You can not think of the skin as part of your immune system. But this crucial body, covering an impressive 16 square feet, serves as a front-line fortress against bacteria, viruses and other undesirable. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A. "Vitamin A plays a major role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of the skin," says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research in Derby, CT. One of the best ways to incorporate vitamin A into your diet is to use foods containing beta-carotene such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, canned pumpkins and cantaloupes. .
Your optimal dose: carries 170 calories but contains 40% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A (as beta-carotene).