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Want perfect, glowing skin? You may need to start with your diet. There are many great skin treatments and creams available, but sometimes it’s important to start from your inside and then work your way out.
Consuming candy, milk and most things that are greasy, sugary or salty can wreck havoc on your skin. But there are plenty of foods that can leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh.
Try adding some of these foods to your diet for skin that glows:
These tangy berries are packed with polyphenols, which have an antioxidant effect and are a natural, anti-aging compound. Cranberries are full of vitamin C, which is important for collagen synthesis in the skin. Vitamin C has also been proven to keep your skin hydrated. Just try to stay away from sugar-loaded cranberry recipes.
The skin benefits of strawberries are even sweeter than the actual fruit. These berries have salicylic acid and flavonoids, which can help clear acne, reduce oil, tighten pores and even brighten your skin. The phenol antioxidant ellagic acid found in strawberries can lighten some skin damage from UV rays by inhibiting your body from making melanin, the chemical that gives color to your skin. What’s more, strawberries, much like cranberries, are also rich in vitamin C.
Carrots are a fantastic source of antioxidants and beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is a key ingredient in many anti-aging, wrinkle-smoothing creams. Carrots also help boost your immune system. So not only will you be looking great, but also feeling great.
Edamame is high in fibrous protein and contains isoflavone, a photochemical found in soy which has been linked to increasing collagen and improving elasticity in the skin. Not to mention, edamame is also high in vitamin A, which keeps skin looking young and smooth.
Eggs — and specifically egg yolks — get a bad rap. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in eggs that can help protect your skin from damaging UV rays that cause brown spots and lines. In one study, eggs were also found to make the skin softer, firmer and more hydrated.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. However, sweet potatoes are also packed with copper, which helps build collagen and is important for improving skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Avocados truly are a superfood. They contain biotin, a member of the B complex vitamin family that has known skin, hair and nail benefits. Without biotin, your skin may turn red, dry and flaky. Additionally, avocados are rich in healthy poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, which can protect your skin from sun damage and help with inflammation.
Related: 5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.