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You – and your skin – are what you eat

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How often do you hear the saying, “You are what you eat?” Do you think about this phrase when you’re out at a restaurant, trying to decide between a side of fries and a green salad? Does it come to mind at your friend’s cocktail party, where the desserts are beckoning to your waistline? If so, you may not only be looking out for your figure, but also protecting the vibrancy of your skin.

Nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains not only nourish your body, but they can help keep your face looking dewy, fresh and youthful as well. Skin care expert Nicholas Perricone, who penned a book called Forever Young on the art of aging gracefully, explained that radiant skin begins with a healthy diet.

“If you eat the wrinkle-free way for even a short period of time, you will experience dramatic changes, not only in how you look, but how you feel,” he told Access Hollywood.

Fresh-faced actresses like Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes are big fans of salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Grilling this wholesome fish for lunch after a healthy breakfast of eggs and fruit can be a great way to help ensure that skin stays firm. After all, it’s the biggest organ in the body, and pampering it can go a long way toward keeping signs of aging – like wrinkles, sagging and fine lines – at bay.

Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, whose glowing skin graces the red carpet on a regular basis, is a big advocate for incorporating as many vitamins and minerals as possible into her diet. According to MSN Entertainment, the star of the new movie Contagion believes that a nutritious diet helps restore the body’s natural processes, including the maintenance of skin.

Paltrow, who offers lifestyle and diet tips on her personal blog GOOP, advises others to drink plenty of water for fresh, soft skin, since many Americans are chronically dehydrated.

It’s never too late to start eating healthy. Women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond can take steps to improving their skin now. Focusing on good nutrition, using the right products for your skin type and looking into minimally invasive procedures like laser skin rejuvenation can help you look your freshest well into later life.