Daily News: Nutrition

Healthy food makes people better looking

United Press International

09-18-12

Foods that make a person healthier also make them better looking, a U.S. food expert says.

"Vitamin C rich foods, especially strawberries, can help keep your skin glowing and bright. Vitamin C is an important building block for collagen, which supports the underlying structure of your skin. Just 1 cup of delicious strawberries contains over 100 percent of your daily vitamin C recommendation," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com. "Other vitamin C rich foods include bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, kiwis, kale, oranges and other fruits and vegetables."

Soybeans and edamames -- immature soybeans in the pod -- not only work to preserve collagen, but help protect against ultraviolet light damage, working to keep skin wrinkle free, Lempert said.

Tomatoes, especially cooked, provide lycopene, which has demonstrated effects in protecting skin from sunburn.

Onions, apples, sage, parsley and citrus all contain quercetin -- an antioxidant that provides some protection from the "burning" ultraviolet B rays -- sun rays that cause premature skin aging, eye damage including cataracts and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system.

"Quercetin also acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, which could keep skin irritation at bay, Lempert said.

Omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, sardines and salmon keep cells communicating properly as well as keeping skin hydrated and smooth, Lempert said.

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