Thursday, January 28, 2010

4 Foods to Help You Look Years Younger

By Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. - Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010, 6:08 pm PST
Joy's Healthy Bite
by Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. a Yahoo! Health Expert for Nutrition

1. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are a dynamite source of beta-carotene (their bright orange color is a dead giveaway). Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps to continually generate new, healthy skin cells.

I like to turn sweet potatoes into crispy oven-baked French fries. Cut peeled potatoes into ¼-inch strips and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with oil spray. Mist the fries with oil spray and season with salt, black pepper, or any other seasonings (ground cinnamon, curry powder, and chili powder are all fun options). Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through. I finish my fries under the broiler for 5 minutes to get them extra crispy!

2. Balsamic Carrots
Like sweet potatoes, carrots come equipped with a generous supply of beta-carotene. In addition to its pivotal role in skin cell renewal, beta-carotene acts as a potent antioxidant, sopping up damaging free radicals that accelerate skin aging.

Fend off wrinkles with my recipe for Roasted Balsamic Carrots. Cut 1 pound of peeled carrots into 1/2-inch wedges. Spread the carrots over half of a large sheet of aluminum foil, and sprinkle them with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon paprika, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil and fold the foil over to create a tightly sealed packet. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

3. Spinach Marinara
Spinach delivers a triple of dose of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. All three work in concert to protect your skin from the sun's UV rays so it stays vibrant and healthy.

Make a quick spinach marinara sauce by wilting fresh spinach leaves into a pot of simmering tomato sauce, then serve over pasta or grilled chicken cutlets.

4. Toasted Pecans
Pecans are one of a short list of foods rich in Vitamin E, a nutrient that's vital to skin health. By forming a protective barrier in the cell membranes of your skin, the vitamin E in pecans helps to ward off harmful free radicals and therefore helps to keep skin firm and elastic.

Pecans are delicious on their own, but toasting them makes them incredibly buttery and rich...they're like candy! Spread pecans on an ungreased baking sheet and toast them in a preheated 350 degree oven (or a toaster oven) for about 10 minutes (watch them closely to make sure they don't burn). Enjoy them whole as a scrumptious snack, or chop them up and sprinkle them into oatmeal or low-fat yogurt.

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