This Surprising Fruit Will Save Your Skin

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We've all seen (and maybe done) the spa treatments that involve putting cucumbers on our eyes, moisturizing with food-based products like Say Yes to Carrots/Blueberries/Grapefruit, and even applying the foods directly to our trouble spots (like rubbing on some avocado to hydrate parched skin) - we're willing to try anything to help our skin. We know we're supposed to wear sunscreen - even in the winter - but inevitably our lovely skin is going to get a little damaged (curse you, sun!) over time. But is there one particular food we can use that helps reverse sun damage? Yep. Tomatoes.

Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, tomatoes are a great way to prevent cancer, lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease and even help you lose weight. They also help prevent an excess of homocysteine forming in the body, which can interfere with our feel-good hormones like serotonin. So yeah, tomatoes can even help us prevent depression. On top of that, they're fabulous for our skin.

We asked Dr. Karin Linnewiel Hermoni, the Car-O-Blend category manager at Lycored, the best ways to reap the benefits of this tasty fruit. Turns out, eating tomatoes is a pretty good policy. "Surprisingly enough, the best thing we can do with tomatoes in order to help our skin is eat them," she says, "The notion of 'beauty from within' has been extensively studied in recent years and the conclusion is that while topical skin protection is important, it is not enough!"
portlandia lily white skin sunDr. Karin says that combining tomatoes with a diverse diet that includes other phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables can be a win-win situation. When consumed together, these phytonutrients work synergistically to better protect our skin (and generally improve our well-being). And for all that is holy and delicious, "cook your tomatoes with a bit of good oil. Lycopene an important active phytonutrient from tomatoes is better absorbed in our body when it is cooked with oil."

If you like your tomatoes raw, add some olive oil in a salad for better absorption of lycopene. Dr. Karin says it helps to spice things up, too: "Science suggests that adding spices like turmeric, rosemary, black pepper, etc. to your tomato-based dish can help the active ingredients work best to protect our skin from oxidation, inflammation and sun damage."

We don't know about you gals, but we're going to start eating more of this gorgeous little nightshade...because the sun can do a lot of damage - even in winter. And eating tomatoes sounds a little more fun than rubbing it on our skin (chili, anyone?!).

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