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Published April 10, 2013, 11:34 PM

Positively Beautiful: Turn back the clock with beauty superfoods

FARGO – When it comes to healthy eating, I find it’s easier to add in good-for-you foods rather that focus on deprivation. Here are my top picks for super foods that can help us have more energy, look and feel better.

By: Dr. Susan Mathison, Areavoices.com, INFORUM

FARGO – When it comes to healthy eating, I find it’s easier to add in good-for-you foods rather that focus on deprivation.

Here are my top picks for super foods that can help us have more energy, look and feel better.

Eggs are one of nature’s perfect proteins in one small package that can be eaten hot or cold. They are an excellent source of a dozen vitamins and minerals and are so incredibly versatile.

I grew up with the teaching that eggs had too much cholesterol, but most otherwise-healthy people should be able to eat five to seven eggs per week.

Avocadoes are green gems packed with fiber, protein and more than 20 nutrients, including the vitamins A, B and C, and minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium.

You can use a bit of mashed avocado instead of mayo or butter for a sandwich.

You thought oranges had the most vitamin C, but kiwi is up there on the leaderboard, too. Vitamin E, potassium and fiber also make this a power-packed health food.

I like mine peeled, cut into wedges and served with strawberries.

Like kiwi, lemons are a great source of vitamin C. Plus they can help keep your bones strong and work as an anti-inflammatory. In fact, you can get more than 100 percent of what you need of vitamin C daily when you eat one. They can also help reduce the appearance of age or dark spots on your face, hands or elbows. Splashes of lemon can also add dashes of lightness to your hair.

You’ve probably heard that blueberries especially have great amounts of anti-oxidants, and they can also have an anti-aging effect, as can raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. A great source of fiber and low in calories, they can also help control low blood sugar.

Avid juicers claim that a daily glass of green juice or adding greens to a morning smoothie has been life-changing for them. Foods like kale, spinach, celery, herbs can be juiced or blended, sometimes along with pear, apple or yellow beets for a bit of sweetness. The combination is a power house of nutrition.

Salmon is one of the best sources of protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids the oceans offer up. Studies have shown over and over again that these fats help protect the heart.

Adding salmon once or twice a week to your diet is not only healthy for the most important organ, but it’s great for your skin – acne in particular – as the fats can reduce inflammation that causes pimples.

The lycopene in tomatoes provides another great source of antioxidants, as well as vitamin A and fiber.

Enjoy cooked or raw, and eat plenty of them for extra protection against the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays. Got dry skin? Eat more tomatoes.

Good for hydration and your metabolism, and loaded with anti-oxidants, green tea is good for every part of your body, even your mind.

So if you’re a tad forgetful, adding this source can help with your memory. Green tea extract is also a popular ingredient in skin care products.

Dark chocolate is good for you, full of disease-fighting anti-oxidants. It can help lower blood pressure, too.

Look for a cacao source of 65 percent or greater. For those of us raised on Hershey’s milk chocolate, it can be a challenge to get used to less sweetness. Let a tiny piece melt on Turn back the clock with beauty super foodsyour tongue and savor the flavor. Some people approach chocolate like fine wine, and appreciate the subtle differences in flavor of cacao beans from different parts of the world.

A small piece or two per day is enough for health benefits.

Water is not something you can ignore if you want to feel good inside and out. Shoot for drinking 64 ounces of filtered water per day.

I use a Brita filter in a big pitcher in my fridge. Look for a reusable water bottle in glass, steel or a non-BPA synthetic. Avoiding plastic water bottles is good for you and for the environment.

This column was written exclusively for The Forum.

Dr. Susan Mathison founded Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo and created PositivelyBeautiful.com. Email her at shesays@forumcomm.com.