You often hear that it’s important to fill your plate with lots of different colored food…that way you know you’re getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to your overall health. But there’s one color in particular that may be the key to more youthful looking skin-orange!
Orange fruits and vegetables get their cheery color from the high levels of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, they contain. “Vitamin A, in addition to protecting the skin from the damaging effects of UV rays, is also essential for vision,” says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. They are also extremely high in vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is necessary for healthy skin not only because it’s an antioxidant, but it also boosts the production of collagen and can help delay the onset of wrinkles. The potassium helps keep your skin hydrated and, as we’ve previously mentioned, properly moisturized skin can reduce wrinkles and plump your skin, helping you look younger.
You’ll also be glad to know that orange food can help reduce acne. Many acne medications contain high levels of vitamins A and C that have been proven to treat the skin condition. “Unprocessed orange foods are also a good source of vitamin B complex,” says Dr. Bucay. “Vitamin B6 helps regulate hormone levels and can help with acne flare-ups triggered by hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle.”
But make sure you don’t overdo it on orange food either. It turns out that your mom was right; too many carrots, or toxic levels of beta-carotene, can actually turn your hands and feet orange. So you definitely can have too much of a good thing. “It’s also not good to eat only one color because you could end up being deficient,” says Hollywood, CA, dietician Lisa De Fazio. “When you have a wide variety of colors you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need.”
De Fazio suggests consuming no more than three servings of orange food per day. Her top picks that can boost your beauty are carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges. You get a vegetable with carrots, a fruit with oranges and a starch with the sweet potatoes. Fill out the rest of your recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables with either dark green- or red-colored produce.
Some other orange food to consider are pumpkin, mangoes, squash, orange bell peppers, apricots, papaya, cantaloupe, peaches, acorn squash, salmon and Icelandic Arctic char. Bet you didn’t realize how many options you actually had!
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