The dry winter air coupled with indoor heating can cause skin to become dry and lose its glow. When talking skin health, I am a huge advocate for nourishing from within as our diet can have a big impact on the appearance of our skin. To help get the usual glow back in your skin here are 5 foods to add to your diet this spring.
Chia seeds are a plant-based source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 is believed to dampen down damage caused to the skins extracellular matrix including sun exposure, ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress. If you spend a lot of time outdoors during the warmer months, its all the more beneficial to add some chia seeds to your day. Try in a smoothie, porridge/muesli or sprinkled on fruit salad.
Turmeric contains the active compound curcumin. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent, which plays an important role in collagen formation, wound healing and inhibiting AGE formation. Fresh turmeric can be added to smoothies, stir-fry’s or used in dips and salad dressings.
Pumpkin seeds contain the mineral zinc, zinc is known to protect cell membrane integrity, decrease formation of free radicals, speeds up wound healing and calm skin inflammation. In fact, a moderate zinc deficiency can result in a rough skin appearance. Try snacking on chia seeds, crushing and adding to baked goods or sprinkling on roasted vegetables.
Healthy fats including monounsaturated fats found in avocado assist in the absorption and utilisation of fat-soluble antioxidants and also phytochemicals. An adequate intake of antioxidants and phytochemicals assists in increasing the strength of connections between collagen fibres and inhibiting the formation of AGEs and therefore precenting associated skin damage. Start your day with some avocado on toast, add to salads or puree as a creamy salad dressing.
Beta-carotene is the precursor to Vitamin A and is found in leafy greens such as kale as well as sweet potato and carrots. Beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant in the body and is known to protect against free radical damage from ultraviolet exposure. Sautee kale as a dinner side or try my kale, quinoa and blueberry salad with coconut dressing, recipe below!
Kale, Quinoa and Blueberry Salad with Coconut dressing
Pre: 10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Dairy Free – Vegetarian
1 bunch kale, stem removed and roughly chopped
1 punnet blueberries
1 avocado, skin and pip removed, cubed
1 cup quinoa, cooked
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
In a large bowl gently mix all of the salad ingredients together. In a glass jar or small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients. Gently mix the two together and serve on a platter.