Many foods promote skin health. Some are at their most beneficial when eaten raw:
Kale and Spinach
Kale and spinach help keep skin firm because they contain phytonutrients that provide extra protection from sun damage. Spinach is especially good because it is loaded with the nutrients beta-carotene and lutein, which have been shown to improve skin elasticity. Tip: Try to get about three cups of either leafy green per week. Each is delicious as the foundation of a salad – even tastier mixed together.
Walnuts and Pistachios
Walnuts and pistachios are a rich source of vitamins B and E that help protect against cell damage. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and oxidation that age the skin prematurely, while vitamin B1 aids circulation to give skin a healthy, youthful glow. Tip: Pair nuts with a healthy carbohydrate like fruit to help slow down digestion and the breakdown of sugar.
Berries and Citrus
Berries are packed with age-defying antioxidants as well as fiber, a nutrient that helps eliminate toxins before they cause breakouts. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that also boosts collagen production for soft, supple skin. Tip: Think of a fresh citrus and berry salad as a delicious beauty treatment you eat!
Like citrus, apples are also high in vitamin C – helpful for collagen production. The copper in apples aids the production of melanin, the brown-black pigment in skin that works as a natural sun protector. Tip: Add a chopped apple to your salad or yogurt.
This nut milk is great for your skin because it contains collagen-boosting copper, as well as the mineral manganese, which helps protect skin from UV damage. Tip: Use almond milk as you would regular milk, as a drink, on cereal, or blended with frozen fruit for a tasty, nutritious smoothie.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to her free weekly weight loss newsletter.