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By Annie Kim

Staff Writer

Skin is the first true “layer” that we see of a person. Knowing that, we all desire to have smooth acne free skin. Many people know that avoiding the sun will fight off the inevitable wrinkles, sun spots and years of aging just a little bit longer. But our diets play a huge role not only in our body shapes but for our skin as well. The saying, “you are what you eat” rings true.

I have compiled a list of in-expensive foods that you can incorporate into your busy, college schedule. Nutritionists say the antioxidants and nutrition held in produce such as avocados and tomatoes will hydrate, nurture and have your skin smooth and glowing in just up to a week after making changes in your diet. So don’t hesitate to “read up” and “eat up!”

Avocados are a fruit that you want in your diet. It provides an excellent source of biotin, which helps hydrate skin and prevent brittle hair and nails. Beautiful skin, a full head of hair and strong nails are definitely good reasons to head over to the grocery store and swoop up a few avocadoes. Buy your servings of avocados from the weekly farmers market held at UTC on Saturday mornings. They are only $2 for an avocado — pretty delicious! It definitely saves our wallets from the overpriced, teeny avocados sold at grocery stores.

Beans are great for mending  our skin and the chubs in our waistline. The protein during digestion breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids speed the process of regeneration of skin cells and collagen.

Eggs are a complete source of protein which helps repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. This delicious breakfast food contains biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin when the harsh conditions of winter come around. 

Fruits are the ultimate healer. Bright-colored fruits such as blueberries and oranges provide vitamins C an E. These antioxidants will shield your skin from age and damage. It’s kind of like sunblock in food form.

Red and Green Vegetables will provide you with bright and smooth skin. You will want to look for red, orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. These vegetables are specifically packed with a load of beta-carotene that convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that plays the role of preventing cell damage and premature aging. You also get anti- acne benefits which are often used in acne medications. No wonder our moms would always tell us to “eat our veggies.” 

Salmon will work wonders for the skin. The active components of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc will have your skin glowing, smooth and clear. The intake of Omega-3s can reduce dryness and inflammation, shedding years of wrinkles away. The component of zinc helps keep your skin clear as it fights against acne by metabolizing testosterone. Zinc also aids in new cell production which rids of dead skin and adds a nice glow to your face.

Foods to avoid that will only cause your skin to look dull, flaky and decorated with red poka-dots are white carbohydrates, high sugared treats and extremely fatty fried foods. Enjoy these types of foods occasionally and in moderation.  Remember, you are what you eat.

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