Contributed by Ilse U.

Healthy skin can be yours. In addition to important daily activities, such as applying sunscreen every morning, using a gentle cleaner to wash up twice a day and ending the evening with a nourishing moisturizer at night (if needed); what you eat can improve your complexion better than any skin cream.

Orange fruits and vegetables. These foods are full of beta carotene which is changed to Vitamin A in the body during digestion.  It repairs skin tissue and prevents your skin from becoming dry and flakey.  Suggestions are mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots.

Flaxseed. If you do not like fish, you are probably missing a vital building block in your nutritional needs.  Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish and in flaxseeds.  You can buy ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil and add it to your cereals or salads.  Some cereals also contain flaxseed either whole or ground, such as Uncle Sam’s Cereal.

Almonds. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin cells from the damage caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.  A handful of almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts or peanuts will give your body the vitamin E it needs to protect your skin.

Orange juice. Vitamin C is another building block towards healthy skin. It helps to produce collagen which prevents skin from wrinkling and sagging. It neutralizes free radicals which can damage cells and accelerate aging and disease. Other foods with Vitamin C are broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries and bell peppers.

Meats such as chicken, pork and beef.  All of these meats contain both zinc and protein. Zinc repairs wounds and prevents inflammation. Skin is made of protein and eating protein gives you what you need to produce collagen.  If you are a vegetarian, you can also get zinc and protein from pecans, cashews, pine nuts, potatoes and pumpkin seeds.

Tomatoes. Whether you cut them up and add them to your sandwich, have them in tomato sauce or eat some ketchup.  Tomatoes contain lycopene another antioxidant that protects skin from the sun’s ultraviolet light.  You can also drink tomato juice or eat some gazpacho.

What do you do to keep your skin healthy?  We invite you to share your comments in the box below.