What makes leafy greens so special?
Leafy green vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, and turnip greens, to name a few, are high in fiber and a great source of beta carotene; a powerful antioxidant that helps renew and repair skin cells. Spinach is another beauty of a vegetable that offers the B vitamin known as “folate.” Folate is a nutrient known to help maintain heart health, and it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it also works to repair DNA—which leads to healthier skin.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
There are many benefits to a diet that is high in Vitamin C, such as:
It fights free radicals that damage skin cells and contribute to wrinkles.
It is necessary in the production of elastin and collagen, which bind skin cells and maintain firmness.
Both dietary and topical ascorbic acid have shown to be beneficial in terms of preventing and treating UV damage.
Strawberries, kiwis, dark, leafy greens, papayas, bell peppers, tomatoes and citrus fruits are some of the wonderful foods that are high in vitamin C. That said, because some of these foods are also known as being heavily sprayed with pesticides, I always recommend choosing the organic options. Remember that healthy skin needs fresh food that is also free of harmful chemicals.
One of the most healthful foods that nature has to offer is the gorgeous and delicious avocado. Yes, another fruit that is high in Vitamin C, believe it or not; avocados are also rich in carotenoids (powerful antioxidants) including zeaxanthin, beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, alpha carotene, and lutein.
What are some other key benefits of the mighty avocado, you ask?
Vitamin E which is fat soluble, mitigates the effects of free radical damage in your skin cells that lead to aging (caused by the oxidation of fats).
Studies also show that vitamin E can reduce the harmful effects on the skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.
It can prevent acne breakouts when eaten regularly. Yes, really!
It’s an excellent source of magnesium; an electrolyte which supports organ and bone health—and this most definitely includes the skin! As you probably know, it also makes a great face mask, and the magnesium content is one of the main reasons (just mix it with a little honey).
It’s also a great source of potassium which keeps skin cells hydrated and moisturized.
Pumpkin: It doesn’t have to be a fall-thing.
Pumpkin is delicious and nutritious, and offers many of the same nutrients as the foods mentioned above. Pumpkin is rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. It makes a fabulous soup, and if you’ve never tried a pumpkin pie smoothie… well… let’s just say you’ve been missing out!
“Maryanne, are there things that I should avoid eating in order to keep my skin healthy?” So glad you asked!
As a matter of fact, yes! Things such as caffeine and carbonated sodas can actually prevent your body from reaping the benefits of good foods and all their nutrients. There are other “dirty” foods and beverages to be aware of, but fortunately, the list of healthful foods is long, so there is a lot to enjoy!
If you have other questions, please let me know with your comments. I’m here to help!
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