By Grace Miazga
With changing seasons, there come changes in your complexion. Winter months are approaching, which means frigid winds, dry air, and freezing temperatures are upon us. These blustery conditions can strip your skin of its natural glow, and cause it to be a war zone filled with flakiness, dry spots, redness, and acne. As mountains of skincare creams, moisturizers, toners, and exfoliators pile up on your bathroom counter, and little to no changes in your dull and damaged face to show for it, your next best bet might be hitting up your refrigerator. Diet has a direct effect to your skin health, and is the best natural remedy to curing your problems. Here are five foods that will help your derma-drab become derma-beauty so you can have glowing, refreshed looking skin all year round with health that is truly skin-deep.
Kiwi is a low fat, low calorie fruit that amps up your derma-beauty to the next level of rejuvenation. One kiwi fruit supplies your body with over 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, making it the leading fruit for vitamin C content – that’s right, even more so than the infamous orange. Vitamin C takes a large part in collagen formation, which is the skin’s support system against damage caused by free radicals produced from sun exposure, pollution, and smoke. This helps rejuvenate the skin, and fight against wrinkles. Kiwi is a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that help with skin rejuvenation, and are found in many skin creams and moisturizers that are stocked on drugstore shelves. The AHAs found in kiwis help combat acne and keep pores clean to prevent future breakouts. One fruit holds about 2 grams of fiber, combined with it’s antioxidants, kiwi has a laxative affect that helps rid your body of nasty toxins, resulting into glowing skin during those winter months.
Raw walnuts are a shield against the effects of dry winter weather thanks to it’s healthy fats, proteins, and minerals. Walnuts are so packed with antioxidants, just 1 oz. holds more than what the average person consumes throughout an entire day. Key micronutrients that make walnuts superfood title justifiable are zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamin E. These vitamins and minerals help increase circulation and blood flow to the skin, reduce fluid retention, and help eliminate the look of saggy and/or puffy skin. Many believe nuts are high in fat, and therefore, cause weight gain. But no worries here, walnuts have no known link to this food-stereotype. One serving consists of 14 walnut halves and 185 calories.
Onions are an anti-viral, anti-inflammatory veggie with incredible detox properties that help fight against disease and boost circulation and blood flow to the skin. It’s antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, and E, protect against free radicals, slowing the aging process and reducing cell damage. Onions are antiseptics, which prevents bad bacteria from making a home on your skin and allowing unfortunate, bulbous pimples from making an appearance. Allicin is the powerhouse phytochemical found in onions due to its ability to stop collagen-digesting, pro-wrinkling enzymes from wreaking havoc on the body. Onions, especially red and yellow onions, are also made up of a high level of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that protects the skin against UVB damage and lowers the risk of cancer.
All of those mugs of hot cocoa you find yourself drinking during a late-night snowstorm could be maximizing your beauty benefits! With its high concentration of antioxidants, such as epicatechin, cocoa wards off wrinkles by turning off the functions of age-promoting cells and activating protective cell mechanisms. Cocoa replenishes the skin’s vitality by boosting it’s hydration through pumping nutrients, blood, and oxygen to the skin, which essentially reduces any redness caused by windburn, acne, rosacea, and other skin disorders. You’ll get the most benefits from dairy-free chocolate made with at least 70% cocoa, but don’t go overboard. Eating an entire chocolate bar in one sitting will give you more fat, sugar, and calories than healthy nutrients. Research shows two to three ounces of dark chocolate per week will give you what you need to attain radiant skin.
Avocados help the health of skin in a number of ways. They’re a major source of healthy fats that metabolize easily, making them a good energy supplier that supercharges the body’s natural detox process of the liver, helping to keep skin clear. Avocados are rich in vitamin E and B vitamins, which assist in a variety of things. Vitamin E keeps skin cells strong and hydrated, allowing your skin to stay firm and dewy. B vitamins alleviate redness and inflammation through detoxification and DNA repair. Specifically rich in vitamin B7, commonly known as biotin, consuming avocados can prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. Because avocados are higher in fats, it is advised to eat them in moderation. One half of an avocado per day will give you all of these benefits, plus a little 2-gram protein boost.
Remember, hydration is your best friend when it comes to skin health. Drinking enough water helps balance your skin’s moisture levels, so make sure your body gets enough fluids through liquids and foods every day. By stocking your kitchen with these five items and teaming up with water, you’re one step closer to getting that flawless complexion you’ve always dreamt of having. Your external appearance is a reflection of what you’re putting into your body, so keep choosing nourishing foods that make you look and feel beautiful from the inside-out!
Hart, Jolene. Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, inside and out. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.