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Skin-Benefiting Foods

From tea to tomatoes, there are tons of foods that will nourish you inside and out, and a few habits to lose for better health and skin.

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Skin-Benefiting Foods

There are so many foods and ingredients that can actually help protect and nourish your skin, and a few things to avoid that will keep it from looking its best.

QUIZ: How Healthy is Your Skin?

Eggs Yolks, Legumes, Avocados, Soybeans and Nuts
These all contain biotin—an essential chemical for fat and carbohydrate metabolism. A lack of biotin (from taking too many antibiotics or inadequate diet) can lead to dry skin or dermatitis. This deficiency can cause your nails and hair to become frail and brittle.

Salmon
It contains astaxanthin, the carotenoid that gives salmon its pretty pink color, improves skin’s elasticity. Also, the good DHA-omega-3 fat makes your hair and skin look young and healthy.

Green Tea
The polyphenols are major free-radical scavengers. These thicken your epidermis and protect you from photo damage. It may help sunburn, and can be taken orally or topically.

Pomegranates
They contain phytonutrients that appear to initiate wound healing. They also thicken the epidermis, and prolong fibroblast life to produce collagen and elastin.

Tomatoes
The nutrients in these reduce the chance you’ll get sunburn. Bulk up on them (with a little lipid beforehand, so the active ingredients can be absorbed. We really don’t know the active ingredients for this effect, so enjoy the tomatoes rather than just a lycopene supplement.

MORE: Shitake, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich

Drop the Fat
High blood fat levels will clog your skin, along with your arteries. Crazy high cholesterol and triglyceride levels can wreak havoc on your features. Yellow bumps called xanthomas result from high triglyceride levels. Beneath the skin’s surface, scavenger cells clean up fatty debris.

Essential steps include maintaining a diet low in saturated/trans fats, blood sugar control and LDL cholesterol lowering/HDL cholesterol-raising medicines. Xanthomas can resolve once blood fats are lowered, but it may take years. Adding 300 mg (or more) of niacin twice daily can help; ask your doctor. Also add 162 mg of aspirin per day. Take with a half glass of warm water before and after to minimize stomach damage. These medications can reduce arterial inflammation and decrease your risk of wrinkles.

MORE: The Saturated Fat Situation

Lay Off the Booze
Alcohol dehydrates your skin while increasing the leakiness of capillaries. This means water moves from the bloodstream into soft tissues. Along with sleeping horizontally, this causes facial puffiness, stretched skin and faster wrinkle formation.

So long as we’re knocking vices—cigarettes damage your arteries and contribute to the vertical lines around the lips. Smoking also depletes levels of nitric oxide from the inner lining cells of your arteries. This short-lived gas gives skin some flexibility, so cigarettes and saturated fats loosen the skin and contribute to wrinkles. When you quit, the vertical lines will decrease, and you will look younger!

Meanwhile, check out these five foods for sexy, shiny hair.

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