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5 Foods That Make Your Skin Glow

Healthy, glowing, youthful skin is something we all appreciate and want to hold on to as best we can. With high-end skin creams selling for as much as $400 per ounce (and with little evidence that they actually do even a percentage of what their labels promise), it might not be such a bad idea to head to the market and pick up foods loaded with nutrients that are known to have sun-protecting, skin-hydrating, and even wrinkle-preventing powers.

Manhattan-based dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, recommends the following as the best foods for your skin.

“Eat more fruits and vegetables!” I know you’ve heard this your entire life, but if I told you that they prevent wrinkles, would you be more likely to take this advice to heart? The antioxidants in fruits and veggies work to get rid of free radicals that damage cells and contribute to just about everything that affects your skin, from dryness to wrinkles. Dr. Wechsler’s top picks: sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.

Vita C the easy way? Eat some citrus every day. Your body can’t store wrinkle-fighting, collagen-building vitamin C, so you have to replenish your supplies throughout the day for optimal benefits. The doc’s top picks: oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Yes, you can only eat so many oranges, so feel free to juice out your vitamin C, add a squeeze of lemon or lime to foods, or throw some grapefruit in a salad. A little here and a little there adds up over the day.

Go green One of the most important nutrients for your skin is vitamin A, and certain dark-green veggies are chock-full of it. Whether fresh, frozen, raw, or steamed, Dr. Wechsler recommends spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli as her top three choices for packing a vitamin A punch. What’s so great about vitamin A? It supports skin-cell turnover, which promotes cell growth and development. Without it, skin gets dry, tough, and scaly.

Have a cup of green tea All true teas contain the antioxidant EGCG (Epigallocatechin 3-gallate), and green tea has the most. EGCG fights inflammatory chemicals that promote acne and sun-related aging of the skin. On top of that, green tea has L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces the flow of cortisol, which helps keep collagen fibers intact.

What you can’t grow, fish Omega-3 fatty acids have all kinds of benefits for your overall health, including your skin (with their age-fighting properties). Omega-3s fight inflammation, a top skin-ager, and help protect against sunburn. The protein in fish has restorative powers to boot. The doc’s top fish picks: salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, Pacific herring, and even most shellfish. Unlike veggies, fish are one age-fighter that you don’t want to go overboard with. Concerns about mercury levels in some fish caution us to limit seafood or freshwater fish to about two meals per week.

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