We should be eating more foods our skin will love because it is summertime.
Whether on vacation – working in our yards – or getting our gardens to grow, we are very susceptible to the harsh sun.
Our doctors have always warned us about long-term exposure to the sun and how it will accelerate the effects of aging and increase our risk of developing skin cancer.
“Cumulative sun exposure causes mainly basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe sunburns, usually before age 18, can raise the risk of developing melanoma.”
According to WebMD: “Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin.
When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.
The skin also bruises and tears more easily — taking longer to heal.”
So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young; it will definitely show later in life.
ALWAYS DRINK PLENTY OF WATER EVERY DAY!
Protecting Your Skin
According to the Academy of Determotolgy, keep in mind these five keys when applying sunscreen.
- Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water-resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage
- Apply sunscreen generously, 15 minutes before going outdoors.
- Use enough sunscreen. It takes approximately a palm-full to cover all of your exposed skin.
- Apply sunscreen to all bare skin, do not forget the neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. Wear a hat to protect your scalp. Use a lip balm for your lips.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.
Besides wearing proper sunscreen, there are a few items from the kitchen which can help preserve our bodies’ biggest organ – our skin.
10 Foods Your Skin Will Love
Avocados – full of healthy fat to strengthen skin cell membranes to lock in moisture
Beets – betaine-rich beets support healthy liver function, which contributes to glowing skin
Berries – Anthocyanins in the skin of berries – such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries – strengthen skin elasticity and offer a potent serving of antioxidants.
Cinnamon – this anti-inflammatory spice helps moderate the wrinkle producing blood sugar spike caused by sweet foods
Greens – kale, spinach, arugula, dandelion – a variety of leafy greens have vitamins A and C that help heal skin and support collagen production.
Lemon – this detoxifying citrus fruit helps cleanse and balance the body’s pH, while also nourishing it with vitamin C.
Pineapple – rich in vitamin C and B6, it has long been known for its natural antibacterial uses; however, it also reduces acne, promotes an even skin tone, fights aging and reduces skin damage.
Sweet Potatoes – packed with beta-carotene, they help repair and smooth your complexion.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 4 eggs
- 2 Cups sugar
- 2 Cups room temperature mashed sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 pkg. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º degrees.
- Peel, wash, and cut sweet potatoes into diced shapes. Place sweet potatoes in a food processor and pulse 10-15 times, till potatoes resemble mashed potato consistency.
- Beat eggs, sugar, sweet potatoes and oil in a large bowl until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, stirring after adding a little at a time. Stir all ingredients together till thoroughly combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Fill a muffin or cupcake tin with paper-lined cups.
- Fill each cup 3/4 full.
- Bake 16-20 minutes.
- Makes 3-4 dozen muffins, depending on the size of muffins you chose.
Turmeric – this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-packed spice offer a daily dose of anti-aging.
Wild salmon – this source of protein (a building block of healthy skin) is anti-inflammatory and helps protect skin from UV damage.
Water for our bodies
Of course, the best and most simple kitchen item which is good for your skin is WATER!
When we are born, approximately 75% of our body is made up of water, hence why babies have such smooth, soft skin.
At one-year-old, that amount has already dropped to 65%.
As we get older and our bodies change, our body fat composition changes as well.
Body fat contains approximately 10 percent water, while the muscle is approximately 75 percent water.
Ideally, men should have a total body water percentage between 50 and 65 percent, while the ideal range for women is between 45 and 60 percent.
There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking every day.
I try to consume at least 48 – 60 ounces of water every day.
A body fat/water scale is the only way of determining your total body water percentage.
I have a 20 ounce, insulated cup which keeps my water cool. I try to fill it at least 4-5 times a day – sometimes more, but some days it is less.
How much water do you drink every day?
Creamy Healthy Guacamole
- 2 peeled pit removed avocados - only use meat of fruit
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 small chopped shallot
- 1 chopped banana pepper
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- splash of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves you can use the stems too
- 1/2 t. coarse salt
- Place all ingredients into your food processor.
- Pulse till smooth.
- Scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Chill for half an hour before serving.
- Serve with healthy tortilla chips.