M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
WINTER FOODS TO KEEP SKIN HEALTHY AND GLOWING
With winters setting in, the skin tends to becomes dull dry and flaky. Not just the skin, but nails and hair are also effected. With chilly temperatures outside and central heating appliances inside can strip moisture from strands and pores making it dry, itchy, inflamed, irritated and cracked. Skin apart from being the only barrier between the environment and our inside, is also responsible for keeping our body cool and free from germs. Therefore it is very important to keep our skin healthy and safe. Beauty treatments and cosmetics do help, but the real answer to a beautiful skin lies in the kitchen cupboard and fridge! Here are some foods to keep skin healthy and nourished -
Carrots contain the carotenoids such as beta carotene and lycopene. They fight dry skin and protect the skin from harmful sun rays and environmental damage. Also carrots contain vitamins A and C, which help repair body tissues and produce collagen, respectively. A glass of carrot juice in the morning can do wonder to your skin.
Eating more vitamin C-rich foods, such as broccoli, may help to ward off wrinkles and age-related dryness. Also it helps to smoothen skin and keep skin firm.
Spinach boosts lutein, a carotenoid that protects your skin from UV damage in winters. Spinach has higher levels of Vitamin C, vitamin K, Folate and caroteinoids. Usually spinach has to be boiled and then added to salads or you can make a curry out of it like palak paneer. Spinach juice too is effective in keeping your skin healthy.
Citrus foods like oranges and musammi are full of vitamin C, which is great for protecting against immune deficiencies like colds. But this essential nutrient also helps turn back the clock by preventing wrinkles.
The most important thing you need to do to keep your skin glowing during the winter is to drink a lot of water! Our body is made up of about 60% water, so water is required to keep the body hydrated. Also water helps to get rid of waste and toxins, which are the main cause of dull skin. A well hydrated skin looks great even without any kind of makeup.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, and monounsaturated fats, which help your skin to lock in moisture and replenish nutrients in skin. It also promotes collagen production, and help keep your skin supple and firm. You can enjoy avocado as a whole fruits or in salad form.
Your skin needs a boost from within to look fresh and glowing. Tomato is rich in an antioxidant called lycopene which has anti-ageing properties and also acts a sunscreen from within. Since tomato is acidic in nature, its pulp helps tighten pores and prevent pimples.
Almonds are considered as the ultimate power food for the chilly winter days. Almonds contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and E, monounsaturated fats and minerals, and several antioxidants. All these nutrients help to keep the skin hydrated, and promote skin elasticity, help regenerate cells, and protect against pollutants and free radicals.
Your skin tends to look dull when it has scars, acne and blackheads. But lemons can keep these at bay. This fruit has high content of vitamin C which is needed for the synthesis of collagen.
Full of vitamin A, amla helps in increasing the collagen production which is essential to keep your skin looking taut and glowing. The best way to eat amla is to consume it on an empty stomach in its juice form, early morning. This will slow down the degeneration of collagen and also help the body produce more.
This fruit has vitamin C in abundance which keeps your skin firm and gives it an inner radiance. Apple also prevents free-radical damage which causes premature skin ageing. So this winter,eat one apple a day to keep the doctor and wrinkles away.
The more antioxidants you have in your body, the more your skin will glow. And beetroot ensures just that. It is a rich source of anthocyanins which a powerful antioxidants that prevents appearance of wrinkles. Your skin will look pink and glowing if you eat beet. Boil a beetroot and cut it into slices and then consume it. Beetroot can be difficult to digest if eaten raw. You can add a bit of lemon juice on it to reap in its full benefits and add on the zingy taste to it.
Tofu helps to preserve skin-firming collagen because it is rich in isoflavones. Also it is rich in amino acids and calcium iron and other micro nutrients.
Egg yolks contain the carotenoid lutein, which like lycopene protects skin from UV damage. Lutein also helps to keep eyes healthy. Sulfur in eggs helps keep skin smooth by repairing tissue and elasticity in skin.
Research suggests caffeine in tea (coffee too) may help to protect your skin against skin cancer. Caffeine basically kills precancerous and ultraviolet-damaged skin cells by blocking a protein that they need to divide. Green tea is an all-around healer to skin. It helps protect the skin from melanoma and acts as an anti-inflammatory against acne and cuts.
Tuna and other omega-3-rich fish—may help keep your skin looking youthful and prevent skin cancer. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fats in fatty fish, has been shown to preserve collagen, a fibrous protein that keeps skin firm. The good fats help skin look soft and supple by holding moisture.
DIET TIPS IN WINTERS
It’s time for New Year resolutions, partying and holidaying! You want to look your best this New Year and fit into the beautiful skimpy dress that has been adorning your cupboards like forever or the pair of jeans that never zips up. Though the winter blues reduce exercise, slows metabolism and increases appetite; this is your one and only chance to prove the world wrong and get those beautiful comments pouring in. The trick is simple. Just a few steps to follow and you’ll look gorgeous like never before!
WHITE IN YOUR DIET: When opting for a perfect diet that will help you lose weight/ maintain weight even through the holidays, make a check on the ‘white’ ingredients of your diet. Cream, butter, cheese, sugar, cakes with icings, pastries and pastas comprise the white portion of your diet. These have a lot of carbohydrates that get converted into glucose and excess of glucose eventually leads to getting stored as fats. Opt for a high fiber low carbohydrate diet instead that takes time in digestion hence helps us feel fuller for a longer time. It also binds to cholesterol in the gut and helps avoid sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Bran from grains or cereals, fruits with their peels, brown rice and vegetables are good sources of it.
SLASH THE SALT: This winter season, try to lower your salt intake to almost half of what you took during the summers. The cold makes your blood vessels narrow and hence increases the pressure with which the blood flows through your arteries. Also the basal metabolic rate decreases during winters. Intake of fluids decreases and perspiration is slow. All this leads to a considerable rise in blood pressure and water retention in the body, giving a bloated feeling. Avoid salt during the dinners/ having early low salt dinners would be the best solution to overcome this problem.
PLANT BASED DIET: Try including a lot of vegetables and fruits in your diet so that the fiber intake increases. Make three-fifth of your diet plant based. Eat a big portion of salads in your diet during the day time, the midmornings should have two fibrous fruits while the nights should have homemade vegetable soups.
HIGH WATER INTAKE: As always recommended, drink lots of water to give a ‘full’ feeling to the brain. Try liquids in form of soups and stews. Add cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, coriander, spinach etc. to your steamy hot soups. Avoid straining the soups to add on to fiber and satiety levels.
AVOID WINDY FOODS: For those of you who experience bloating abdominal discomfort more during winters, it is due to either because of decrease in activity or because of a wrong choice of food. Avoid foods like pulses, beans, lentils, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts and some artificial sweeteners like sorbitol. Dairy products ca also be a source of bloating if you have trouble digesting lactose (milk sugar) Also try eating slowly and never stay hungry for a long time as this leads to overeating and hence gassiness.
EXERCISE: The last, but the most important point is to keep exercising to boost immunity and maintain your BMR levels. This should never be neglected and helps you manage your weight loss even in winters. Always remember that the human body is evolved with the hibernation theory i.e. the chemical switch in your body makes it store more during winters thus making it difficult to lose in winters. A wee bit more of exercise or yoga will always be beneficial in achieving your target.
So what next! Just take that dress out from the cupboard and promise yourself to fit into it by New Year! This is your secret resolution before the New Year and remember - the countdown has already begun!