You might have complained if your mom tried to make you eat brussels sprouts as a kid, but she only had your best interests in mind -- vegetables are good for you. They're packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that keep you healthy. Eating the right ones can even help your skin. In addition to the positive effects of those nutrients, certain vegetables also contain antioxidants, which are compounds that might help to cancel out the effects of skin-damaging free radicals inside your body.
So which vegetables help your skin the most? There are actually quite a few, so even if you're not a big fan of vegetables, you should be able to find something that satisfies your taste buds and supplies you with enough nutrients to keep your skin healthy.
Some studies have shown that vitamin C and E, in addition to being full of antioxidants, might help prevent some DNA damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays [source: WebMD]. For a good dose of vitamin C, fix yourself a dish using bell peppers, potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower. For vitamin E, you might try olives, spinach or asparagus. If you're a fan of sweet potatoes, you'll be glad to know that just one can give you a little more than your daily allowance of vitamin E. Also, in rating systems developed by both the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Nutrition Action Health Letter, sweet potatoes came out on top as the most nutritious of all vegetables [source: Morgan].
If those vegetables don't tickle your fancy, don't worry -- there are plenty of others that can help you achieve better skin. Tomatoes, for example, are an excellent source of vitamin C and of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A which can help with moisturizing and with healing skin tissue [sources: Daily Mail, WebMD]. And eggplants are a good source of niacin and folate -- types of B vitamins -- which aid in skin cell regeneration and repairing cell damage [source: Tannis].
These are just a few examples of vegetables that can not only improve your skin's health, but also give a boost to your overall health. Take a look at the links below to learn even more about how vegetables can help your skin.
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- Daily Mail. "Foods to make your skin glow." 2009. (Accessed Oct. 6, 2009)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-185229/Foods-make-skin-glow.html
- Morgan, Susan M. "How Sweet It Is: Sweet Potatoes -- A Fall Favorite." Brunswick (N.C.) County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Sept. 25, 2002. (Accessed Oct. 6, 2009)http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/brunswick/newsreleases/fcs0902sweetpot.html
- Tannis, Allison, M.S., R.H.N. "Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles: Eat Your Way to Firmer, More Beautiful Skin with the 100 Best Anti-Aging Foods." Google Books. Fair Winds Press; Beverly, Mass.; 2009. (Accessed Oct. 6, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=3OuR6Qi6htQC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=what+vegetables+are+best+for+your+skin&source=bl&ots=G7MFDy4mPk&sig=ZGXW_jjd4M5m95a3f8LJAltV1do&hl=en&ei=ESjNSvTmMYLYsgP08529Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8#v=onepage&q=what%20vegetables%20are%20b&f=false
- WebMD. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out." August 2006. (Accessed Oct. 28, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/nutrients-for-healthy-skin-inside-out