For glowing skin and a healthy immune system that will keep you in tip-top shape throughout winter (and most of the year, to be honest!), look no further than what you have in the kitchen. Yep, you CAN quite literally eat yourself HEALTHY. No expensive beauty products or time-consuming regimes here, mama! #CheersToThat
by Julia Simmonds, pharmacist and founder of Itchy Baby Co
Our skin is the first line of defence against bacteria and coupled with our immune system, needs to be in peak condition to fight off colds and flus during winter.
What we eat can impact the general condition of our skin as a natural defensive barrier to fight illness as well having a huge effect on how well our immune system works.
There are some foods which offer it all when it comes to both glowing skin and immune health. These foods are generally high in vitamins A, B6, C, E, D and often with bonus properties such as Omega-3.
Foods to eat to keep you and your skin healthy through winter:
1 // Oats
Oats have natural anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce skin inflammation or redness as well as protect against skin irritation.
Warm oats are the perfect winter-time breakfast with benefits! While they are warming up our insides they are also filling our bodies with antimicrobials and antioxidants. Oats are also said to have anti-inflammatory properties which can come in handy when fighting a sore throat.
2 // Calcium-rich foods
The top layer of skin needs calcium to retain moisture and stop the skin from losing hydration and becoming dry. Calcium makes a natural sebum, which coats the skin to stop water loss.
The skin also needs calcium to help make new skin cells, if the skin isn’t able to keep up with the new skin cells the body needs, it can become very dry, thin and more susceptible to breaks and tears.
3 // Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of vitamin E which the skin needs a lot of for repair, and also to decrease skin inflammation and redness. Vitamin E also keeps skin cells healthy by reducing the damage of free radicals which can be a result of poor food choices, smoking or pollution.
Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E to keep the skin in great condition by defending it against environmental triggers which can weaken the skin’s natural barrier and cause inflammation and infection. As well as vitamin E sunflower seeds have vitamin B6 which is one of the most well-known immune-boosting vitamins.
4 // Coconut water
Drinking coconut water, not only keeps your skin hydrated to prevent dryness but has natural properties which can also help to reduce skin inflammation and redness. These properties regulate how the body responds to inflammation and lessens the potential impact of the body’s response. Coconut water also contains lauric acid which can help protect against skin infections.
5 // Red capsicums
Citrus fruits often get all the glory when it comes to foods full of vitamin C, but one cup of red capsicum has three times the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C helps form white blood cells to strengthen the immune system and fight infection. The body isn’t able to store vitamin C so remember to include in your diet every day.
6 // Sweet potatoes
With the skin on! And baked rather than boiled because boiling will lose the water-soluble nutrients. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A needed to keep our skin healthy and vitamin C to fight infection.
7 // Fatty fish
Tuna and salmon are high in vitamin D which can help improve skin elasticity and also strengthen the immune system. These fish are also high in Omega-3 which turns on the cells in our immune system that are able to fight infection.
8 // Almonds
Nuts, but in particular almonds because they have in abundance both vitamin E for skin strength and repair, and vitamin C to help prevent colds. Vitamin E can also help with dry skin as it works to lock hydration into the top layer of the skin.
9 // Spinach
Spinach, with its vitamin A and C maintains our infection-fighting cells so they are ready for action. Combined with vitamin E this combination of vitamins can help improve skin tone, complexion and repair.
10 // Water
And as always keep up your water intake to keep skin well hydrated and flush the body more quickly of toxins.
You might also like 7 herbal teas to help promote winter wellness, 5 inspiring mamas to help you kickstart the week, and We’re throwing in the 9-to-5 for life on the road with a 1-year-old.