How to eat smart for healthier winter skin

Cold weather, hot showers, central heating and lack of sunshine is enough to leave many people's skin dry and lacklustre over the winter season, but there are things you can do from the inside to help your skin get through winter.

Skin is our body's natural barrier to the elements. Our skin makes up an estimated total area of 20 square feet, making it the largest organ of the body. You can protect your skin and give it its best chance of being healthy by including certain foods in your diet.

Dry skin

Dry skin is one of the most common symptoms in the winter season. Increasing the amount of essential fatty acids, which contribute to the moisture of our skin, can help your skin to repair itself. Foods rich in fatty acids include salmon, vegetable oils and nuts and seeds. Your body can't produce essential fatty acids on its own, so they are an essential part of your diet.

Environmental damage

Foods rich in beta-carotene help reduce environmental damage as well as helping to grow and repair body tissues. Foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots contain beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body.

Acne

Foods rich in zinc like fish, seafood, eggs and whole grains are vital for maintaining healthy skin, especially for people who have acne. The skin contains about 20% of the body's zinc, so if you aren't getting enough zinc you could be prone to concerns like acne.

No matter what time of year, good skin health includes a diet with plenty of vegetables, good fats, lots of fluids and foods rich in vitamins C, E, B, zinc and selenium.

Knowing what not to eat is just as crucial as knowing what foods to include in your diet for good skin health. Certain food and drinks can increase your risk of damage to the skin. Salt, alcohol, caffeine, refined carbohydrates and sugar are the main culprits.

Salt

Salt can make your face appear puffy, as it causes tissues to swell. Be sure to check food labels on bread, soups and sauces - which are all too commonly high in salt - to check salt content. While it's good to reduce the salt we add to our food, most of the salt we eat is already contained in the food we buy from the supermarket.

Alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the skin, so stick to the recommended alcohol guidelines and try to drink more water. Alcohol is also high in sugar, which is another ingredient that contributes to unhealthy skin. Replacing your coffee with herbal tea when possible will help improve your skin. Choosing herbal teas with liquorice, cardamom and cinnamon can also have a warming effect, which is a great addition to the winter season.

Refined carbohydrates and sugar

Refined carbohydrates and sugar cause insulin spikes which can lead to inflammation, resulting in collagen and elastin breakdowns, so reach for complex carbohydrates and fruit to replace refined carbohydrates and sugar.


This article has been provided by Nutritionist Resource.


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