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Delicious Recipes for Healthy Skin

Oatmeal and salmon are two foods that can nourish your body — inside and out

En español | To hide the gray, you can dye your hair. To flatten your stomach, you can wedge yourself into a pair of Spanx. Short of a major medical procedure, however, there's not much you can do to hide wrinkles. That's why preventive skin care is so important. Morning and night I use regenerating serum and an antiaging moisturizer on my face, but I also try to eat wisely. Here are two great recipes that incorporate foods good for your skin.

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There's a reason they make lotions and soaps out of oatmeal: It nourishes the skin. I enjoy oatmeal year-round; now that the mornings are cooler, I've switched from oatmeal-based granola with summer fruits and Greek yogurt to hot oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts.

You can follow the instructions on the oatmeal package, but it takes only a minute to elevate this cereal from dutiful to delightful. Just add some canned pumpkin and a little pumpkin-pie spice. Then drizzle on maple syrup and add some walnuts (which also happen to be good for your skin). If you regularly substitute soy milk for dairy milk, you may start to notice your dark skin spots fading: Studies suggest that soy's minerals and proteins may reduce them.

With its omega-3 fatty acids, wild salmon is one of the best foods for keeping skin moist and supple. To create the perfect skin-care trio, couple the salmon with this recipe's healthy, potent spinach sauce (also high in omega-3 fatty acids) and serve it with sautéed cherry tomatoes; the latter are one of our best sources for the antiaging antioxidant lycopene.

I color my hair. I own at least three pairs of Spanx. But when it comes to maintaining healthy skin, I look to my kitchen.

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Pumpkin oatmeal with walnuts and dried cranberries. Dishes that are good for your skin.

A pudding to serve for breakfast or a snack, this warm and comforting pumpkin oatmeal recipe is great for nourishing the skin.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Serves 4

Turn leftover oatmeal into pudding by heating 2 cups of leftover cooked oatmeal with 2 cups of soy milk. Simmer until thick, stirring frequently — about 20 minutes. Pour into custard dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sweeten with maple syrup or brown sugar.

  • 3 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup solid pack pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup each: toasted chopped walnuts and dried cranberries

Bring milk, pumpkin, oatmeal, spice and salt to a simmer in a large saucepan or 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, to desired thickness — 5 to 10 minutes, depending on oatmeal brand. Serve, sprinkling each portion with walnuts and dried cranberries.

Salmon, Spinach, Tomato, Good for Skin

Omega-3 fatty acids, plentiful in salmon, do wonders for keeping the skin moist and supple.

Seared Salmon with Spinach "Hollandaise"

Serves 4

Serve this seared salmon and spinach sauce with sautéed cherry tomatoes.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces factory-washed baby spinach
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 center-cut salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Place 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, spinach, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and pepper flakes in a large heavy nonstick skillet. Cover and steam over medium-high heat until the greens are wilted and brightly colored — 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer spinach to a blender and process until puréed. Stir in lemon juice and keep warm.

Meanwhile wipe out skillet and return to strong medium-high heat. Set salmon fillets on a plate and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil. Turn to coat, then season with salt and pepper.

Add salmon fillets, flesh side down, to pan. Cook over high heat until they develop an even, rich brown crust — 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Turn salmon fillets and continue to cook until skin side develops same crust — 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium, 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium-well. Transfer to plates, spoon a portion of sauce over salmon and serve immediately.

AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at

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