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Many factors are involved in decreased skin quality and aging. Hormone imbalance, inflammation, infections, and free radicals (oxidative stress) are internal mechanisms that can exacerbate skin deterioration and aging. Foods can help us improve skin quality. It is extremely important to start from the inside out. If our skin does not have all necessary fuel (vitamins and minerals), it cannot be in top shape. Ingesting and digesting these nutrients ensure they get into our blood stream and get delivered to our skin.

Fall/Winter Foods for Healthy Skin

PUMPKIN is high in alpha and beta-carotene, which can decrease UV-induced damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

PUMPKIN SEEDS are a good source of zinc, which can help protect against oxidative stress and improve acne. It is used in skin building and repair. It also improves immunity. They are also a source of protein, which is required for tissue, or skin, building and repair.

CRANBERRIES are a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, and selenium. Selenium helps protect skin against sun damage and improves skin quality and elasticity. Cranberries are great at fighting acne, since selenium, combined with Vitamins A and E, is a great anti-acne nutrient combination.

BRUSSELS SPOUTS are great sources of Vitamins C and K. Vitamin K helps promote healthy blood and circulation to the skin. It helps heal skin discoloration, improves healing and appearance of scars, fights against skin imperfections and spider veins in the face.

Try this healthy recipe:

Lime Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin Seeds
(makes 4 side dish servings)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
  • 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons dried, no sugar added cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons roasted, shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Add Brussels sprouts in a single layer, mixed with dried cranberries. Mist lightly with spray or oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, and mix in lime juice. Sprinkle evenly with pumpkin seeds. Return to oven for 5 minutes, remove, then serve!

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