As Canadians, our skin takes a beating in the winter months. Cracked, dry skin can be more than aesthetically challenging as it can also let in bacteria, causing infection. There are many things that you can do, nutritionally, to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
- Did you know that our cells are approximately 70% water? Water is not only a transporter of nutrients; it is a nutrient in and of itself and as such, is vitally important for the health of your entire body. Water moves nutrients into and through the body and helps to usher toxins out. If you are looking for further information on the importance of water in your diet, I recommend, “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water – You’re not sick, you’re thirsty.”
EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids)
- Fat has gotten a bad rap in modern society, but the pendulum is swinging back in its favour. Healthy fats are immensely important for skin health. Ideally, we should be eating Omega 6’s and Omega 3’s in a 1:1 ratio, as our ancestors did, however, the nature in which we are consuming fats in our diet today has become pathological. 85% of North Americans are deficient in Omega 3 fats, but are getting 20 times the Omega 6 requirements, due to a highly processed diet. Good sources of fats in the diet include nuts (walnuts especially), wild salmon, and ground flax seeds
- Food sources such as leafy greens and red & orange vegetables contain beta-carotene, but our body needs FAT to convert beta-carotene to the usable form of Vitamin A.
- Fight free radical damage and aid in collagen production. Vitamins A, C, and E are some examples that come to mind. Good food sources include leafy greens, berries, citrus, nuts and seeds.
- Prevents oxidative stress, which damages cell membranes. Good food sources of selenium are Brazil nuts (just an oz. will do!) tuna, poultry, and whole grains.
Avoid sugar, including white and processed foods.
- Remember, in addition to causing inflammation, excess sugar is stored in the body as fat.
A few other good health practices for healthy skin include:
- Topically applying organic, virgin coconut oil
- Using a humidifier in your home with essential oils of your choice
- Dry brushing your skin – always work towards the heart. This will also stimulate your lymphatic system and boost your immunity.
In short, the health of your skin is dependent on the same practices you use to promote heart & brain health, control your weight, and live better & longer.
– as published in Smiths Falls Hometown News – December 18th, 2014-