Beauty Food Facts
Avocados contain more fat than most types of fruit, but it’s mostly the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind of fat. They also contain A, B, and E vitamins; potassium; and protein. Avocados are rich in almost all of the B vitamins, which are essential for good skin. If you’re not getting enough of them, you’re susceptible to skin disorders such as dermatitis, cracked lips, dry and flaky skin, and skin lesions.
According to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the more vitamin C you consume, the fewer wrinkles you’ll get.
Why? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in the production of collagen, which is important to skin health.
Vitamin D deficiency is most common in the Northeast. You can take all the calcium in the world, but without Vitamin D, your body won’t be able to absorb it. Lack of D is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, dementia, and falls in the elderly. This is not an excuse to stop using sunscreen. If you’re using SPF 15, you will still get some UV penetration during the day. But an SPF 45 with mineral block will keep most of the sun’s harmful rays out. You need 15 to 20 minutes a day of moderate sun exposure, sufficient for vitamin D synthesis.
Other important foods for skin health: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums. The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these fruits weighed in with the highest total antioxidant capacity of any food. Free radicals—like the kind formed from sun exposure—damage the membrane of skin cells, potentially allowing damage to the DNA of that cell. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect the cell so there is less chance for damage. According to the new study, other foods with a high antioxidant capacity include artichokes, beans, and prunes.
Fun fact: if you are allergic to poison ivy, steer clear of mangoes—you may have an allergic reaction to them as well.