By Patricia Reynoso
Tasty Tomatoes and Luscious Lemons
Red, orange, and deep-yellow fruits and vegetables are abundant in carotenoids (cancer-fighting antioxidants). Lycopene (the carotenoid in tomatoes) is more easily absorbed by our bodies when it's cooked so whip up a marinara sauce, pronto! And that squeeze of a tangy lemon offers protection from heart disease thanks to the antioxidant limonene.
Not only are they delicious and juicy, but many berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, are also rich in anthocyanins, compounds that can help ward off UV damage. New berries -- to Americans, anyway -- are acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) from Brazil and goji (pronounced go-gee) berries from Tibet, which deliver a health boost due to their natural antioxidants.
We need protein to maintain and repair the body, including the skin, at a cellular level. Experts emphasize adding wild salmon, sardines, and trout to our diet. "Salmon's bright pink or deep red color owes its pigment to astaxanthin, an antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties," says dermatologist Dr. Perricone.
The Spice of Life
Keep your spice rack front and center, as many of your kitchen staples (cinnamon, garlic) and some more exotic spices (turmeric, cumin) are far more nutritious than we ever imagined. For instance, turmeric, the spice that gives curry and mustard their yellow-orange color, is full of vitamin B6, minerals and antioxidant properties.