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SKIN DEEP: Smart snack choices for skin health


Wild blueberries make a healthy snack and are known to reduce inflammation.
Wild blueberries make a healthy snack and are known to reduce inflammation. - 123RF Stock Photo

New Year’s resolutions come at a great time. After weeks of carb loading, devouring sweets and probably indulging in too many adult beverages and consuming a shocking amount of cheese, most people are in the mood to take a break from junk and clean up their diets. I am one of these people. I am ready to put the chocolate down.

One of the first indications of overindulging can be seen on your skin, although it appears differently on everyone. Breakouts, eczema, hives, red cheeks, flakes, an overall dull appearance and dark circles can show up, letting you know it’s time to invite fruits and vegetables back to the table.

Luckily, as easy as it is to wreak havoc on your skin, it’s just as easy to get back on track with the right food choices, especially those foods that are high in nutrients that feed the skin exactly what it needs.

Here are a few stars that shine the brightest out of a medley of fruits, vegetables and nuts for skin health.

Walnuts

These are packed with omega 3s, which are known for increasing skin health. The omega 3s are a source of healthy, collagen-boosting fat and there are more in walnuts than any other nut. Rich in polyphenols, walnuts are also high in antioxidants, which help decrease inflammation and protect cells from free radicals.

Avocados

Another way to get your healthy fats is through the tasty avocado fruit. Containing vitamins A, C and E, the avocado hits a lot of skin health check marks. You can even mash it up and put it directly on your skin for a natural, DIY, hydrating face mask.

Sweet potatoes

The orange hue of the sweet potato comes from carotene, also found in other orange coloured fruits and vegetables. Sweet potatoes stand out because they carry 200 per cent of your daily intake. They also contain skin-friendly nutrients, such as calcium, selenium, B vitamins and vitamins A and C. They are also heavy in antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Wild blueberries

Lucky for us, we live in blueberry country, because these little berries are top rated for antioxidants and are high in vitamin K, which is commonly used to treat dark circles under the eyes. They are also rich in vitamin C and are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Green leafy vegetables

There could not be a list of best foods for skin without our green friends, the leafy vegetables packed with every nutrient you need for glowing skin. Vitamins, beta carotene, minerals, folate and lutein — these are the cream of the crop for skin health, cell renewal, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-aging nutrients and antioxidants.

Denise Surette is a journalist, master esthetician and part-time instructor at the Hair Design Centre’s school of esthetics. She lives in Lawrencetown with her family and two cats.

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