If I learned one thing from Joy Bauer's latest book, Food Cures, it's that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help cure almost any health and beauty ailment. In fact, from lowering your risk of a heart attack by helping to keep blood pressure down, to keeping LDL (AKA "the bad") cholesterol and inflammation low, the apple-a-day adage we're all familiar with likely holds more truth than we ever thought. That's not all, however, because fruits and vegetables can also work wonders on skin and hair, so before you reach for that triple digit priced La Mer pot, consider stocking up on some of this produce, all of which are in season for fall.
Grapefruits and Clementines: Both of these citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which not only works to protect against immune deficiencies like colds, but the vitamin also helps in the fight against wrinkles. Further, it aids in collagen production, which is responsible for making skin, scar tissue, ligaments, and blood vessels and it works together with your daily SPF to protect your skin against ultraviolet exposure.
Avocados: High in zinc which helps lower oil production (especially important if you're looking to treat acne), it also helps heal wounds. Moreover, the fruit is high in vitamin B5, which can help with period cramping, and avocados have Omega-6 fatty acids which are critical for optimal brain activity and work to help skin and hair stay healthy.
Broccoli: The sulfur in this green favorite helps keep skin silky smooth by repairing tissue and elasticity.
Kale: Avoid dry, flaky skin by loading up on these veggies, which are high in vitamin A, also known to have anti-aging benefits and to help fight skin disorders including psoriasis and acne.
Spinach (cooked): High in vitamin E, cooked spinach helps with age related eye damage.
Raspberries: Antioxidant-rich, this berry protects the skin from free radicals, which disrupt healthy cell production, causing you to look older faster.
Grapes: It's not for nothing that many beauty products contain grape seed extract, this fruit helps prevent dryness and its juice can be applied under the eyes to help treat wrinkles.
Carrots: High in beta carotene, the antioxidant that gives this vegetable its orange color, which studies have found helps protect against cancer, aging, and loss of skin moisture.
Sweet potatoes: Another in-season option high in vitamin A.
Artichoke: This vegetable has iron, which aside from being essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body, helps alleviate fatigue and helps prevent tooth decay.
Bananas: High in potassium which aids with the growth of new cells leading to healthier skin.
Swiss chard: A wonderful source of vitamins A and C, both of which aid in sebum production, the oily substance that gets secreted by hair follicles for natural conditioning.