Americans spend $88 billion a year to look younger. The real secret to fewer wrinkles, brighter skin, and silkier hair is much cheaper than a bottle of antiaging cream, though. It's about eating the right beauty foods. Celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti, CN, author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food, explains how eating the right shellfish can renew and repair your skin, how a certain plant stem can alleviate puffy eyes, and how four particular fruits have the power to erase wrinkles...
Your Food Fix: Oranges, strawberries, kiwi, papaya
Why It Works: These foods are bursting with vitamin C, which can help ward off wrinkles, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Bonus Tip: Choose organic fruit whenever possible. In USDA testing, a single sample of strawberries contained 13 different pesticides.
Your Food Fix: Ginger
Why It Works: This underground stem is packed with anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce puffy eyes. Added benefit, it's also been shown to kill the influenza virus and helps quell aches and pains.
Bonus Tip: Not sure how to incorporate this flavorful rhizome into your cooking? Try one of these ginger recipes.
Your Food Fix: Olives, avocados, buckwheat
Why It Works: The monounsaturated fatty acids in these foods help keep skin youthful and taut. Buckwheat even contains a flavonoid called rutin that may help keep aid in skin elasticity.
Bonus Tip: Don't shy away from buckwheat because you think it contains gluten. Buckwheat is actually part of the rhubarb family, not the wheat family.
Your Food Fix: Oysters, mussels
Why It Works: These shellfish picks are rich in zinc, a vital mineral that plays a major role in skin renewal and repair.
Bonus Tip: Adequate zinc levels can help prevent hormonal imbalances that promote breakouts. Zinc also helps regulate the formation of collagen, which is required for healthy skin and oil control.
Your Food Fix: Wheat germ
Why It Works: This food rich in B vitamins, vital nutrients that help your skin create healthy, new cells. These vitamins also promote rapid cell division, keeping your complexion looking fresh.
Bonus Tip: Avoid "defatted" wheat germ--it was likely treated with the toxic solvent hexane.
Your Food Fix: Wild-caught salmon, ground flaxseed
Why It Works: The healthy omega-3 fats in these foods help boost circulation and hydrate the skin and scalp while building healthier hair.
Bonus Tip: Avoid "Atlantic" salmon or salmon from unknown origins. It was likely raised in questionable fish farms.
Your Food Fix: Broccoli, kale, spinach
Why It Works: This superfood trio features potent levels of vitamins C and A, nutrients needed to produce an oily substance secreted by your hair follicles called sebum. Sebum acts as your body's natural hair conditioner, adding shine and strength while decreases your risk of developing brittle hair.
Bonus Tip: Spinach and kale both landed on Environmental Working Group's Dirt Dozen list due to higher pesticide contamination level, so choose organic whenever you can.