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Food for Thought: Can you eat your way to beautiful skin?

FINALCOVER The phrase “you are what you eat” certainly resonates when flipping through “Feed Your Face” a new book by dermatologist Jessica Wu. The L.A-based doctor and skin care guru to Kimora Lee Simmons, Katherine Heigl and Maria Bello has penned her first book revealing a 28-day plan to better-looking skin and a slimmer figure.

“The condition of your skin has at least 50% to do with the food you eat,” says Wu. “Even simple things have tremendous bearing on how puffy you are and how large undereye bags are.” She explains that a primary culprit is sugar, which is extremely inflammatory to the skin and can aggravate a rash as well as break down collagen and elastic tissue even faster than Mother Nature would, well, naturally.

“Everyone is always so focused on what you can’t eat, not what you can,” says Wu, who also doesn’t claim that one needs to starve for good skin. In fact, just the opposite. Her No. 1, go-to good food isn’t celery sticks or raw broccoli florets, it’s pizza.

“My must-eat is pizza!” she says “Ask for whole wheat, thin crust, go very light on the cheese and pile on lots of green and yellow veggies, which fight wrinkles -- especially crow’s feet. And add tons of tomatoes, which fight sun damage.”

Wu also targets common skin problems and lists food recommendations to help fix them as well as a list of what good-for-your-skin foods to eat when out at chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory or California Pizza Kitchen.

But perhaps the most helpful hint Wu shares is that chocolate does not cause pimples -- great to know for the millions of chocoholics out there. “It’s the sugar in chocolate that causes breakouts,” she says. “But dark chocolate is actually great because it has no milk and less sugar. If you’re craving a sweet, go for dark chocolate-covered almonds. Those are the best.”

“Feed Your Face” will be out Feb. 1.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: “Feed Your Face” by Dr. Jessica Wu / courtesy of St.Martin’s Press

 
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Dark chocolate in moderation has many other health benefits as well, including improved blood circulation, lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, protection from cancer, improved brain function, protection against tooth decay, improved post-workout muscle recovery, and skin damage protection. These benefits are attributable to the high concentration of antioxidants in dark chocolate.



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