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 To achieve perfect skin, what can I add to my diet?

Answer: We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” This couldn’t be more true—especially when it comes to the appearance of your skin. There are a few simple changes that can be made to your diet that will keep your skin radiant and healthy:

Water. Lots and lots of water.
It’s so important to make sure you’re drinking enough water. Most people are dehydrated without even knowing it, and this can wreak havoc on the skin. Bored by the taste of water? Try infusing your water with lemon and cucumber for a luxurious treat. Lemon is high in vitamin C, (great for the skin) and cucumbers are rich in vitamins and silica.

Invite more vitamin C into your life.
Foods that are high in vitamin C should be a welcome addition to your diet because they help boost collagen production, which plumps up the skin and protects against aging. Grapefruit is very high in vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene helps protect against free radicals and skin-damaging particles. Tomatoes and watermelon are also a good source of lycopene.

Dark chocolate (in moderation).
To eat your way to healthy skin, head to the produce aisle at your local grocery store. Produce that is red, orange or yellow in color—think carrots, sweet potatoes and beets—have phytochemicals called carotenoids that impart a golden color on the skin and will literally make you glow from within. Who needs a spray tan when you have sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene, which is anti-inflammatory, and has been known to help prevent acne.

Olive oil.
You’ll also want to introduce healthy oils into your diet such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil and almonds. These all contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which will keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Foods rich in flavanols, such as dark chocolate and green tea, will help improve skin circulation. Plus, any reason to eat dark chocolate is a good reason, no?

Don’t forget to avoid junk food.
The first step is to avoid foods that can potentially aggravate the skin.  That means food that is fried, sugary and high in sodium (sorry!). Dairy has been known to cause acne in certain people, sugar has inflammatory properties, and too much sodium will retain moisture from the skin, leaving you puffy and dehydrated.

When it comes down to it, the best foods for your skin are plant-based foods, as they are anti-inflammatory and rich in nutrients.  If you prefer to drink your veggies, having one green juice a day will seriously improve the appearance of your skin. Don’t fret if you occasionally finish off an entire bag of kettle corn in one sitting (don’t we all?) because it’s all about balance. Embrace a colorful diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Your skin will be healthy and glowing in no time.

What skin tips have worked for you?