GreenChic / Jennifer Spaide
Spring skin renewal
Published 1:05 am, Thursday, April 15, 2010
Layers are being shed as the weather warms up, often revealing lack-luster winter skin. Do you dare to bare? No need to be skin shy because now is the perfect time of year to shed those dull scales and give our skin a fresh spring glow.
A healthy diet helps promote beautiful skin, from the inside out, as it will provide certain nutrients that are particularly beneficial to the skin. Healthy fats, like monounsaturated and essential fatty acids, help keep the skin smooth and soft, repair damaged tissue, dissolve fatty deposits that block pores and aid healing. These beneficial oils are found in olive oil, avocados, almonds, cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, and seeds like flax, evening primrose, borage and pumpkin. The B Vitamins help to improve blood flow to the skin and help regulate how our bodies deal with stress (which as we all know, can play a big factor in clear skin!) Good sources of the B vitamins are nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes/peas, eggs, and brewers yeast. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, promotes immune function and reduces inflammation. Good sources are peppers, parsley, dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, cabbage, strawberries, papaya, spinach, citrus fruits, mangoes, asparagus, pineapple, berries and melon.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that speeds healing and tissue repair. Good sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat, spinach, tomato, cabbage, asparagus, avocado and broccoli. Selenium is another antioxidant that works synergistically with Vitamin E. It also encourages tissue elasticity and can be found in canned tuna, wheat germ/bran, brazil nuts, brown rice, oats, barley, swiss chard, salmon, turkey, eggs, chicken and garlic. Zinc has antibacterial properties, helps regulate the production of oil in the sebaceous glands (oil glands in the skin) as well as the production of hormones. Foods rich in zinc include shellfish, oysters, soybeans, whole grains, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ginger, whole grains, legumes/peas, turnips, parsley and garlic. Silica helps to strengthen connective tissue, is anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling. It is abundant in cucumbers, particularly the skin.
Juicing is a great way to incorporate more fresh produce into our diet, especially when trying to detox our systems and liven up our skin. When drank on an empty stomach, the healing enzymes and nutrients in fresh juices are in our system, working their magic, in less than 20 minutes. For a simple and tasty Skin Renewal Juice, put 2 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves, 1 handful of parsley, 1 small cucumber, 1 apple, 2 carrots, ¼ of a pineapple, and 1" of ginger (this will give the juice a good kick) through a juicer. Drink up to a cup daily. The juice will keep fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Other dietary considerations are to eat a high fiber diet to promote colon cleansing and soured dairy products (like yogurt and cottage cheese) to promote beneficial intestinal flora. Remember to avoid sugar as it impairs immune function and promotes the growth of bad bacteria that can aggravate skin conditions.
Herbal teas are another great way to promote cleansing and skin beautification. Red clover, alfalfa, dandelion leaf and nettles help to cleanse the blood of toxins while milk thistle and dandelion root help to support and detox the liver.
A fresh, clean diet will promote fresh, clear skin. Show it off!
Jennifer Spaide received her master's degree in human nutrition from Columbia University. She is a mom, personal chef and freelance writer residing in New Canaan. As founder of GreenChic, Jennifer is dedicated to inspiring individuals to get fresh in the kitchen and eat their way to a healthy life. You can contact Jennifer at 203-247-2002 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.thegreenchiclife.com.