We are starting the cold weather! Soon, December will be
upon us, a time of festive lights, hot chocolate, and
snowflakes! Or are those snowflakes just dry skin? Winter is
around the corner, and with winter comes dry, scaly, cracking
skin! Can nutrition play a part in combating dry skin? You
know my answer, of course!
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It has 2 main levels,
the dermis, and the epidermis. The dermis is the thick lower
layer that gives our skin its shape, and strength. It holds our
blood vessels and nerves. The top layer of our skin is the
epidermis. The epidermis is what protects us from the world
surrounding us. The UV rays, environment, the wind, and
harsh winter weather are all blocked by our epidermis.
Besides lotion or some soothing salves, how do we fight back
with food? Start with water! If you do not drink enough
water, you can literally watch your skin wrinkle and dry up.
Hydrating your body with water will expand the tissue in the
skin and help retain moisture. You can also eat watermelon,
cucumbers, celery, strawberries, veggie soup and smoothies
to help hydrate. Winter is the perfect time for soup!
Deficiency in some vitamins and minerals can affect our skin
in the winter months. Vitamin A fights inflammation that can
lead to dry skin. Try eating a baked sweet potato with a little
cinnamon and butter. Vitamin C protects us from harmful UV
rays and increases our antioxidant healing powers and
hydrates the skin. Try a sweet red pepper or a kiwi.
Vitamin D deficiency can stop cracked skin from healing. Try
mushrooms in your meals or drinking fortified milks like
almond, soy and oat milk. Vitamin E helps increase our
collagen. Collagen keeps our skin elastic and strong and
wrinkle free! You can find E in avocados, mangos, almonds,
sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and red peppers.
A low diet of Omega – 3 can increase your chance of having
scaly, dry skin. Avocados, salmon, cage free eggs and olive oil
help with wound healing and moist skin. Zinc is important to
the immune function of the skin and healing the cracks. Zinc is
found in nuts, legumes, shellfish, and meats. Protein helps our
bodies repair itself, including skin damage from UV rays and
harsh weather. Turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the
body, including the skin and green tea increases collagen and
elastic fiber in the skin.
Summary: Drinking water or eating hydrating foods, eating
foods with vitamins E, C, A, and D, eating foods with Zinc,
Omega-3, proteins and green tea will help in our winter battle
of the skin!
Use salves with coco butter or shea butter. Wear gloves and
Winter squash, sweet potato and feta cheese
1 butternut squash cut in half and seeds taken out
1 large, sweet potato cut in half length wise
3⁄4 cup of feta cheese
Rub the meat part of the sweet potato and squash with olive
oil. Place the sweet potato halves and the squash halves face
down on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees till
tender. Remove the skin of the sweet potato and squash. Put
in a bowl and mush together. Add the feta cheese and mix.
Put in a baking dish and bake till the feta cheese is warm and
melted. Salt/pepper to taste.