What are you bringing to your holiday table this year? A huge turkey? A heap of stuffing? Why not bring something healthy? Holidays tend to take a terrible toll on our skin as stress combined with unhealthy eating is a sure recipe for wrinkles and zits. So, when your family asks you what you’re giving them this year, you can say, “I am bringing the gift of good skin” and prove it by bringing a bounty of skin enhancing foods to the table. If you are looking for the best way to give your relatives a priceless gift this season, here are some great ideas.
Put some low fat cheese on the macaroni! One of the most important parts of a good skin diet is Vitamin A and one of the best places to find it is in low fat dairy. Liz Lipski, PhD, MD, especially advocates low fat yogurt for good skin because it contains not only vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the live bacteria associated with good intestinal health. Says Lipski, “Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin.”
If you’re looking for essential fatty acids, try cooking with some good quality oils. They help to keep skin lubricated and plump. Look for the oils labeled as “expeller processed, cold pressed, or extra virgin” for the best skin results, as these are not subject to the nutrient loss that occurs in commercial processing.
How about some green tea as a dessert accompaniment? Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and it can also protect the cell membrane from damages. Some experts believe that it may even help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer. A study published by the Archives of Dermatology seems to back this claim, showing green tea to be effective in reducing the damage from ultraviolet light and lowering the risk of skin cancer.
Turkey, Tuna, Muffins, Whole Wheat Bread, and Brazil Nuts
You may be wondering what all these seemingly unrelated foods have in common. The answer is selenium. Two clinical trials performed at Edinburgh University showed that high selenium levels were likely to lower the likelihood of cancer in skin cells. Whole grain products can provide healthy alternatives to items containing white flour on the holiday table, like sugar, cake and white rice, all of which can cause inflammation associated with skin breakouts.
Salmon, Flaxseed, Walnuts and Canola Oil
Used alone or as part of a recipe, all of the above are great sources of fatty acids, which are key elements in healthy skin. Ann Yelmodas McDermott, PhD, says,” Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes,” which make up the skin barrier, responsible for holding in water. The stronger this barrier is, the better the ability of your cells to hold on to moisture. The result? Younger, plumper skin.
And, just think of how popular you will be when word gets out about all the great food you bring to parties! You’ll be receiving invitations from even the most selective of hosts! Let us know how much your social life has improved! We always love to hear from you!