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Top Foods for Great Looking Skin and Hair

The skin is the largest organ of the body, so what you eat can definitely affect your appearance.  While genetics and lifestyle habits play a significant role in skin health, the right foods can also help you fight acne, minimize wrinkles, and enhance your skin's natural beauty.

Salmon. Omega-3-rich foods like salmon and sardines help seal in your hair's shine. The carotenoid that gives this fish its pink color, astaxanthin, also improves your skin's elasticity. And it's full of the good fat -- DHA-omega-3 -- that makes your skin and hair look younger and healthier.  Distilled fish oils or DHA supplements will work, too.  Recommended:  2 grams of fish oil if you're taking a supplement that contains both EPA and DHA. If you're taking DHA alone, you only need 600 mg.
Lycopene  Natural sunscreen. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in brightly colored orange and red produce. Lycopene is a member of the antioxidant family known as carotenoids, which firm the skin by helping build collagen. It acts as a natural sunscreen to help protect your skin from free radical damage. Food source: Pink grapefruit is extremely rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Just half a grapefruit a week, which contains 17 mg of lycopene, is all you need for added sun protection. 
Bran Bran is rich in vitamin B, which may slow hair loss and promote hair growth. Other B-rich victuals include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, and eggs.
Legumes, avocados, soybeans, nuts, and egg yolks These contain biotin, and a lack of this chemical can lead to dry skin and brittle hair and nails.
Avocados. The whole fruit as well as avocado oil may prevent some funky stuff that kills hair follicles -- dihydrotestosterone (DHT) -- from getting where it wants to go. 
Green tea.   Its polyphenols act to protect you against sun damage and help thicken your epidermis, your body's primary barrier to the outside world. Brew a strong pot, cool it, then give your head a rinse to help kill off dandruff-causing fungus. Incidentally, if you drink green tea, the caffeine in it may help slow balding, too.
Black sesame seeds.  There's no real data on this, but the Chinese swear that a teaspoon of these a day keeps hair darker.
Pomegranates In addition to thickening your epidermis and helping to produce more collagen and elastin (the stuff that keeps your skin firm and springy), pomegranates contain antioxidants that seem to accelerate wound healing.
Avoid meat.  Cut out any four-legged animal fat. Fat from four-legged animals, plus palm and coconut oil, leads to more DHT production and hair follicle damage. 

Good Sources of Vitamin B6
   Total Raisin Bran (1 cup)
   Kellogg's Special K (1 cup)

2.0 mg
1.9 mg
Tuna, fresh, cooked (3 ounces)
0.9 mg
Potato, baked, with skin (1 medium)
0.6 mg
Chickpeas, canned (1/2 cup)
0.5 mg
Chicken breast, roasted, no skin (3 ounces)
0.5 mg
Banana (1 medium)
0.4 mg
Broccoli, boiled (1 cup)
0.3 mg
Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)
0.2 mg
Tomato sauce, canned (1/2 cup)
0.1 mg
Carrots, raw (1 cup)
0.1 mg

Good Sources of Vitamin B12
Clams, canned (3 ounces)
84 mcg
Liver, calf's, pan fried (3 ounces)
70 mcg
Oysters, raw (6 medium)
16 mcg
Salmon, canned (3 ounces)
4 mcg
Tuna, light, canned in water (3 ounces)
2.5 mcg
Nutritional yeast (2 teaspoons)
2.5 mcg
Ground beef, 85% lean (3 ounces)
2 mcg
Lamb, loin chop (3 ounces)
2 mcg
Yogurt, plain, low fat (8 ounces)
1.3 mcg
Cottage cheese, 2% milk fat (1/2 cup)
0.8 mcg

8 Foods That Boost Collagen
Collagen is essential for young-looking skin because it gives structure to our skin cells. But as we age, the body produces less of it, since naturally occurring enzymes break collagen down, in turn, causing the skin to thin, lose fullness and form wrinkles. Here are 8 foods that boost collagen.

WATER-RICH VEGETABLES: Veggies like cucumber and celery have a high sulfur content and collagen can’t be produced if sulfur isn’t present.

FISH: Fish like tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty membrane that protects them. When the cells are healthy, they are able to support the structure of the skin.

SOY: Whether sourced from soy milk, cheese or tofu, soy contains genistein (plant hormones that serve as antioxidants), which prompts collagen production and helps to block enzymes, like MMPs, that can age the skin.

RED VEGETABLES: Tomatoes, peppers and beets contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block, protecting the skin from damage while increasing collagen levels.

DARK GREEN VEGETABLES: Rich in vitamin C, dark green vegetables like spinach and kale can rev up collagen production. In topical products, vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that stabilize the messenger enzymes that break collagen down. It also protects against free radicals to prevent weak collagen.

BERRIES: Blackberries and raspberries scavenge free radicals while simultaneously increasing collagen levels.

WHITE TEA: White tea may protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically collagen. It’s believed to prevent enzyme activity that breaks down collagen, contributing to lines and wrinkles.

ORANGE VEGETABLES: Vegetables that are orange in color, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.