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Foods that make you look younger

Every year, women in the United States spend millions of dollars on anything from make-up to cosmetic procedures to help them look younger.

Well, what if you could get healthier looking skin by just using the foods in your pantry?

We are constantly bombarded with ads about the latest beauty fad, from anti-aging creams to devices that promise to smooth almost any imperfection on your face.

But for some women like Maria Perez, a busy mom of four, dealing out the cash for expensive fountain-of-youth treatments just isn't going to happen.

"They could be right, but I just don't believe in spending all that money and then try it out and it doesn't work," said Perez.

What this 39-year-old mom and many others might not know is that some of the best anti-aging treatments can be found right in your local grocery store.

"In terms of skin maintenance and overall quality, the nutrients that they provide, the antioxidants, the vital chemicals, all these hidden, best-kept secrets. They are just packed full of it. You can't go wrong with fruits and vegetables," said Barb Struempler, a nutritionist and Auburn University professor.

Struempler says a well-rounded diet is the best road to the fountain of youth, but the nutritionist says there are some things you need to watch out for when buying your fruits and veggies.

"You're looking for the dark green, leafy vegetables as compared to light green. [You need to] look for the dark reds, the dark oranges," she explains.

Struempler says other things like fish can give you essential fatty acids for your overall health, and that can give you a natural glow.

"All types of seafood. Anything from salmon to shrimp, or anything else. Those have omega-3 fatty acids that are very heart-healthy fats and so they're very good for you," said Struempler.

The expert says you cannot forget the olive oils.

"Those have a mono-unsaturated fat and they are good for your heart, and they are good for your skin. So, I think they give you an overall glow," said Struempler.

Sonya Hithdreth, owner of Create a Spa Naturale in Auburn, says eating is not the only way some foods can help your skin.  You can whip up your own anti-aging scrubs in your kitchen.

"You can make them out of mango. You can use lots of fruits, strawberries, kiwi, right out of your refrigerator. You can mix them up with sugar and just put them in your blender," said Hithdreth.

Hithdreth says the mixture of a little water and oatmeal has been a staple for a natural exfoliate, but you can use coffee, too.

"There are lots of antioxidant in coffee. It has a drawing effect. You can use coffee in a facial-like mix, with a little bit of olive oil, and put it on your face. You can put it on your skin. The caffeine helps to rebuild the elasticity of the skin and the collagen," she says.        

Lemon juice is also something this beauty specialist says you need to always keep handy.

"If you have been using nail polish a lot, even with your toes, just soak it in a little lemon juice and white vinegar," said Hithdreth.        

Are you trying to get rid of those dark circles under you eyes?  It is true that cucumber really can help, or even chamomile tea bags.

"They actually have antioxidants that will actually draw and pull impurities away from your pores and anything that will help to draw and pull things from your pores [is] very good for the skin," Hithdreth said. 

Perez could not wait to try out some of the new skin treatments.

"I think it is very cost-effective.  I mean I can try that, and we will see about the results," said Perez.

She says trying to live a healthy lifestyle like taking care of your skin and eating right will definitely show inside and out.

"You'll feel good and healthy inside, you know, if you take your walks and do your exercise and eat well," said Perez. 

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