5 Foods to Eat Your Way to a Flawless Complexion

By now you've probably heard all the things you should be looking out for when label shopping at the grocery store. Terms like "omega-3" and "fatty acids" have been buzzing in your head every time you head out to shop - but finding what foods have these magic ingredients in them can be an undertaking. If you don't want to spend more than 30 minutes in the store, pick up these foods on your next trip to get flawless skin and a glowing complexion.

Wild Salmon

This is your ticket to omega-3, fatty acid heaven. While it's a healthy fish, salmon, along with herring has proven to keep your skin smooth, according to Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, nutritionist and author of The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious (McGraw-Hill, 2008). These fish provide our skin with oils that lubricate and reduce inflammation, which often leads to redness, acne, and scaly skin. When in doubt, eat something with scales to keep your own scales from forming on your face.

Sweet Potatoes

These yummy potatoes are full of beta-carotene and when ingested, this converts into vitamin A, a prime factor that keeps your skin touchable and soft. Not a potato person? Don't stress - Drayer says that eating a handful of baby carrots will get you the same results. Whew!







Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Melons

Juicy melons, like watermelon are good for your skin in a number of ways. First, they have a high water content, keeping your skin hydrated (along with quenching your thirst!). Second, they are heavy in carotenoids, which help protect your skin from sunburn. Slice up some melon and munch on them during your mid-day snack at the beach. Don't let this be your only protection though, you'll need a good SPF also to stay completely burn-free.





Kiwi

Any food with a high amount of vitamin C in it, like kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit are huge skin savers. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis and protects against wrinkles. In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who had a diet high in vitamin C foods had noticeably less dryness and fewer wrinkles. Fewer wrinkles? Pass the kiwi, please!





Dark Chocolate

No, we're not playing a cruel joke on you - eating chocolate really is good for your skin! Drayer says enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate will provide high levels of cocoa flavanols, which have been associated with softer, more hydrated skin. But hold that jumbo Hershey's bar, notice we said small. Scarfing down a huge chocolate bar won't make your skin feel any softer, and it probably won't make the rest of you feel too good either.






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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.