The spectrum of colors that line the produce aisle — from robust red to vibrant orange to every shade of green — contain fruits and vegetables rich in nutritious organic pigments. To get a broad range of nutrients in your diet, eat foods in all colors and varieties. On your next excursion to the supermarket though, be sure to specifically shop for the color orange. These sunny foods are essential for firm, youthful and healthy skin. Here’s what’s good in them:
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
Vitamin A rebuilds body tissues and helps control the production of sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin. Dry, scaly skin is a symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. It’s an essential vitamin and antioxidant that destroys free radicals (the by-products of oxidation from normal metabolic processing).
Free radicals cause cellular damage and are responsible for aging skin. Their production is accelerated by environmental toxins, such as smoke, pollution, pesticides, and radiation. Free radicals attack your skin’s elastin and collagen — the vital components of youthful firm skin.
Orange food sources of Vitamin A: Mango, persimmons, pumpkin, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papaya, and egg yolks.
B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods. They are not a single vitamin like vitamin A or C, but consist of a group of eight B vitamins known as vitamin B complex. Vitamin B6 regulates hormone levels and helps women with acne flare-ups triggered by hormone changes during the menstrual cycle.
B vitamins assist in cellular respiration and blood cell formation. Cracked skin and dermatitis are symptomatic of a B vitamin deficiency. These vitamins also maintain a healthy nervous system that helps the body cope with stress.
Orange food sources of Vitamin B: Eggs, cheddar cheese, salmon, sweet potatoes, and oranges.
This antioxidant is vital for healing wounds, resisting infection and collagen maintenance. Collagen is the fibrous protein found in connective tissue. It’s the key to having firm and youthfully plump skin.
Orange food sources of Vitamin C: Orange citrus fruits and their juices, cantaloupe, papaya, bell peppers, peaches, and guava.
This antioxidant promotes cellular respiration and vitamin A absorption. It increases the flow of oxygen to the skin which speeds healing.
Orange food sources of Vitamin E: Carrot juice, sweet potatoes, mango, papaya, and pumpkin.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
These essential fatty acids maintain skin moisture and resiliency. Acne has been associated with low levels of these fats.
Orange food sources of omega fats: salmon, Icelandic Arctic char, and winter squash.
This antioxidant mineral protects body tissues against oxidative damage. It can reduce the risk of skin cancer and counteract the effects of premature aging. It also promotes the absorption of vitamin E.
Orange food sources of selenium: Eggs, salmon and Icelandic Artic char.