Did you know the expression ‘you are what you eat’ is true to a certain extent? While it’s well known that your overall health can be impacted by diet, your outward appearance, skin in particular, is greatly affected by everything you put into your body as well. With Thanksgiving dinner being less than a week away, you are probably already cooking up ideas for your family’s menu. If you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving feast, take a second look at your grocery list before heading off to the super market. If you want to keep your skin looking healthy and naturally glowing throughout the holidays, fill yourself with food and nutrients your skin, and body, will love.
Evidence from a study at the University of Nottingham that was released last year shows eating nutrient rich fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene gives skin a healthy golden glow. The study also showed people found this healthy glow to be more attractive than a tan obtained from UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoids, which are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. It is also an antioxidant that helps reduce damaging compounds produced by daily stress. Beta carotene is not only good for immune system and reproductive health, but it’s the key to healthy glowing skin.
Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a board certified dermatologist with a private dermatology practice in Sonoma County, is a huge advocate of eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables to keep skin looking great. According to Dr. Bailey, not only are fresh fruits and veggies good for a glowing appearance, but by eating these more than dairy, carbohydrates and junk food, other skin problems such as acne can improve as well. Dr. Bailey also recommends purchasing fresh and organic when able because fresh and organically grown produce contains more nutrients. “Eating your fruits and veggies really fresh is key, because beta carotene is fragile and gets lost when the fruits or veggies are processed or stored,” writes Dr. Bailey in her blog post Skip The Tan & Eat Your Veggies For Beautiful Skin Color. Dr. Bailey suggests eating beta carotene foods with a little fat or oil to absorb the beta carotene better.
According to Dr. Bailey, foods high in Beta Carotene include:
Yellow/orange vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash
Dark green and/or leafy vegetables: kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, turnips and their green leaves, beet leaves, mustard and dandelion greens, watercress, cilantro, chicory, endive, escarole
Yellow/orange fruits: apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, nectarines, peaches
Also: summer squash, asparagus, peas, sour cherries, prune plums
To add a little healthy ‘color’ to your Thanksgiving meal, try some new healthy recipes that are spin-offs of classic holiday dishes. Create most of the recipe with fresh ingredients that will make your skin radiant. While it may not be realistic to forgo some of your favorite less than healthy dishes, try substituting or adding a few of these fresh options and eating smaller portions of processed foods.
Skin Healthy Dishes:
Quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes, kale, dried cranberries and red onion
Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts
Skin Healthy Deserts:
Almond and cherry upside-down cake
Healthy pumpkin pie (also see recipe for fresh pumpkin puree)
If you give any of these a try be sure to let us know how it was.
Photo credit: Californiacondor
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.
Cynthia Bailey MD
Lovely to find your enthusiasm for a skin healthy diet here on your blog. FYI, I’m writing this from a very sunny vacation where I’m covered daily in trustworthy Coolibar products: swim tights, rash guard, zip coverup, beach pants, head scarf and ZnO tee. I forgot my Coolibar umbrella (drats!) but with all the togs I’ll fend off the rays just fine.
Have a wonderful vacation Dr. Bailey! You know, you could have a Coolibar travel umbrella delivered tomorrow…