Skin Friendly Foods

With the end of the harsh winter weather, which can be drying and damaging on the skin, seeking remedies to keep the skin healthy and youthful is always high on our to-do lists. Beyond topical treatments, there are actually skin-friendly foods that can be nurturing and rejuvenating. In actuality, whatever you eat that’s good for you is also good for your skin. Still you might also consider adding these foods to your diet!

Omega 3 fatty acids do more than lower triglycerides and combat inflammation. They also preserve collagen in the skin to maintain its turgor and firmness. The top source of omega 3s is fish, especially salmon, tuna, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and Atlantic sturgeon. But don’t forget about plant-based sources of omega 3s too. Flaxseed oil is particularly rich in this collagen-boosting fatty acid, but don’t cook with it. Instead, mix it into smoothies or yogurt, or use it as a salad dressing. Chia seeds are another great source that you can sprinkle onto yogurt, cereal and salad, and into batter for muffins and pancakes. Other plant-sourced omega-3 foods that can benefit your skin include walnuts, soy foods, canola oil, spinach, mustard greens, and wheat germ.

Fruit, vegetables and dark chocolate supply antioxidants and vitamins that help protect your skin from free radicals and sun damage, which keeps the skin looking younger and more radiant. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant which can help keep your skin smoother.  Other fruits and vegetables not only contain antioxidants but healthy amounts of vitamins C and E, which can fight wrinkles. Some top choices for better skin include strawberries, citrus, cantaloupe, apricots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and spinach again!   Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can reduce rough texture in the skin and protect against sun damage. Have a few ounces a day, but make sure it’s made up of 60- to 70-percent cocoa.

A lot of the things that help your skin are healthy for you to eat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetable, but always be cognizant of servings sizes, as excess fruit can exceed your daily requirement of sugar. Cut down on the unhealthy junk and pick healthful foods this winter and all year long. You’ll feel better and look better — remember that your skin is a reflection of your overall health. If you’re healthy inside, you’re healthy outside too!

Chai Chia Pudding

½ cup milk (low fat, nonfat, soy, almond, coconut, any other unsweetened dairy)
2 tbsp whole chia seeds
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp maple syrup

In a small bowl combine the chia seeds with milk. Mix well and stash in the fridge overnight (or at least for 3hrs). When ready to eat, remove from fridge, stir well and mix in remaining ingredients.  As an alternative, replace the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, pepper and syrup with 1tsp unsweetened shredded coconut, 1tsp of raw honey, ¼ cup diced mango, and a handful of blueberries for a tropical fruity version!


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