Nourish the Skin You're In

Summer's sun can do a number on your skin. And to add insult to injury, a poor diet will prematurely age it, too. Because we're baring a little more skin these next few months, why not eat your way to a healthier, age-defying glow? Interested? Slip these foods into your grocery cart:

  • Vitamin A and C-rich foods such as cantaloupe, peppers, mangoes, tomatoes, spinach, kale, peaches, nectarines, carrots and more. A and C help shield the skin from UV damage. Both help repair damaged cells, and vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which helps keep skin nice and firm.
  • Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E and selenium. Both help protect cells from damage, including sun damage and other environmental "insults."
  • Green tea and black tea. The polyphenols (plant compounds) found in these tea leaves can combat inflammation – both inflammation from the sun and day-to-day inflammation otherwise occuring in the body.
  • Omega-3-rich foods. Tuna, trout, salmon, halibut, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, dark green leafy vegetables and canola oil contain omega-3 fats. A "good" balance between polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 fats) and omega-3 fats helps combat cell-damaging inflammation. Most American diets are out of balance, eating too many polyunsaturated fats as compared to omega-3 fats. Omega-3s help put out the smoldering fires of inflammation.
  • Coffee. In animal studies, caffeine has helped reduce the development of squamous cell carcinoma by killing precancerous cells damaged by sunlight that were in the process of dividing. The antioxidants in coffee may protect cells from the initial damage caused by the sun, too.

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