Bowl of Fresh StrawberriesReal food is amazing! There are so many things we’re just learning, including how nutrients in food improve the quality of our skin! While I’m not one to put low quality creams or serums on my face, I do firmly believe that what we eat is so much more important that what we put on our face – especially as it relates to long lasting skin care.

Good looks aside, caring for your skin is important. Our skin is the first line of defense. It takes a beating, so the least we can do is repay it with a little love from the kitchen. Below are a few foods that are loaded with phytonutrients. These phytonutrients help to reinforce the development of collagen and diminish the destruction of existing collagen. Not bad.

Tissue Strengthening Foods
These foods help to keep our cells strong internally (they won’t leak as much). They’re also anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the breakdown of collagen and connective tissue. 

  • Blueberries
  • Black Currants
  • Red Grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Red Wine
  • Rhubarb

Anti-Rust Foods
These foods are incredible antioxidants. Essentially, they help to slow our body from “rusting” (a.k.a. looking weathered). These foods also have a positive effect on insulin, and help to manage inflammation.

  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Onions
  • Sage
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit

Heart & DNA-Protecting Foods
These foods do a great job helping to protect the heart and our very own DNA.

  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Green Tea
  • Red Wine
  • Hawthorn Berries
  • Blue Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Apples

Suit of Armor Food
There is only one “food” in this category. Actually, I don’t really consider it a food, but if you’ve had pudding or Jello, you’ve eaten gelatin! No, I’m not suggesting you go out and eat a bunch of Jello or pudding (please don’t). But I am suggesting that if you’re not a strict vegetarian, consider adding a high quality grass fed gelatin to your diet every now and then. I add a teaspoon of gelatin to my morning shake. Gelatin is odorless and tasteless and easily added to foods. My preference would be hot cereal, like oatmeal, in the morning, or smoothies. This is the gelatin I use.

A few benefits of gelatin include:

  • Improves the elasticity of skin
  • Reduces joint pain, and improves joint and bone health
  • Improves strength and quality of hair and nails

Variety is always great, so eat different combinations of these foods regularly. Drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and be good to your skin!

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About Traci
Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show, Dr Oz, SHAPE, and HuffPost Live. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.

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