Wintertime means exposing skin to frigid outdoor elements and dry indoor air. This double-whammy packs a wallop on the complexion, leaving people with flaky, ashy, super-dry, and even prematurely wrinkled skin. Slathering on lotion only goes so far.
Truly healthy skin starts from the inside out, and a person’s diet greatly impacts their appearance and even how quickly they age. Adopting a diet intended to soothe chapped winter skin will leave you glowing even when the weather outside turns frightful.
Here are our favorite foods for healthy skin in the winter.
Wake up with oatmeal
Breaking one’s daily fast by eating oatmeal provides winter skin with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition, oatmeal contains a high amount of dietary fiber that helps to gently cleanse the intestines while also keeping dieters full much longer than processed cereals. Oats also have demulcent properties, which means they have the ability to form a soothing and hydrating film over mucus membranes and epithelial tissue, which calms the skin and the gut from within.
The balance of bacteria in an individual’s gut plays a huge role in overall skin appearance, plus filling fiber prevents the urge to nosh on candy and other unhealthy eats.
Orange you glowing?
Many people think of citrus fruits as summertime snacks, but in actuality, most come into season during the winter months. This means lower prices at the grocery and also guarantees freshness. The high vitamin C content found in citrus fruits blasts away wrinkle-forming free radicals that damage and age skin, particularly the delicate skin around the eyes. Vitamin C is also crucial to stimulate fibroblasts and support healthy collagen production.
Go ahead and add a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice to complement your oatmeal or farm-fresh egg breakfast. To create an on-the-go healthy snack for the workday, peel oranges, grapefruits or their milder cousin, pomelos, on Sunday evening and store in individual containers that you can grab as you rush out the door.
What’s up, doc?
To keep skin glowing, make like Bugs Bunny this winter and nosh on carrots. The beta-carotene in carrots destroys free radicals, preventing wrinkles and even cancer. Beta carotene is also a bioavailable precursor to Vitamin A, which is a key nutrient for clear, healthy, youthful skin. In addition, carrots contain high levels of vitamin K, which helps alleviate the appearance of stretch marks, spider veins, dark spots and acne scars.
Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel contain rich stores of omega-3 fatty acids which are critical for sealing moisture into the skin at the cellular level. Consuming fatty fish at least two times weekly, or a high quality fish oil supplement daily, plumps sunken cheeks and fills in fine lines.
Fish also provide diners with a rich source of vitamin E. Whether eaten or applied topically, vitamin E smooths rough, dry skin.
Order that avocado toast
If winter skin grows itchy, go ahead and order a side of guacamole or a slice of avocado toast. Like fatty fish, avocados contain high levels of essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Avocados additionally are a great source of plant-based protein; and contain potassium, a necessary nutrient for heart health, and this increases blood flow to the face, giving cheeks a rosy glow.
Take a hint from squirrels
Nuts and seeds make for a healthy snack packed with vitamins A and E, both vital to maintaining skin health. Many nuts and seeds also contain high levels of zinc, which is an essential component of a healthy acid mantle.
Chop some broccoli
Broccoli likewise offers a range of antioxidant vitamins and minerals to protect skin health from dry winter conditions. Additionally, broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which staves off skin cancer by providing the skin with natural UV busters. The high niacin content found in broccoli makes skin glow naturally.
Finally, while people usually experience less thirst during chillier months, this can quickly lead to dehydration. Drinking enough water remains important all year for optimum skin health. Carry that water bottle with you everywhere you go, and set up reminders on your cellphone if you have a hard time remembering to take sips regularly.
Put your best face forward
Understanding the role of nutrition in protecting skin health helps lead to better decision-making come mealtime. By nourishing the skin with natural vitamin-, mineral- and fat-rich foods, anyone can enjoy a gorgeous complexion any time of year!
What are your favorite ways to nourish your skin during winter?
Please share in the comments below!
This post was written by health journalist and NAA member, Kate Harveston.