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It has been said “you are what you eat.” When it comes to your skin, this maxim is especially true. What we put in our bodies is reflected in our skin. All of us know this from our teenage days when we scarfed pizza and chocolate and only to find ourselves faced with the horror of an acne breakout. As adults, what should we be eating instead? Keep these tips in mind, and put your food to work for you as it nurtures your skin and creates a more natural year-round glow.

What You Don’t Eat

First off, let’s talk about what we drink. The human body is typically 50-60% water. An infant’s body is an even higher percentage. Think of this the next time you hear someone say “her skin looks like a newborn baby.”

According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

If the skin is 64% water in the average human being, then consuming enough water is vital to healthy looking skin. As a rule, alcohol, sodas, and energy drinks dehydrate you most.

Red Grapefruit

The red grapefruit gets its color from lycopene, a component that may help keep skin smooth. If you’re not a fan of grapefruit, you are in luck. You can get lycopene from other great foods like tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, guava and even red peppers!

Edamame

This popular healthy snack is great for your skin. It is rich in isoflavones which act as antioxidants and work with your body to create healthier skin. It also is high in zinc which prevents dry skin and brittle nails. Tofu and soy milk are also rich in isoflavones which may prevent collagen breakdown in the skin.

Omega-3 Rich Fish

Fish, such as tuna and salmon, that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial to skin health. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fats in fatty fish, has been shown to preserve collagen. And EPA in combination with the other omega-3 in fish, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), helps to prevent skin cancer by reducing inflammatory compounds that can promote tumor growth.

Broccoli, Kale, Spinach

These green veggies are high in Vitamin C and antioxidant properties. They may help protect the skin from UV damage. Broccoli is also high in the amino acid cystie which benefits skin, hair and nails.

The key thing to remember when it comes to your skin is that you really are what you eat. Feed your body with foods high in important nutrients and you skin will thank you for years to come.

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http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html