By Jatin Dhillon
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it’s important to protect it in all seasons. Take the time to pamper yourself with all-natural remedies that bring the warmth back into your skin – all year round.
>From the Inside Out
Keeping your skin healthy starts with what you eat. Your skin is an indication of your overall health – protect it by feeding it well. By Jaitin Dhillon
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
Healthy, glowing skin starts with vitamin A. There are a number of ways to get more vitamin A in your diet. Low-fat dairy products such as non-fat yogurt are an excellent source, as are foods rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A during digestion.
Super Foods for Vitamin A and Beta Carotene:
* Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). Naturally sweet, organic sweet potatoes are in season in November and December, but can be found in markets year-round. Baking sweet potatoes with the skin on preserves the nutrients and packs the biggest wallop for your skin – one sweet potato provides up to 262% of your daily vitamin A needs. Other nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes include anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe your skin during the dry winter months. Choose sweet potatoes with the deepest colors – the deeper the orange or yellow hue, the better.
* Turnip greens: Turnip greens contain a wonderful array of skin-healthy vitamins and nutrients, including 158% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A. Turnips greens are the leaves of the turnip root and have a slightly bitter taste. Find them at farm stands and natural food markets still attached to the roots, and choose greens that are crisp with deep green colors. Be sure to rinse the greens well – the freshest will still usually have some dirt hidden in the crevices of the leaves. People shy away from cooking with turnip greens simply because they don’t know how. Prepare the greens by removing the center stem and sautéing them with olive oil and lemon juice for a delicious side dish, or add them to a vegetarian lasagna.
Antioxidants are essential for that healthy glow we all want. Antioxidants protect the body from free-radicals, which can damage the skin’s cells, making your skin look aged, cracked, and unhealthy. Antioxidants are found in deep red, blue, and green vegetables and fruits, but the free-radical-fighting properties fade the longer the food is removed from the farm, so make sure your sources are as fresh as possible. Eat antioxidant-rich foods in season or choose organic varieties that were frozen at the height of their freshness.
Super Foods for Antioxidants
* Walnuts: Walnuts are one of the more surprising foods that contain antioxidants, and they are available year-round. Walnuts also help improve your circulation – a vital part of keeping skin healthy during the cold winter months. Eating just four walnuts per day will provide you with all their natural skin-protecting benefits. When choosing unshelled walnuts, choose those that feel heavy in your hand. If you buy pre-shelled walnuts, make sure they are fresh – stay away from nuts that look shrivled or rubbery, signs that the nut has been on the shelf and in direct light for too long and has lost most of its protective antioxidant properties. Add walnuts to sautéed vegetables or salads. Roast your walnuts at only 160 degrees for just twenty minutes to preserve the natural oils.
* Acai Berries: Acai berries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants available. The acai berry is a tropical fruit from the Amazon rain forest – so you won’t find this one in your local farmer’s market. Instead, look for frozen acai berry pulp – a thick, rich purple paste that can be combined with low-fat yogurt or banana and blueberries for a super-skin-warming smoothie.
Omega-3 fatty acids make your skin glow no matter what the weather. Omega-3s make the membranes of your skin cells stronger, holding in moisture for firmer, fresher, younger looking skin. Omega-3s are found in a variety of foods – the most popular sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, and olive oil. Again, the freshest foods are the best sources, so make sure you store foods in air-tight containers and away from both natural and artificial light.
And there’s another added benefit – a diet rich in Omega-3s can help prevent skin damage from sun exposure!
Super Foods for Omega-3s
* Hemp: Ground hemp seeds are an amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds have a light, nutty flavor, and just two tablespoons of the ground seed contain 300 mg of Omega-3 and 850 mg of Omega-6 with GLA. Nearly all store-bought preparations are 100% organic and contain no preservatives – just make sure that the “best before” date is well in the future – Omega-3-rich foods have a short shelf-life. Prepare hemp powder by blending it with banana, fresh juice, and berries for a fountain-of-youth smoothie that will make your skin smooth, soft, and healthy.
* Salmon: The essential fatty acids found in salmon, including Omega-3s, cannot be produced by the human body – they have to be consumed through food sources. Wild-caught salmon has significantly higher levels of Omega-3s than farm-raised, so be sure to choose wild, fresh-caught salmon whenever possible. Eating salmon just twice a week is enough to reap all of the skin-revitalizing benefits this delicious fish has to offer. Salmon is a bony fish, so be sure that all the bones have been removed before you prepare the fish – baking or broiling are the best ways to prepare salmon to maintain all of its skin-healthy benefits.
About The Author:
Jatin Dhillon is a freelance writer, web publisher and a fitness enthusiast. Don’t forget to read his reviews on <a href=”http://www.the-idiotproofdiet.com”>fat loss 4 idiots diet</a> and it’s advanced version the <a href= “http://www.beyondcalorie.com”>beyond calories diet </a>– one of the most popular diets to hit the internet.