5 foods to keep you looking young

As a nation, we throw down millions of dollars each year searching for the remedy for aging skin, hair and nails. It turns out that you can head off many common beauty concerns by simply noshing on the right foods. That’s right, eating well is not only good for general health, but certain foods are especially skillful in smoothing wrinkles, giving hair a glossy shine, and even strengthening flimsy nails.

Save your high brow beauty store dollars and consider adding these tasty, get-gorgeous items to your next grocery shopping list.

watermelonWatermelon
That’s right … this summertime fave is rich with lycopene. Why is this antioxidant compound so important? Simple: it helps skin stave off UV damage. In fact, researchers believe this melon contains as much as 40 percent more of the phytochemical than raw tomatoes. What’s more, that’s the equivalent of an SPF 3! Obviously you can’t toss your daily sunscreen, but this delicious, juicy melon can bolster your body’s natural sun protection.

eggsEggs
Sure, there’s lots of super duper nail products out there that promise strong nails, but experts know that healthy nails start from the inside out. Our nails are made of protein, so when we aren’t getting enough protein, fingernails and toenails can turn soft. Eggs are a good source of biotin, a B complex that metabolizes amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

blueberriesBlueberries
Like watermelon, these plump berry beauties are rich in antioxidants. They supply both vitamins C and E, which work in tandem to brighten skin, even out tone and fight free radical damage. They also help treat age spots as they feature arubtin, a natural skin lightener.

pomegranatePomegranate
This luscious wonder fruit is bursting with antioxidants, such as vitamin C, that prevent irksome fine lines, wrinkles and dryness by neutralizing the free radicals that weather skin. Also in the fruit’s arsenal: anthocyanins (which help increase collagen production, giving skin a firmer look) and ellagic acid (a natural chemical that reduces inflammation caused by UV damage).

coffeeCoffee
Surprised to see this “vice” on a healthy tips list? Coffee actually has bioactive compounds that may protect your skin from melanoma (the fifth most common cancer in the U.S.), according to a recent report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers found that the more coffee people downed, the less likely they were to get the disease: Those drinking four cups daily had a 20 percent lower risk of developing malignant melanoma over a 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers.