The dark days of winter, with minimal sunshine, dry cold air, and fluctuating temperatures mean that often our skin takes a bit of a hit.
Whether you are trying to keep your skin hydrated, dreaming of re-invigorating it back to that summer glow, or simply wanting to commit to a little extra care to this incredibly efficient organ, these five foods can help.
Your skin requires sufficient hydration and sufficient lipid levels to maintain its optimal state of health. The lipids in avocado are a skin’s best friend and are why it is often found being promoted for use as a face mask. Other options such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds and walnuts, as well as chia seed and ground flax, are all excellent fat-rich options for boosting complexion.
Vitamin E is the name of the game here, and when it comes to getting your daily dose, almonds are a reliable and efficient source. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for healthy skin, and almonds are one of the best sources available. Leafy greens and whole grains are also a good source of Vitamin E, and creams and lotions with vitamin E content are always a great option.
As if you needed another reason to eat this vibrant green vegetable, it is also good for your skin. Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables, offering high content of magnesium and vitamin B complex, is rich in antioxidants, high in sulforaphane, and much more. In fact, the sulforaphane has been shown to offer anti-cancer properties that help reduce your risk of skin cancer. Now, you can eat broccoli knowing not only that you are getting lots of nutrients, but also better skin!
Sweet potato, like other orange and yellow vegetables, is rich in beta carotene. A class of antioxidants, beta carotene can act as a natural sunblock and protect the skin form the damaging effects of the sun, and hence keep your skin healthier for longer. And yes, even in the winter this is an important consideration. The sun is still able to exert its powerful rays on your skin, despite the cold, and this is especially true if you are skiing or outside where the sun can reflect off the snow.
Whether you enjoy it as dark chocolate or add cacao to your smoothie, it is a nutrient rich superfood that also has superpowers for the skin. Cacao is high in magnesium and antioxidants and these compounds are important for improved and sustained skin health. In addition, the antioxidants of cacao have also been shown to help reduce wrinkles, increase skin thickness, and help the skin maintain its overall shape as a result.
If you want skin that looks good for a long time, it starts with what you put into your body. Be mindful of the foods you are consuming, and in addition to eating these skin friendly foods, reduce your intake of processed foods and refined sugar.
Also check out 20 skin care tips for girls in their 20’s.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH