OPINION – About one year go I found my skin changing. All of sudden I had dryness and splotches on my skin. This is the first time in my life I have ever had a problem with my skin. My first thought was that it was something that I must be eating. But my diet hadn’t really changed.

Then I realized the awful truth … my skin is aging!!! It was almost funny. I don’t really think of myself as “old.” It just hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps it is time to take a look at my diet and what I can do from a natural basis to improve my skin.

I have always been a healthy eater: I basically eat lots of green leafy vegetables, drink about 60 ounces of water a day, closely watch my sugar intake. When it comes to meat I eat only salmon and occasionally turkey breast. But I also realized that if I add more superfoods to my daily menu that will help my skin as I mature. Here are my super foods that I eat on a regular basis.These superfoods have made a great difference in my skin and my overall health.

Almonds – Rich in vitamin E, almonds are great for the skin. They are also rich in Omega 3 that support brain, heart and joint health. Eating a handful a day or sprinkling some over our salads or oatmeal help support healthy skin.

Coconut Oil – One of my favorites, coconut oil is wonderful for the skin. It is especially helpful with very dry skin, wrinkles, and smoothing out your skin tone. Try cooking with coconut oil or adding coconut oil to your smoothies.

Avocado – Wonderful to use as a mask or add to your salads.Avocado is full of omega 3 and vitamin E oil.

Bell Peppers – All bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green) are wonderful for the skin. They are full of vitamin C, which is essential when you have very dry skin, and they also help with collagen production.

Spinach – Full of vitamin E, vitamin C and Beta Carotene spinach is great for slowing the aging process for skin. spinach helps protects the skin from UV rays. Eat at least one cup a day. You can use it in your salads, smoothies, or soups.

Chia Seed – I use Chia seed in my smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt. They are full of omega 3, protein and fiber. Chia seed is also helpful with inflammation. Try making Chia seed pudding. It’s very simple and easy to make. Blend a palm full with two cups of milk, a half-teaspoon of vanilla, and two teaspoons of dried fruit, like dates, currants, or figs.

Aronia Berries – These berries are even better than blueberries.They are a strong antioxidant, reduce inflammation, minimize acne and wrinkles, and increase circulation. Aronia Berries are very tart but can be used in muffins, smoothies or made as a jam.

Dark Chocolate – Surprise! Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. It helps keep the skin hydrated, protects skin from sun damage, and surprisingly doesn’t cause acne.The best dark chocolate has at least 85 percent cocoa and isn’t sweet.

Cilantro – This herb rich in vital vitamins and antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and folates, all of which is great for your skin. I love to add it as a garnish to soups, and also to salads for a wonderful, rich herbal flavor. Cilantro is also good for cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure.

Grapes – The skin of grapes has Resveratrol, which counters inflammation and can help slow the aging process. I add grapes to my smoothies and snack on them all the time. Put them in the freezer for a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Blueberries – I can’t say enough about how great blueberries are for your immune system and your skin. Blueberries can help reduce the appearance of skin. Blueberries can also help with blemishes and acne as well as an added benefit of as source of fiber.