Fruits and vegetables not only taste good, but adding these foods to your diet can also have beneficial effects on your complexion. Discover plant-based foods that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help firm up, repair and maintain your skin. Enjoy these foods with your favorite meals or as a snack, or use them to make your own skin care products.
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Eat a variety of vegetables to help your skin look healthy. According to registered dietitian Joy Bauer, vitamin C helps produce collagen to keep you skin firm and protects your skin’s cells from damaging free radicals. Vegetables that are good sources of vitamin C include snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers. Add spinach and Swiss chard to your diet, which are sources of vitamin E, to help guard against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Beta-carotene -- found in sweet potatoes and carrots -- may also help protect your skin against sun damage.
Benefits of Berries
Dark berries are packed full of antioxidants. According to an article by Colleen Reilly on the Vanderbilt University website, antioxidants protect against damage from the sun, pollution, wind and other elements of nature. Antioxidants also help facilitate your skin’s ability to repair itself. The U.S. Department of Agriculture rates the levels of antioxidants by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, or ORAC, score. Blueberries have the highest ORAC score, so add a handful of blueberries to your oatmeal or yogurt. Other berries with high ORAC scores include raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.
A variety of fruits have beneficial nutrients for your skin. Mangoes, oranges, pineapples and watermelons are sources of vitamin C to help firm your skin. Add tomatoes to your salad, or make a fresh bowl of salsa to enjoy the fruit. Tomatoes are a source of vitamin C and are loaded with lycopene, which stimulates skin circulation. Avocados also have vitamin C and are a source of vitamin E.
Fruit-Based Facial Masks
In addition to eating fruits and vegetables, you can also use these foods to make your own facial masks. Mash 3/4 cup of raspberries with a teaspoon of honey for a mask loaded with antioxidants. Make your own avocado facial mask by mixing together one-half of an avocado, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for 15 minutes, rinse it off with cool water and pat your skin dry.