Top foods for great-looking skin

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: skin health, foods, nutrition

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(NaturalNews) There are all sorts of personal care products on the market today that claim to hide wrinkles, clear up blemishes, and add a healthy glow to your skin. But many of these products fail to address the root causes of bad-looking skin, which for many people are nutritional in nature. Here are 10 foods you can begin incorporating into your diet today to help naturally improve the appearance of your skin:

1) Avocados. Naturally rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, avocados can help significantly improve the appearance of skin when eaten as part of a healthy diet. Avocados are particularly rich in biotin, a coenzyme nutrient that is known to help make hair thicker and stronger, and skin more lustrous and vibrant. Biotin is also found in high amounts in liver and pastured eggs.

2) Lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for healthy skin, as it aids in the production of collagen, a protein that forms the basic structure of your skin. And one of the best natural sources of vitamin C is citrus fruits like lemons and limes, which can help reduce inflammation, neutralize free radicals, and tighten skin. Other excellent sources of vitamin C include camu camu berries and acerola cherries.

3) Cucumbers. A key nutrient that your body needs for maintaining proper skin elasticity is silica. And an excellent source of natural silica is cucumbers, which are often used topically over the eyes to help moisturize skin and tame wrinkles. Consuming silica; however, is preferable, as this important nutrient will help strengthen all the connective tissues throughout your body, including your muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bones.

4) Kombucha tea. Kombucha tea is all the rage right now, which is hardly surprising considering this probiotic elixir offers an array of positive health benefits. And one of these benefits is healthy skin, as the fermented beverage tends to improve the texture and tone of skin, as well as brighten and clarify it over time. Since kombucha tea is known to systemically cleanse and detoxify the body, it makes sense that skin, the body's largest organ, can also benefit from it.

5) Almonds. Almonds, and almond skins in particular, are especially rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that is widely known to help improve skin health and prevent skin wrinkles. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that both the vitamin E and bioflavonoids found in almonds help to protect skin cells against oxidative damage. Eating almonds can also help prevent and treat dry skin.

6) Sweet potatoes. The same compounds that give sweet potatoes their vibrant orange hue can also help improve your complexion and the appearance of your skin. Beta-carotene, a precursor nutrient to vitamin A, helps protect the skin against damage from sunburns and other harmful exposures. In fact, many anti-aging skin creams contain added beta-carotene because this nutrient works incredibly well at protecting the skin against free radical damage.

7) Wild salmon. Similarly, the iconic pink color that is characteristic of wild salmon is actually a powerful skin-protecting nutrient known as astaxanthin, which has been shown to provide powerful antioxidant protection for the skin. We have written about astaxanthin extensively here at NaturalNews, and this is for good reason -- astaxanthin is arguably the most beneficial skin-protectant nutrient in the natural world. Eating more wild salmon, in other words, can help naturally boost levels of astaxanthin inside your body, and improve the health and vibrancy of your skin.

8) Orange and green fruits and vegetables. Every fruit and vegetable contains its own unique nutritional profile that promotes certain segments of health with more clarity and specificity. And as far as skin health is concerned, green and red fruits and vegetables appear to be among the most beneficial, as they contain skin-protecting carotenes that protect against cell damage and premature aging. Both green and orange fruits and vegetables help replenish the skin by shedding old skin cells and replacing them with new, healthy ones.

9) Pastured eggs. A "perfect" food for promoting the health of not only your skin health but also your entire body is pastured eggs, which contain complete protein and an extensive array of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and beneficial saturated fats. Like avocados, pasture-based eggs contain high levels of natural biotin, as well as carotenoids and vitamin D, both of which promote skin health.

10) Brazil nuts. One of the richest known sources of natural selenium, Brazil nuts are another powerful food that helps improve the firmness and boost the elasticity of your skin. Selenium in particular helps to protect the skin against damage from overexposure to the sun, and the zinc content in Brazil nuts helps modulate the healthy production of oil in the skin, which is responsible for giving it that glow and vibrancy that we all desire.

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