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Dermatologist: Secret to clear skin lies in person's diet

8:08 AM, Oct 7, 2011   |    comments
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It turns out you really are what you eat. Dr. Wu has spent years helping her patients feed their faces.

"If you want to fight sagging and bagging, you've got to put protein into your diet cause collagen and elastic tissue that keeps your skin firm is protein," Dr. Wu said.

So pick beef fajitas over cheese quesadillas since dairy products are high in hormones.

"In fact, even organic dairy products, organic cheese is full of cow hormones that are shown to affect your acne, increase oil glands, and make you break out," Dr. Wu said.

Since they are full of amino acids, animal proteins like lamb, chicken and beef are also good to eat if you are fighting wrinkles. Beef is also high in zinc.

"Zinc is a mineral that helps to fight acne because it is an anti-inflammatory," Dr. Wu. 

For smoother skin, throw in some vegetables.

"Green and yellow veggies have been shown to be linked to fewer wrinkles, especially crows feet around the eyes," Dr. Wu said.

If sushi is your dish, don't overdo it on the rice since the body quickly turns it into sugar.

"What does sugar do? It eats up the collagen in your skin, and also, sugar has been linked to acne as well," Dr. Wu said.

If you're after healthy hair and nails, Dr. Wu says eat your green beans and drink volvic water. Both are chock-full of an element called silicon. But do you need to drink gallons of water a day for pretty skin?

"A good rule-of-thumb is one glass per meal and another glass in between meals," Dr. Wu said.

When it comes to pasta, skip the alfredo and go with marinara instead since it's made with cooked tomatoes.

"It turns out that when you cook tomatoes or process them, it releases four times the amount of lycopene and antioxidants," Dr. Wu said.

Tomatoes can also fight sun damage, just like red wine.

"One glass a day for women, 1 to 2 glasses a day for men," Dr. Wu said.

And for dessert, go for the dark chocolate.

"By dark chocolate, I mean 70 percent or above cocoa content because it's high in the flavinol antioxidants to help protect the collagen in your skin and fight sun damage," Dr. Wu said.

(Copyright © 2011 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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