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Summer wardrobes featuring bathing suits, tank tops and shorts also feature a lot of skin. But since we all know by now that a natural glow is far healthier than a suntan, how can we achieve vibrant, fabulous skin from the inside out? It all comes back to the foods we eat, says Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C.
A diet rich in healthy, nutrient-dense foods does more than nourish our insides – it shows on the surface, making the difference between sallow, dry skin and an outer fabric that’s soft and resilient, according to Dr. Fox, who’s board-certified in dermatology.
“The old cliché, ‘We are what we eat,’ really is true,” Dr. Fox says. “What we eat helps determine not only how healthy our skin appears, but also how well it fends off summer perils such as too much sun. Eating a balanced array of foods is the top way to ensure we look our best while we’re feeling our best.”
If you think that a diet incorporating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and other nutritious choices contributes to healthier skin, well, you’re right! But certain foods are particularly effective at boosting the glow in your complexion and keeping skin supple, Dr. Fox says. They include:
While the list of skin-boosting foods is far from boring, many will be happy to learn it also includes a well-loved treat: dark chocolate. Also esteemed for its heart-healthy properties, dark chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants that reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage.
Another food Dr. Fox recommends for skin health isn’t a food at all – it’s water. “Good hydration is such a huge part of overall health – and something that most people take to heart – that it’s gratifying to know that water also plays an important role in keeping skin looking younger and more healthy,” he says.
“Truly, there are so many tempting dietary options to boost skin health that it’s not at all difficult to strive for variety as you’re making healthy choices,” Dr. Fox adds. “Just a small effort to eat well pays off in ways everyone can see.”