Co-written with Sam Poccia, Nutrition Enthusiast
It would be an understatement to say New Englanders have had a long winter. Alas, as spring approaches, we empty our closets to get ready for warmer weather. But, did you know that spring-cleaning does not have to only apply to our closets? Spring is the perfect time to incorporate healthy foods that may help rejuvenate your skin. Eating a balanced diet may enhance the quality of your skin. Some key foods to incorporate into your daily diet are berries, green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and other vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and avocados. Adequate water and sleep also help to promote healthy skin. Here are some tips on eating and drinking your way to healthy and glowing skin.
Berries, in particular blueberries, contain antioxidants, substances that prevent oxidation from occurring in your body, including your skin. Antioxidants can also help accelerate healing time for skin. Tips for incorporating blueberries into your diet include combining them with a handful of almonds, for a perfect balance of fiber and healthy fat. Try blueberries in a smoothie with banana, unsweetened almond milk, and ice for a quick and delicious start to your day. Feel free to spice it up with cinnamon and other additions of your choice. You can also add blueberries into your salad for a sweet and healthy finish.
Green leafy vegetables are not only a nutrition powerhouse but also rich in healthy skin promoting nutrients. Green leafy vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, arugula and mustard greens, rich in B-vitamins and antioxidants. Increase green, leafy veggies in your diet by switching the base of your salads from lettuce to kale or spinach. Add spinach or kale to a smoothie with banana, raw cocoa powder, almond milk and ground flax seeds for a delicious snack. You can also try to ramp up your veggie game at breakfast by incorporating kale into your omelet. Make kale chips by heating your oven to 275˚ and placing your kale on a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. Bake the kale for a few minutes or until crispy.
In addition to berries and green leafy vegetables, omega 3 rich fish is a key player in healthy skin. The omega-3’s in some fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna help protect skin from harmful UV damage. Additionally, fish is an excellent source of protein. Protein in fish helps to keep collagen, our main component of connective tissue, firm and flexible. Add chopped tuna with a little lemon juice and sea salt to a salad or as an afternoon snack with crackers. At dinnertime grill a piece of salmon, flavoring it with lemon juice, dill and sea salt.
Avocados are a nutrition powerhouse, packed with vitamin E and B-complex, essential fatty acids and vitamin c. Vitamin E helps prevents damage caused by UV light and is an anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories help promotes smooth and clear skin, and speed up the healing process of wounds in skin. Avocado can be added into your daily diet in a variety of ways; add it to your salads, eat it with a sandwich and or put ½ an avocado in your smoothies!
Spice up any dish with this avocado and corn salsa (4 servings): Chop up two avocados and combine with 3 corns with the silks cut off the cob, diced peppers, 1 clove of minced garlic, a chopped onion, 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Veggies to the rescue! Well, when it comes to your skin it is really one veggie in particular, carrots. Carrots are packed with vitamin C and high in fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller long. Munch on carrots with hummus as a healthy snack to hold you over between meals.
Let’s not forget water! Water keeps you and your skin feeling hydrated. As warm weather approaches flavor water naturally by putting sliced cucumber in your ice try. If you often forget to drink water during the day carry a water bottle around with you, if it is in front of you are more likely to pick it up and drink
Lastly, to make sure your skin stays healthy and looks rejuvenated make sure to get enough sleep each night. It’s vital to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night for an adult. This will help reduce stress and therefore reduce the negative effects it can have on your appearance.
Skylar’s Bottom Line: What you eat and drink is crucial to keeping your skin healthy this spring. Berries, green leafy vegetables, avocados, carrots and omega 3 rich fish are excellent foods to promote nourished skin. Remember to drink lots of water, especially in warmer months. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to promote not only healthy skin, but also a healthy weight. Finally, Hello Sunshine!