Beauty & Beyond: The New Year's Healthy Skin Diet

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Happy New Year to all you beauties and fashionistas! If you'??re like me, you'??re trying to cram in as much champagne, Brie and chocolate cream pie before you have to start watching your diet for that '??gonna lose 10lbs'? resolution. Oh wait. That'??s just me? OK. Nevermind. Well, you still might want to gather '??round. I'??m about to give you the secret to having your diet do double-duty for beautiful skin.

You know that we are what we eat. If that'??s true, then I'??m a Skor bar dipped in a cup of coffee. But that'??s not important right now.

Everyone'??s guilty of putting their skin and hair health at the end of a long list of things to worry about. But eating the right foods means your inside'??s got your outside'??s back. Or front. Whatever. I'm talking about healthy skin.

There are plenty of nutraceuticals out there. My buddy Scott Borba made a living (and wrote a book) off of his Gummy Bears and Skin Care Waters. And there'??s the new IO Beauty Booster, which promises beautiful skin in 28 days since it has more antioxidants than five fruits and veggie servings. Just two drops twice a day in water or take it straight up (I love the tangy flavor, so that'??s my choice).

For less fuss, keep it real with these foods rich in vitamins that banish dry skin, improve hair, combat wrinkles, even give the skin a leg (or arm) up on sun damage protection. No, Skor Bar isn'??t on the list. But not all lists are perfect.

Vitamin A/ beta-carotene:
What it does: Helps even out skin tone and works to prevent acne and dry, itchy skin. Wrinkles begone, as it promotes cellular regeneration and stimulate new collagen production.
Where to get it: Eggs, meat, dairy, liver, carrots, fish oil, avocado, squash, melons. The more colorful the veggie, the more Vitamin A.

Vitamin C:
What it does: It'??s like a free radical Kryptonite'?¦binding to them and rendering them harmless (insert Lex Luther laugh here). It also increases collagen, enhances capillary walls (fewer broken capillaries) and firms skin.
Where to get it: Goji berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens.

Vitamin E:
What it does: A natural sun blocker, it'??s the first line of defense against the sun'??s harmful rays. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that people taking E in the long term reduced sunburns from exposure to UVB radiation. Also helps the skin texture strengthen to prevent wrinkles, while enhancing the oxygenation of the skin and purifying the body.
Where to get it: almonds, vegetable oils, seeds, olives, spinach and asparagus.

Iron:
What it does: If you don'??t pump up the iron, you'??ll get lifeless hair, dull skin and dark circles. Sexy. This important mineral gives you a healthy glow through good circulation and can help you be bruise-free (hockey players, rejoice).
Where to get it: Red meat, spinach and iron-fortified cereal.

Lycopene:
What it does: The red lycopene pigment helps reduce risks for skin cancer. Also helps the formation of some of the harmful free radicals that metabolize from being in sun, so it acts as a sunblock (although it doesn'??t replace topical sunscreen, so slather that on).
Where to get it: Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, salsa, and even Ketchup.

Omega Essential Fatty Acids:
What it does: These fatty acids enhance the metabolic rate, speeding up the breakdown of the foods we eat. They strengthen the skin'??s immune mantel for a one-two punch against harmful elements of the environment.
Where to get it: Flax seed, flax seed oil, and fish oil (can be taken as an oil or caplet form).

Selenium:
What it does: It'??s believed this mineral plays a key role in skin cancer prevention and helps protect from sun damage. It also plumps up the skin, keeping it smooth and elastic. The result? Fewer wrinkles!
Where to get it: Whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic, eggs, and Brazil nuts.

Zinc:
Without zinc in your diet, you can look forward to acne and dandruff. Also sexy. This mineral works to clear skin by taming oil production and can control the formation of acne lesions or help those already on your skin to clear up sooner.
Where to get it: oysters, beans, lean meat, poultry, African red tea

Much to my chagrin, there's no Skor bar. I'??m hoping that one day they will see the light.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines, as well as her own EasyPeasyBlog.com.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

Photo credit: Suat Eman

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