Green tea is chock full of phytochemicals, chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. It’s particularly high in one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which a 2009 study on rats in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology found is protective against UV-induced skin damage.
Get more: Steep a tea bag in the water you use to make rice or hot cereal. Keep a pitcher iced in your fridge.
Higher in vitamin C than oranges, this tangy treat can help maintain the skin’s collagen. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the skin, providing its scaffolding. “Collagen is what gives the skin its strength, to help it repair damage and keep it strong and elastic,” says S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, a board certified dermatologist, founder of the Miami Skin Institute, in Miami, Florida and associate clinical professor of dermatology at University of Miami. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with higher C intake from foods had significantly fewer wrinkles.
Get more: Chop some into salads or salsas for a sweet, surprising taste. Also high in vitamin C: red peppers and mangoes.
While too much saturated fat in the diet can be unhealthy, cutting fat out altogether can leave you with dry, flaky skin that’s unable to lubricate itself properly. Olive oil, a good monounsaturated fat, contains linoleic acid, a compound that does not allow water to evaporate from the skin, Czerwony says. The same American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that women who got more linoleic acid in their diet had less age-related dryness and skin thinning.
Get more: Sprinkle your salad with olive oil and toss in some avocado and sunflower seeds for even more healthy, skin-lubricating fats.
— by Leslie Pepper
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