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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eat food. Get great skin. (Sort of.)

Some rights reserved by richard_north

We all love to eat. And we all have probably been told (by our grandmothers, no doubt) that eating the wrong foods can wreak havoc on our skin. I’m here to tell you that a lot of those rumors are just that – rumors. In this blog post, I’ll tell you all about the real super foods…and debunk some myths along the way.

For Anti-Aging

Vitamin C
A 2007 study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid and lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates were associated with better skin-aging appearance. In simpler words: More vitamin C means fewer wrinkles, less dryness and a reduced risk for skin atrophy.

Sweet Potatoes
Wrinkles are, unfortunately, an unavoidable sign of aging. What you can help control is how quickly the aging process takes place. Try eating sweet potatoes — these orange spuds are filled with vitamin C that helps with the production of collagen, which helps smooth out wrinkles and prevent new ones.

If you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes, try adding flaxseeds to your diet. Flaxseeds fight wrinkles because of their payload of omega-3 fatty acids. These super seeds go great on top of your favorite yogurt and salads. You can also try blending them into your favorite smoothie!

Almonds or Avocados
If taste is your goal, add some almonds or avocados to your diet. These super foods are packed with vitamin E, which helps fight sun damage.

Although dietitians do not always recommend canned foods, canned tuna is what I would consider an exception. That’s right, canned tuna contains skin-tightening selenium that preserves elastin, a powerful protein that helps your skin maintain its elasticity – and fight wrinkles.

For Anti-Aging and Lowering Your Risk of Skin Cancer: Vegetables. All of them.

Being told to “eat your vegetables” doesn’t seem as ridiculous as an adult — especially if you want healthy skin! Oranges, limes, kale, asparagus, spinach and grapefruits are rich sources of vitamin C – which, of course, is Super Food No. 1 for anti-aging.

Veggies can prevent skin cancer too! Spinach is particularly important for skin health because of its ability to fight various skin cancers, and carrots are filled with vitamin A, which reduces the risk of developing skin cancer cells. A bonus for carrots: They’re great blemish blasters for those with minor breakouts.

For Anti-Aging and Antioxidants: Green Tea

Green tea has become very popular in the last several years, as the media has reported on a variety of studies extolling its value. Are you drinking it yet? You should be. If all of those studies weren’t enough to convince you, here is one more: Green tea has always been known for its antioxidants and anti-cancer properties, but a recent study has found that drinking two to six cups a day will not only help prevent skin cancer, but can help reverse the effects of sun damage. Remember to drink this mighty tea when it’s hot – the antioxidants degrade as it cools.

For Dry Skin: Safflower Oil

As important as it is for our skin to actually be healthy, most of strive for it to look healthy as well. Try safflower oil. It’s packed with omega-6 fatty acids that act as a natural moisturizer, and can be beneficial for people suffering from dry, flaky or itchy skin. Some studies have 

found that this oil may even help with eczema.

Did I miss anything you want to ask about? Leave your questions in the comments and I'll answer them there. 

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