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Acne Health Center

Foods to Help Keep Your Skin Healthy

How what you eat and drink can affect your skin
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1. Antioxidants continued...

Top food sources of vitamin C include orange juice, grapefruit juice, papayas, strawberries, kiwis, red and green peppers, cantaloupes, tomato-vegetable juice, broccoli, mangoes, oranges, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, cauliflower, and kale.

Vitamin E. More research is under way on the possible benefits of vitamin E as an ingredient in products that you rub on the skin, but for now it seems to benefit the skin most as a skin conditioner.

Food sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus. But it's difficult to get much of this vitamin from foods, so many people take a supplement. (Be sure to take no more than 400 international units per day so you don't ingest too much.)

2. Choose 'Smart' Fats

Heart- and joint-friendly omega-3 fatty acids may be skin-friendly too. The omega-3s from fish may help to guard against sun damage, according to a few recent studies on fish oil supplements.

Anti-aging expert Nicholas Perricone, MD, author of The Wrinkle Cure, has advocated a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3s for better skin, says Rubin, "and there is some scientific data to support that type of diet."

While there's certainly more to be learned about the benefits and risks of fish-oil supplements, it makes sense to increase your intake of foods high in omega-3s.

Top food sources of omega-3s include fish, ground flaxseed, walnuts, and brands of eggs that are higher in omega-3s. Switching to a higher omega-3 cooking oil, like canola oil, can help increase your intake, too.

The Dutch study noted above for its findings about vitamin A also found monounsaturated fats to be associated with favorable skin pH (the balance between acidity and alkalinity that is important for healthy skin).

Top food sources of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, avocados, olives, almonds, and hazelnuts.

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.

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