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Foods to Help Keep Your Skin Healthy

How what you eat and drink can affect your skin

3. Eat Whole Foods

Wilma Bergseld, MD, head of clinical research in dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said in the Environmental Nutrition Newsletter that she makes a point of telling her patients to eat a healthy diet of whole foods. She noted in the newsletter that the same diet that protects against heart disease and cancer is good for the skin.

Researchers at Monash University in Australia may have helped to prove Bergseld's point with a recent study. The researchers looked at the diets of about 450 people age 70 and up from Australia, Greece, and Sweden. They found that those who ate a diet containing more "whole foods" -- vegetables, fruits, legumes, eggs, yogurt, nuts, oils rich in monounsaturated fats, multigrain bread, tea, and water -- had less wrinkling and premature skin aging than those whose diets were rich in whole milk, red meat (particularly processed meats), butter, potatoes, and sugar.

The researchers believe this may have to do with the antioxidants, phytochemicals, and monounsaturated fats that a "whole foods" diet contributes.

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

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