We can all agree this winter did a number on us. The dry air and time spent indoors had many of us cozying up to some not-so-good-for-you treats. We binged on sugary foods, endless cups of hot cocoa and cheesy, carb-loaded goodness to help us get through the long, cold months.  Or was that just me?  Months later, spring blooms and our skin is not so fresh.  Look beyond your normal exfoliant and cleansers and find out which super foods can bring out the best in your skin from the inside out.

From the Crisper:

It’s no surprise that some of the best ways to get radiant skin is through the very veggies you have right in your refrigerator crisper drawer.  Eating the rainbow is pretty easy when you are stocked and ready with these super-charged vittles.

Bell Peppers – Available in green, orange, red or yellow bell peppers are great in stir-fry, on a crudité platter, a baggie at your desk or mixed in soups and dipped in hummus.  Each time you eat a bell pepper you help fight split ends in your hair and boost collagen production and Vitamin C intake.  Both work to promote healthy skin and hair.

Spinach – A bit more palatable than the other leafy super food kale, spinach fights aging three-fold.  Loaded with beta-carotene (sweet potatoes are another excellent way to get beta-carotene) and Vitamins C and E these all work together to beat out the harmful UV rays from the sun. You still need sunscreen daily but spinach protects you internally and out.  Toss it into salads, soups and eggs to get your 1 cup daily dose.

Tomatoes – While men are often told to get their lycopene for heart healthy women need it too. Cooked or canned tomatoes are the best way to absorb lycopene and get your injection of this anti-aging antioxidant.  Real, all-natural ketchup counts too.

Go Nuts:

Walnuts – These nuts are often used in facial scrubs and that’s fine, but eating them a few times a week has the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E.  Bright eyes, smooth skin and stronger bones are in your future when you toss these nuts in your salad, cereal, breads and eat them by the handful.

Almonds – If you quit smoking in the past but still feel like it accelerated your aging, then almonds should be on your next shopping list.  Packed with flavonoids, almonds banish free radicals and oxidative damage that smoking causes.  They work just as well for non-smokers too.  Eat them as a pre-workout snack or tossed into granola or trail mix.

Happy spring everyone!