Red or Yellow Bell Peppers

Red or Yellow Bell Peppers

Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.

One cup (149 grams) of chopped red bell pepper contains the equivalent of 92% of the RDI for vitamin A (18).

They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin C, necessary for creating the protein collagen which keeps skin firm and strong. A single cup (149 grams) of bell pepper provides an impressive 317% of the RDI for vitamin C (18).

A large observational study in women linked eating plenty of vitamin C to a reduced risk of wrinkled and dry skin with age (19Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Bell peppers contain plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C — both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin strong.
7. Broccoli
Broccoli is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C (20).

It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. Lutein protects your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled.

But broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including on some types of skin cancer (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

Sulforaphane is also a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: by neutralizing harmful free radicals and switching on other protective systems in your body (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

In laboratory tests, sulforaphane reduced the number of skin cells killed by UV light by as much as 29%, with protection lasting up to 48 hours. Evidence suggests sulforaphane may also maintain collagen levels in your skin (23Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids that are important for skin health. It also contains sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.
8. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene.

Beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene have been shown to protect your skin against damage from the sun. They may also help prevent wrinkling (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

Because tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids, they’re an excellent food for maintaining healthy skin.

Consider pairing carotenoid-rich foods like tomatoes with a source of fat, such as cheese or olive oil. Fat increases your absorption of carotenoids (27Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
9. Soy
Soy contains isoflavones, a category of plant compounds that can either mimic or block estrogen in your body.

Isoflavones may benefit several parts of your body, including your skin.

One small study in middle-aged women found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8–12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and improved skin elasticity (28Trusted Source).

In postmenopausal women, soy may also improve skin dryness and increase collagen, which helps keep your skin smooth and strong (29Trusted Source).

These isoflavones not only protect the cells inside your body from damage but also your skin from UV radiation — which may help prevent some skin cancers (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Soy contains isoflavones, which have been shown to improve wrinkles, collagen, skin elasticity and skin dryness, as well as protect your skin from UV damage.
10. Dark Chocolate
If you need one more reason to eat chocolate, here it is: The effects of cocoa on your skin are pretty phenomenal.

After 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day, participants in one study experience thicker, more hydrated skin.

Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn and had better blood flow — which brings more nutrients to your skin (33Trusted Source).

Another study found that eating 20 grams of high-antioxidant dark chocolate per day could allow your skin to withstand over twice as much UV radiation before burning versus eating low-antioxidant chocolate (34Trusted Source).

Several other studies have produced similar results, including improvements in the appearance of wrinkles. However, keep in mind that at least one study did not find significant effects (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximize the benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum.

SUMMARY
Cocoa contains antioxidants that may protect your skin against sunburn. These antioxidants may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow and skin texture.
11. Green Tea
Green tea may protect your skin from damage and aging.

The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins and work to improve the health of your skin in several ways.

Like several other antioxidant-containing foods, green tea can help protect your skin against sun damage (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

One 12-week study in 60 women found that drinking green tea daily could reduce redness from sun exposure by up to 25%. Green tea also improved the moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity of their skin (41Trusted Source).

While green tea is a great choice for healthy skin, you may want to avoid drinking your tea with milk. There’s evidence that milk could reduce the impact of green tea’s antioxidants (42Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
The catechins found in green tea are powerful antioxidants that can protect your skin against sun damage and reduce redness as well as improve its hydration, thickness and elasticity.
12. Red Wine
Red wine is famous for containing resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes.

Resveratrol is credited with a wide range of health benefits, among them reducing the effects of aging.

Test-tube studies suggest it may also slow the production of harmful free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause signs of aging (7Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).

Unfortunately, there’s not much evidence that the amount of resveratrol you get from a glass of red wine is enough to impact your skin. And since red wine is an alcoholic beverage, there are negative effects to drinking it in excess.

It’s not recommended to start drinking red wine just because of its potential health benefits. However, if you already drink in moderation, you might enjoy red wine as your alcoholic beverage of choice.

SUMMARY
Resveratrol, the famous antioxidant found in red wine, may slow your skin’s aging process by impairing harmful free radicals that damage your skin.
The Bottom Line
What you eat can have a big impact on your skin health.

Make sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients to protect your skin. The foods on this list are great options to keep your skin healthy, strong and attractive.

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