By Erin McNelis
By this time of the year, our skin is probably suffering. Winter made our skin dry and rough and maybe even itchy from the dry air and the wind. The good news is that there is a fix to add to your skin care regimen that doesn’t mean slathering on a high-priced cream.
You can help heal skin from the inside by boosting our intake of certain skin-loving nutrients. The best place to get these nutrients is through small changes to your diet.
Your skin is your largest organ. We eat healthy to keep our other organs, like our hearts, healthy, and the skin is no different. To stay healthy, your skin requires several key nutrients which include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E.
Omega-3 fatty acids keep skin supple and thick and less sensitive to UV rays. It can be found in fish, especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. Plant-based sources include flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts. By adding a meal of fish or two a week to your meal rotation, or putting flaxseed in your morning smoothie, you can make sure you are getting the recommended amount to keep your skin supple and smooth.
Zinc is an anti-inflammatory that also helps with the production of new skin cells. It can be found in red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, some kinds of seafood, and whole grains.
Vitamin E protects the skin against free radicals produced when the body digests some foods as well as environmental toxins. The vitamin may also help reduce skin damage done by UV rays from the sun. Exposure to free radicals can cause signs of aging, including skin wrinkles. But we can fight free radicals with antioxidants, including those found in vitamin E. Vitamin E can be found in seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits including sunflower seeds and oil, almonds, peanuts and peanut butter, leafy greens, pumpkin, bell peppers, asparagus, mango, and avocado. Enjoy that avocado toast, because it is good for your skin.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet for the health of all your organs, as well as drinking enough water. Even though it isn’t hot out, you still need to make sure you are drinking enough water. The air in winter is especially dry because of the cold and heating systems that dry out the air indoors. Replenish H2O levels by making sure you get at least eight 8-ounce servings a day to keep your skin as hydrated as possible.
For more information about what to eat and how to eat it, you could check in with one of our 2020 Happening List Finalists and Winners for Wellness and Nutrition
Emily Rubin RD, LDN (Philadelphia )
OnPoint Nutrition (Philadelphia)
Ali Shapiro (Truce with Food)
Lauren Krinis (CoreFitness)