The best fall foods for radiant skin

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Published November 14, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Cooler temperatures in the fall can be a cause of dry, lackluster skin if you’re not supplying your body with the proper nutrients. The foods we eat play an important part in establishing how our skin will look and feel. Nature helps us combat the effects of dropping temperatures on our skin by providing us with seasonal foods that keep skin looking bright, young and beautiful.

Here are some of the best fall foods to keep your skin glowing into the winter months.

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and sweet potatoes are all fall vegetables that keep skin beautiful thanks to their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C helps firm and tone skin, providing a more youthful look. Eating it regularly prevents free-radical damage and protects skin cells, helping prevent wrinkles. This antioxidant is needed for the repair and growth of tissues and in the formation of the protein collagen, which is used to make new skin and give it its elasticity.

Winter squashes such as pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash, are all rich in beta-carotene. This precursor to vitamin A can help fight wrinkles and balance the skins ph level to reduce excess oil, all while fighting inflammation that can make skin appear puffy. Beta-carotene and vitamin A both encourage new skin growth by increasing cell turnover, which helps skin follicles clear and reduce the likelihood of acne and dry, rough skin.

Sweet potatoes also have a high level of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Retinol and retinoic acid, found in many skin care products, are both derived from vitamin A, which helps keep skin smooth and keep wrinkles at bay. The beta-carotene adds another level of skin protection by combating free radicals, which contribute to skin aging. Sweet potatoes low glycemic index also makes them a great carbohydrate choice since they won’t cause spikes or crashes in blood sugar, associated with hormonal imbalances that can lead to frequent breakouts.

Kale, spinach, Swiss chard and collard greens are cool weather, leafy green vegetables that are all good sources of vitamin E. In recent years, vitamin E has gained popularity as a supplement for immunity, healthy eyes and healthy skin. The benefits of vitamin E come from its antioxidant properties that remove free radicals. Including these leafy greens as part of your regular diet can also help soothe dry skin, which is common as temperatures begin to drop.

Pumpkin seeds and pecans are packed with skin-beautifying zinc. Zinc helps the body maintain its collagen supply, which helps give skin its elasticity, and prevents wrinkles and sagging. This important nutrient is also essential for maintaining hormonal balance, a crucial part of keeping acne at bay.

Cacao powder, chocolate and roasted squash seeds are good sources of copper and easily found during the fall. Copper is an essential mineral required by the body for bone and connective tissue production. It aids in the production of collagen, and gives color to our hair, skin and eyes.

Including these foods as a regular part of your fall diet will help keep your skin looking smooth and beautiful during the holidays. Drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, avoiding cigarette smoke and reducing your stress levels are also essential parts of any healthy skin routine.

Remember that skin has to replenish from the inside, and these diet strategies will help you do that.

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