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Foods for Healthy Skin: You Are What You Eat

What you put on your plate is even more important than what you put on your skin.

What Are Foods for Healthy Skin? continued...

The A in dairy products, she says is "true A," so everyone's skin can use it.

Lipski says low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the "live" bacteria that is good for intestinal health. Turns out, it may also have an impact on the skin.

"Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes, is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin," says Lipski.

Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums. The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest "total antioxidant capacity" of any food. The benefits of these foods for healthy skin are plentiful.

"Free radicals -- like the kind formed from sun exposure -- damage the membrane of skin cells, potentially allowing damage to the DNA of that cell," says Heller. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect the cell, she says, so there is less chance for damage.

"When you help protect the cells from damage and disintegration, you also guard against premature aging. In this respect, these fruits may very well help keep your skin younger looking longer," says Heller.

According to the new study, other fruits and vegetables with a "high antioxidant capacity" include artichokes, beans (the study cited black, red, and pinto), prunes, and pecans.

Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil, and Flax Seed. These seemingly unrelated foods all deliver essential fatty acids, and thus are key foods for healthy skin.

"Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell," says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Because it is the cell membrane that also holds water in, the stronger that barrier is the better your cells can hold moisture. And that means plumper, younger looking skin.

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