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September 27, 2013 • Healthy Living

My Top Skin Health Secrets

As a professional wellness expert and speaker, I consider maintaining a youthful and healthy appearance a “required” part of my job description. Here are my top 3 skin health secrets.

I eat a heaping tablespoon of organic canned tomato paste (Muir Glen brand) each day – usually right off of the spoon. Canned tomato paste is a super-concentrated source of tomato carotenoids, including the famous one, lycopene. Tomatoes produce lycopene to protect them from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays and it can do the same thing for our skin. Tomato paste has ten times more lycopene than fresh tomatoes and the heat involved in processing tomato paste dramatically enhances the body’s ability to absorb and use the lycopene. Tomato carotenoids are also fantastic for lowering inflammation and oxidation at the cellular level, which is what damages and ages skin cells.

Because I consume so much of it, I buy the Muir Glen brand (organic and BPA free) by the case from Amazon.

I eat wild salmon (preferably red sockeye) 5 days a week. Salmon is the only food on the planet that provides a big dose of 4 nutrients that are invaluable for skin health and appearance – omega 3 fats (DHA and EPA), vitamin D, DMAE (a powerful antioxidant beneficial for skin tone), and astaxanthin (the marine-based pigment responsible for the salmon’s red color known to have ten times more antioxidant power than carotenoids).

To reach my goal of 5 servings, I eat fresh salmon twice a week and canned red sockeye salmon (usually as salmon salad) three times a week.

I consume lots of cacao bean (dark chocolate) flavanols. Flavanols are a family of plant compounds uniquely concentrated in cacao beans and are arguably the most potent antioxidants Mother Nature offers up. They provide several skin health benefits including enhancing blood flow and decreasing inflammation and oxidation. They also provide  natural “built in” SPF.

My key strategies for assuring a robust daily intake include: consuming 2 squares of 86% cacao dark chocolate daily (typically after lunch), adding high flavanol cocoa powder (CocoaVia brand) to my morning coffee, and nibbling on cacao nibs (ground roasted cacao beans).