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4 Great Foods for Bright, Healthy Skin

by Michele on January 29, 2013

You already know that what you put into your body affects your health, but you may not realize how much it can affect your skin and overall appearance. While eating a healthy, balanced diet is important, there are some foods that can help give your skin a brighter, healthier appearance.

Many of these foods are low-calorie choices that are low in saturated fat. Try to include these foods in your diet a few times per week to enjoy their skin lightening and brightening benefits.

 Salmon

Salmon on platePacked with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best foods you can eat to maintain your skin’s overall health and improve your complexion. Omega-3 and omega-6, types of essential fatty acids, can’t be produced by the body, so you have to consume them.

Along with salmon, other fatty fish like tuna and sardines can provide you with essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. When buying fish, it’s best to buy fresh ocean-caught fish if you can find it in your area. All forms of salmon provide essential fatty acids that are good for your skin.

Processed and saturated fats can cancel out the benefits of essential fatty acids, so make sure you watch your intake if you’re going to include salmon and other fatty fish in your diet.

Blueberries

Blueberry Background

Blueberries are full of antioxidants that can protect your body from infections and illness. The same antioxidants can also help to protect your skin from free radicals that can leave it looking dull and lifeless. The consumption of antioxidants has also been linked to decreased chances of more serious diseases like cancer and heart disease.

While blueberries can be used in recipes, they provide more health benefits if they’re consumed raw. That means that while those blueberry pancakes might be delicious, they’re not going to change your skin overnight.

Try to stick with raw blueberries. They make an excellent mid-day snack on their own, with only about 100 calories per cup. Blueberries can also be added whole to breakfast cereal, oatmeal or fruit salads. Frozen blueberries are available year round, and can easily be thawed to room temperature or added to smoothies.

 Tomatoes

Three tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that’s very good for your skin’s overall health. Increased consumption of lycopene has even been linked to a reduction in acne and breakouts in both teens and adults. Lycopene can also help to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin cancer.

While there’s no exact amount of lycopene that doctors recommend, including tomatoes in your daily diet really isn’t that hard, and there are no health drawbacks from eating too many tomatoes. If fresh tomatoes aren’t really your thing, tomato soup, pasta sauce and even sun-dried tomatoes contain plenty of lycopene, so there’s no excuse for you to not eat your tomatoes.

 Carrots

Girl holding carrotsCarrots benefit your skin in a similar fashion to tomatoes. Instead of lycopene, carrots contain carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that can help improve your skin’s appearance. While carotenoids are found in other foods with an orange-red color, carrots have the highest carotenoid content of any vegetable.

Raw carrots contain the most carotenoids, so try to add shredded carrots to salads or snack on baby carrots when you get hungry between meals. Baby carrots are an excellent late night snack since they’re full of fiber which will keep you full, yet are low in calories. If you just can’t stand raw carrots, cooked carrots are still healthy and beneficial as long as they’re not soaked in butter or oil.

If there’s absolutely no way you’ll be adding carrots to your diet any time soon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and apricots also contain carotenoids.

 Healthy Foods = Great Skin

 You’ve probably noticed that most of the foods on this list are what most would consider “healthy” foods, and most of them are fruits and vegetables. While whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products can be part of a healthy diet, fresh fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of what you eat if you want to have great skin.

Bio:Marcela De Vivo is a health & wellness blogger from Los Angeles, California. De Vivo currently writes for NorthWest Pharmacy.

Photo Credits – Salmon,  Blueberries TomatoesCarrots

 

 

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