by Christina

This past weekend consisted of my usual routine; Hike with the husband and pup, Yoga, Brunch with friends  followed by a trip to our local farmers market. As I strolled through the endless array of locally grown fruits and veggies, It got me thinking about the connection between natural foods and skin health.

What we put into our bodies is just as essential as the products we use to protect, hydrate and balance our skin. Unfortunately, with the various amounts of product on the market today, natural skin health tends to take a back seat to these "miracle" products and is often overlooked. The ironic thing is, with proper nutrition and consumption of specific foods you may find yourself spending less money on products and more time on enjoying the benefits of  healthy, radiant skin. Below I've listed some of my favorite skin healthy foods, rich in taste and in skin benefits.

Blueberries/Strawberries/Raspberries: Delicious in summer salads or your morning bowl of oatmeal, berries are the perfect snack when it comes to preventing free radical damage. Rich in phenols, anthocyanins, and ellagitannins...nutrients which have been shown to help protect cell structures in the body and oxygen damage.

Citrus fruits: Both oranges and grapefruit are high in Vitamin C, a major power player in the fight against premature aging. Vitamin C aids the skins production of collagen as well as antioxidant benefits. Stick to eating the actual fruit and avoid store bought juices, as they tend to be loaded with sugar and contain low amounts of Vitamin C.

Brazil Nuts: A few a day may keep the acne at bay! These nuts are an excellent source of the Selenium which improves acne, the elasticity of skin, battle skin infections and help speed cell turn over. I must point out, moderation of Brazil nut consumption is order to avoid selenium poisoning two to three nuts per day should not be exceeded.

Oysters: This well known aphrodisiac is not only beneficial for your sex life, it also aids in clearing up acne issues and boost collagen and elastin with it's high content of Zinc. This mineral also protects skin from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Yogurt: Plain yogurt is loaded with probiotics (good bacteria) which improves immune function and digestive health. Good digestion = healthy, clear skin with minimal clogged pores. Lactic acid is also present, which helps to hydrate and sooth the skin. Avoid overly processed/flavored types of yogurt and stick to the basics...plain, unsweetened. Too sour for you to enjoy? Toss in some berries for double the skin benefits!

Mango: The perfect summertime snack that's not only great for your waist but your skin too! High in Vitamin A and antioxidants, this delicious fruit maintains and repairs skin cells as well as fight free radical damage which causes premature aging. 

Salmon- A powerful source of Omega 3 fatty acids are found in Salmon, which are responsible in reducing inflammation in the skin. These fatty acids also add a glow and softness to your skin as well as increase elasticity. Not a fish lover? Try flax seed oil to get your daily value of Omegas!

Water- Simple, but essential to one's daily routine. Water flushes out toxins and impurities in the body, causing the skin to look and feel hydrated.

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