When I was growing up, I really wasn't concerned with dry skin. Especially going through the peaks and valleys of adolescents, I thought I was absolutely cursed with oily skin. My compact of Cover Girl powder and tube of skin-toned Clearasil® got hourly use from the moment I left for school until the moment I returned. I doubt I was alone in my quest for perfect skin through high school. I also doubt I was alone in understanding the concept of the grass always being greener on the other side.
Fast forward about 20 years, two kids, an entirely different understanding of hormones…and I find myself wishing for a sliver of some of that moisture – particularly over the winter months. From head to toe, many of us fall prey to the bitter chill of winter. Fortunately, there are a lot of great foods that can actually help keep our skin maintain a healthy balance of moisture.
Foods That Help Dry Skin
Whenever I explain how important antioxidants are I use the rusty car analogy. In a nutshell, free radicals are like rust to a car. Over time cars age, and when exposed to factors in the environment, they rust out. Now let’s say our bodies are the cars and the effect of rust is the effect of free radicals. Over time, all the toxins we’re exposed to and put into our body make us get a little “rusty” (old).
The foods below are not only loaded with antioxidants, but they also have the power to lock in moisture, improve skin tone, some even boosting the body’s ability to rebuild collagen.
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Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Cod Liver Oil (this is the brand I use and trust)
Foods Rich in Vitamin B
Old Fashioned Oats
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Raw Sunflower Seeds
Food Smarts for Healthy People
It goes without saying that they key to staying hydrated is to drink plenty of water. A cup of coffee in the morning, can of soda in the afternoon and glass of wine at night don’t entirely count. If you must imbibe your vices, try to minimize it and drink water all day long.
A few other foods that can be counter-productive to a wrinkle-free ultra-hydrated look include refined sugary foods (yes, even the low fat versions) and refined salty foods (crackers, pretzels, chips).
Not sure where to start? Well, it goes without saying that you should drink water throughout the day. But here’s a simple plan of attack for what you could eat that will help moisturize your skin - especially when the weather gets dry!
Glass of lemon water followed by a teaspoon of cod liver oil
English muffin (I like Ezekiel), a boiled egg, strawberries
Oatmeal with whole milk, sliced almonds and black currants
Plain yogurt with walnuts and cinnamon
Carrots and hummus
Handful of Almonds
Spinach salad with salmon, sprinkled with sunflower seeds (if cod liver oil wasn’t on the menu!)
Whole grain sliced turkey sandwich with cream cheese; sliced orange
Black bean soup with a side of sliced carrots, green peppers
Spaghetti squash with ground turkey bolognese sauce, sprinkled with parmesan cheese
Grilled chicken breast with steamed kale and sweet potatoes
Veggie omelet with chopped cauliflower and spinach, slice of whole grain toast.
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