katherine Brooking is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition education from Columbia University. She is dedicated to helping people have better health and live richer lives through sound nutrition and good lifestyle choices.

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