Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin- making it dry, flaky, and irritated. Moisturizers, lotions and body washes can help, but the best and longest lasting improvement to your skin’s condition is made from the inside out, with diet.
Here are 7 foods to incorporate into your diet for gorgeous winter skin:
- Turmeric: You might not know what Turmeric is, but chances are you’ve tasted it in curry or mustard. Turmeric’s beautiful orange color comes from a compound called curcumin. Scientists have found curcumin to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, reducing redness and helping to repair skin damage and prevent wrinkles. Add turmeric to curries, soups, shakes and juices. Turmeric can also be applied directly to the skin. This turmeric face mask will neutralize redness and dark circles and leave your skin glowing.
- Matcha Green Tea: Matcha green tea is different from other teas. During its growth, the plant is progressively shaded and as a result the plant leaves become more nutrient dense. After the leaves are harvested they are ground into a fine powder. When you drink matcha, you ingest the entire tea leaf and all of its nutrients, unlike other teas in which you ingest only the tea steep. Matcha provides 20 times more antioxidants (catechins) than other teas. The antioxidants found in matcha help protect skin from the damaging effects of sun and pollution.
- Pomegranates: While some produce can be scarce during the winter months, pomegranates are at peak availability. Pomegranates are high in Vitamin C (about 30 mg per serving) and Vitamin E (1.55 mg). Both Vitamin C and Vitamin E are important vitamins for healthy skin. Vitamin C improves skin elasticity and collagen production. Vitamin E makes skin and hair smoother. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pomegranates have the third highest level of antioxidants among fruit and vegetables (behind elderberries and apples). If you’ve never tried pomegranates or are wondering how to eat them, check out this great tutorial.
- Kale: One of the few green vegetables that actually survives and thrives during the winter months is kale. Kale is a rich source of Vitamin C (about 3.3 mg) and Vitamin A (133 mg). According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nutrients found in the Vitamin A family are believed to fight the signs of aging, reduce fine wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation, and rough skin associated with sun exposure. Mary’s favorite Cheesy Kale Chips are a delicious way to enjoy this beauty food.
- Walnuts: All nuts are healthy but walnuts are the highest in plant based Omega 3 Fatty Acids (2.5 g of ALA or alpha-linolenic acid). Omega 3s help to reduce redness and inflammation in the skin and like other antioxidants, protect skin cells from damage. Walnuts also contain Selenium and Vitamin E, nutrients which improve the look and smoothness of skin. There are many ways to incorporate walnuts into your diet. Go beyond snacking and incorporate ground walnuts into your favorite baked recipes and batters.
- Grapefruit: In addition to Vitamin A and C (nutrients important for healthy skin) grapefruits contain lycopene. Lycopene is a polyphenol that gives the fruit its color. Lycopene works like a natural sunscreen for your body. It prevents damage from the sun’s harmful rays which cause wrinkling and premature aging. Hate the bitter taste of grapefruit? Try lighter colored varieties, like pink grapefruit and pummelo, which are sweeter and less bitter.
- Water: Most people know that water is important but it cannot be overstated. Drinking water helps prevent dry skin and lips, improves the color of skin, and reduces wrinkles and dark circles. Water needs vary from individual to individual so drink water throughout the day and move towards replacing other drinks with water.