With winter slowly rolling around, one is easily reminded of the fact that the body’s largest organ, the skin, has different needs at different times of the year and during winter it often requires more looking after to stay happy. So, now is an excellent time to refocus on what your skin needs, starting from the inside out.
Everyone wants to have glowing skin but most of us don’t know where to start with improving their skin’s appearance and how it feels to be in. Worry not – below you’ll find a quick summary and actionable steps to take.
Before I get started on the actual skin foods, I want to remind you that these things are not just for your skin’s benefit, but they will improve your overall wellbeing along with improving your skin. So you will be doing your whole being a big favour by focusing on these things.
So let’s tuck in..
It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep a balance in your body and lubricates your skin, joints, brain and your metabolic system. It helps your cells to get rid of toxins and to take in important nutrients.
Okay, you’re convinced drinking water is great for you – but exactly how much is enough, you may ask? There is no one size fits all- solution to this one, the common advice is to drink 8 glasses, but to start off with 5 glasses per day and taking it from there depending on how it makes you feel, would be better. This is not supposed to be your total fluid intake per day. Give your body a week to adjust to these changes and then, based on how this makes you feel, either increase or decrease the amount.
Loading up on colourful fruits, vegetables and berries can help to slow down and prevent free-radical damage to your skin. Including a couple handfuls of berries to your breakfast, adding a few tomatoes to your lunch, snacking on tangerines or oranges and having spinach with your dinner, you’ve sneakily had your day enriched by antioxidants at every meal.
If you can, choose organic or wild grown fruits, vegetables and berries as these contain more of the good stuff and less of the unnecessary. On the colour wheel, the purple-red-blue-orange- spectrum contains the most antioxidant-rich fruits. For example, wild blueberries are the winner overall, just one cup has over 13 thousand total antioxidants, including vitamins A&C plus flavonoids (that are a type of antioxidant). That’s almost 10 times the USDA’s recommendation, in just 1 cup!
These vitamins, often associated with the colours of sunshine, are indeed as good for you as sunshine is for everything that grows… You can get these by consuming oranges, carrots, sea buckthorn, sweet potatoes as well as mangos and pineapples. Vitamins C and A can help to decrease the risk of sun damage and other environmental damage by disarming wrinkle-causing free radicals – which are the baddies – unstable molecules that damage our cells. Getting your carotenoids (phytochemicals that your body converts to vitamin A) from foods is a safer option than to take supplements. Plus, it’s so much tastier!
Ensuring your diet is enriched with healthy fats, such as omega-3s and omega-6s that help make your skin’s natural oil barrier, which keeps dryness and blemishes away. Essential fatty acids, such as these, can help your skin to stay smoother and more supple. You can get them from olive oil, walnuts, flaxseeds and cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. The mighty sea buckthorn berry also packs a punch when it comes to healthy fats AND vitamin E – lots of goodness in a small, bright orange package!
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that may save your skin from sun damage and inflammation. You can get it from vegetable oils, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds as well as leafy greens, like the mighty spinach. Cranberries are also brimming with vitamin E, alongside blackcurrants and blueberries! So much colour and goodness in a small package!
Including this mineral in your diet may help protect your skin from cells that gather free radicals. Free radicals cause signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dry skin and tissue damage. Having some Brazil nuts, chia and sesame seeds, button mushrooms or whole-wheat pasta as well as brown rice in your diet can help your body to stay on top of the free radical game.
The list above is not exhaustive or supposed to be prescriptive, but there to inspire you to add some new things into your diet that will make a difference to how your skin looks and feels. And you as a whole being might feel refreshed by adjusting your diet to include the listed components of a healthy diet.
A glow that comes from the inside changes not just the skin but also the people around you! Keep that in mind when on a rainy, dark November day you find yourself feeling down.
EXPLORE RECIPES THAT BOOST YOUR SKIN’S WELLBEING HERE
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Writer is a registered Holistic Diet Coach, Taru from ArcticNut