What to eat now!
By Allison Tannis
Stressed out? Then, so is your skin. Not only does stress make you feel terrible, it also causes the formation of damaging free radicals in your skin, causing skin to look dull, damaged, aged and wrinkled. Bite back against stress with the help of these seasonal (and delicious) skin-beautifying foods.
The antioxidants, found abundantly in cranberries, neutralize free radicals so they don’t damage collagen and elastin in your skin. A study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry suggests we should also bite into more cranberries because they contain resveratrol, a polyphenol shown to fight inflammation. Inflammation is behind any red or puffy look on your skin. Topical application of resveratrol, according to a study at the University of Wisconsin, can protect against ultraviolet radiation.
Do you make that scrunched-up face, or frown when you’re stressed? In 2007, a research study reported that goji contains natural compounds that prevent the skin from over expanding when under mechanical stress. This means that the skin won’t over-stretch when pulled, such as when you frown over holiday stress. Repeated frowning damages the skin and causes wrinkles. Add a splash of goji juice into your holiday beverage as it just might help reduce the formation of expressive wrinkles on your face.
Rushing around this holiday season? Pack dried fruit into your purse or, better yet, divulge into your mom’s famous fruit cake packed with dried fruits, nuts and other delicious-ness! Dried fruits are rich in vitamin C and iron – a one-two punch against collagen loss: vitamin C is an antioxidant that stops free radicals from breaking down collagen, and iron is involved in new collagen formation.
Eating turkey is good for your skin because unlike red meat, it is low in the saturated fat that can promote inflammation in your skin. And, turkey a great source of protein – one serving (113 grams) provides about 65% of your daily protein needs. Edema, or a puffiness in the skin, can be caused by a lack of protein in the diet. Two nutrients in turkey, selenium and cysteine, help reduce puffiness by preventing inflammation.
Sprinkle some dry rosemary on your holiday turkey because rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 keeps your body’s levels of homocysteine at bay. Homocysteine is a problem for your skin as it obstructs the ability of collagen to cross-link. Collagen cross-links to make the skin stronger, firmer and appear tighter.
Last but not least, keep level-headed by staying hydrated with lots of water. Dehydrated skin cells are flaccid leading to a loose, wrinkled, unhealthy appearance. Happy holidays!
About the Expert Allison Tannis, BSc MSc RHN wrote Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles. She is a nutritional scientist and registered holistic nutritionist based in Halifax, NS.