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Nutrition for Healthy Skin – Part Two

Nutrition for Healthy Skin – Part Two

Nutrition for Healthy Skin – Part Two

Last week, we investigated how proper nutrition can alter your skin. In the second of our two-part series, we will be looking into additional nutritional power houses, which have an impact on how healthy your skin will look and feel.

  1. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in your body. A half cup serving of baked sweet potato contains enough beta-carotene to provide nearly four times the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A. Carotenoids like beta-carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock. This may help prevent sunburn, cell death and dry, wrinkled skin. Interestingly, high amounts of beta-carotene also add a warm, orange hue to your skin, contributing to an overall healthier appearance.

  1. Bell Peppers

Just like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. One cup of red bell pepper has the equivalent of 92% of the RDI for vitamin A! Peppers are also excellent sources of vitamin C, which is necessary for creating collagen, a protein that helps keep kin firm and strong. A single cup of red, yellow or orange bell peppers contains an impressive 317% of the RDI for vitamin C!

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains Lutein, a carotenoid that works just like beta-carotene. Lutein protects skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, which boasts some incredible health benefits: it may have some anti-cancer effects. Sulforaphane is also great at protecting us from sun damage. It works in two ways: by neutralizing free radicals, which can speed along your skin’s natural aging process, and switching on some protective systems within your body. Finally, sulforaphane can also help maintain collagen levels in your skin.

  1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, and contain all of the major carotenoids including beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. These three carotenoids protect your skin against sun damage and may also help prevent against wrinkling. Consider pairing carotenoid-rich foods like tomatoes with healthy sources of fat, like cheeses or olive oil. The fat helps increase your absorption of carotenoids.

  1. Soy

Soy contains isoflavones, which can benefit several parts of your body including your skin. One study of middle-aged women found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8-12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and enhanced skin elasticity. Isoflavones can also help protect your skin from UV radiation, which may help prevent skin cancer.

  1. Dark Chocolate

If you needed another excuse to eat chocolate, here it is! The effects of cocoa on your skin are amazing! In one study, after 6-12 weeks of consuming cocoa powder high in antioxidants every day, participants experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. Their skin was also less rough, less susceptible to sunburns and had improved blood flow, which brings more nutrients to the skin. Other studies have found that eating dark chocolate frequently may allow your skin to withstand over twice as much UV radiation before burning and improves the appearance of wrinkles. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximize the benefits.

Try some of the above super-foods for healthy, glowing skin. If you do try them and notice a change in your skin, please comment below and let us know!

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