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Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women

The Researchers: M. C. Cosgrove, et al.

Published In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 357(10), pp.370-379, 2007

Prognosis

Vitamin C slows aging.

Particulars

Put aside the wrinkle creams and eat an orange instead. Your diet can help your skin stay wrinkle-free and supple.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers looked at 4,025 middle-aged women, comparing their signs of skin aging to the nutrients in their diet over a 24-hour period. Turns out, you really can eat pretty.

The participants who ate more vitamin C and linoleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid) showed fewer signs of skin aging. 

Specifically, eating more vitamin C was associated with fewer wrinkles and better skin hydration, while higher linoleic acid intake was associated with better hydration and less skin atrophy (where the skin becomes thinner as it loses collagen). On the flip side, eating more fats and carbohydrates increased signs of skin aging.

The study looked at regular diets (rather than supplements), which means that adding these nutrients to your daily diet really can make a difference. So pack your fridge with foods rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid to cook up some gorgeous grub.

Beauty connection

Starting your youthful diet is easy. To up your vitamin C intake, break out of the orange-and-strawberry rut and add tropical fruits like guava, kiwi and papaya to your grocery cart. For linoleic acid, add nuts, flaxseeds and tofu to your diet. Or to get both in one dose, try eating broccoli or kale. Not only will that diet help your skin, it'll help your hair, nails and even your mood!

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