Published November 30, 2012
Cold weather subjects the body to stresses that turn up all kinds of ways, like dry, chapped skin, puffy eyes, chapped lips, parched hair and brittle nails. Wear a coat and hat to stay warm, but eat well to take good care of your body from the inside out.
Prevent chapped lips and wrinkles. Omega 3 Fatty acids, found in cold water fish such as salmon and tuna, help skin retain moisture. Berries, especially strawberries, contain Vitamin C, which promotes moist, healthy skin. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in vitamin C was associated with fewer wrinkles.
Hydrate nails and hair. The human body consists of about 60 percent water, Indeed water is essential to life and certainly staying hydrated is necessary to maintain good health. Drinking enough water – about eight 8-ounce glasses daily – not only helps move toxins through and out of the body quickly, it also keeps skin cells plump with moisture to prevent hair and nails from becoming dry and brittle.
Protect against sun and wind burn. Eating dark chocolate can protect your skin from damage. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids, appears to promote healthy skin and even protect against skin cancer. In the study, women who added flavonoid-rich hot cocoa to their breakfast during a three month period had 25 percent less skin reddening after UV light exposure and doubled the flow of blood in the skin, raising moisture levels and reducing dryness. Beta-Carotene, found in foods such as fish liver oil, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, apricots, peaches, can also help prevent dry, flaky skin.
Relieve dry eyes. To soothe achy, puffy eyes eat more vegetables that have natural cooling properties. Cucumbers, celery and even sliced zucchini all have high water content, which can help moisturize eyes while reducing puffiness. Citrus fruits and berries rich in vitamin C help reduce inflammation around the eyes.
Breakout busters. The mineral zinc is known to be a powerful acne fighter, as it may prevent the hormonal imbalances that lead to outbreaks. Zinc is also important for protein synthesis and the formation of collagen, which is fundamental to healthy skin and oil control. Foods rich in zinc include: red meat, poultry, salmon, shellfish, almonds, peanuts, cashews and sunflower seeds.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and author of the Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the bestselling F-Factor Diet. In partnership with the Hain Celestial Group, Tanya has a national line of high-fiber foodsmarketed under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook,follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.