We are in the midst of winter and you know what that means? Forget all hopes of relying on that sun-kissed glow from warmer days for radiant looking skin. Add in some dry, cold air along with comfort foods and you could be headed for some unpleasant meetings with the mirror! But don't fret, I've got solutions with food (because in my line of work, food is always the answer) :)
Ensuring proper nutrition with adequate vitamins and minerals is key to keeping your skin, hair, and nails all vibrant. Additionally, by adding in these beauty boosting foods, you will likely be cutting out some of the not so great ones like added sugars and processed oils that dry out and make skin look dull.
First up on our antioxidant list is powerhouse Vitamin A. It's key for skin repair and maintenance and can show up as dry or flaky skin if you're deficient. You can find vitamin A and its precursor, beta-carotene, in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and animal products. Great sources of vitamin A are liver and eggs, and you'll find beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, red peppers, and asparagus.
Vitamin C is not only crucial in the winter for its helpful immune functions, but it's a key player in making the protein collagen, which helps keep your skin supple! By loading up on your fruits and veggies, it's not difficult to get in your daily dose of Vitamin C. A few of my favorite sources are:
Red bell peppers
Fighting free radicals caused by pollution, smoking, processed foods, and sun exposure is one of vitamin E's dirty jobs. Free radicals can cause premature aging like skin sagging and wrinkles. Fight the good fight from within and stock up on good vitamin E sources like:
These anti-inflammatory fats are major players for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility. Make sure you're getting three servings weekly from seafood sources such as:
Not absorbed as well, but still great plant sources of omega-3's are:
*1-2 tbsp per day of seeds or a handful of walnuts.
You've probably heard of collagen by now as it's having its moment in the spot light in the health industry. And this may be for good reason! Though early in research, studies have shown improvements in skin elasticity, less dryness, fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and higher collagen content. You can easily add this to your regimen by making your own bone broth or purchasing collagen powder. The later can simply be added to most things like smoothies, coffee, yogurt, soup, etc. If buying the supplement be sure to get free-range, cage-free, and antibiotic-free. Look for a trusted brand with a third-party label like NSF or USP and avoid any other ingredients mixed with it. Two brands I like are Vital Proteins and Great Lakes.
Your skin is the largest organ and just like every other organ, it needs water to function properly. Inadequate water intake will show up as dry, flaky, and tight skin. This, in turn, makes skin look less supple and shows wrinkles more clearly. Stay hydrated through the winter by sipping herbal teas or just warm water/lemon water throughout the day. Additionally, you can do the hydration check- if your urine is fair yellow in color, you're good!
For some, gluten and dairy sensitivities or intolerances can manifest through skin issues. If you feel one or both of these could be problematic for you, eliminate these from your diet for a good three weeks and note any changes.
Because we're doing the work from the inside out, don't expect immediate results. Though it's common to see changes within the first week, it can take up to six because of how long it takes for new skin to emerge to the surface.
Disclaimer: The information shared on this website is for general purposes only and has not been reviewed by the FDA. The information is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical conditions and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional. You should seek the care of your doctor before changing dietary or lifestyle habits. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.