Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Food for Skin: Get the Glow You Crave

If there's something I'm sure each of us can agree on, it's that we would all love to have healthy, glowing skin. We always seem to come across those people who have incredible skin, never get a zit, don't have to wear make-up, etc etc, and silently we may utter a curse or two. Not that we should curse those who have amazing DNA, but instead, let's turn our focus to what WE, who do not have that clear skin DNA, can do to get amazingly healthy, glowing skin.

I wouldn't say I was blessed with clear skin, as I have and still do fight occasional break-outs, however I was blessed to not have to endure years of persistent acne. It's always been just enough, however, that I still rarely leave the house without some form of cover-up. I will say, however, that since I've changed my eating lifestyle, my skin has cleared up substantially and I have far fewer break-outs then previously, and they are quite minimal when they do come. And when I forego healthy eating and dive for the chips, m&m's and swedish berries, I notice a flair of fresh blemishes are not far behind. There's something to this people! Sugar is a HUGE culprit as it's actually toxic to our bodies. Toxic body = horrible skin.

Today I have some fun food combinations that you can try that are known to help clear your skin and give it that glow you've always desired and craved, but maybe have never been able to achieve.

My husband came across this article, and of course passed it onto me knowing it's just what I love reading, learning and sharing! Thus, I'm going to share with you! You can see the original article from the Huffington Post here, but read ahead and I'll touch on what it says. I do change up some of the recipe suggestions, just from my own personal views :)

Today we're talking about nuts and fruit, and how by mixing them together you get the best "bang for you buck" so to speak. They are a powerful team when helping to clear your skin and give you that healthy glow.

Nuts contain "hunger-quashing protein" to help you keep your cravings at bay. Not only that, but they also help boost vitamins and minerals that are essential to your skin's health. These include Omega 3's, vitamin E, zinc and selenium.

When paired with fruit, the combination feeds your body an ever greater amount of antioxidants (those "skin-saving free radical fighters that help ward off skin problems").

Here's some great nut + fruit combos to help get your skin "clear and glowing".

Macadamia Nuts + Pomegranate Seeds = Skin Plumper

The beautiful, buttery taste of macadamia nuts pairs fantastically with the tartness of pomegranate seeds. Both "boost collagen production and contain phytochemicals to help fight the free radical damage that can contribute to fine lines." To make this pair even tastier, why not make it into a sweet treat!

Fruit and Nut Bark

Spread melted, dairy-free*, dark chocolate on a parchment lined cookie sheet and top with chopped macadamia nuts and pomegranate seeds. Chill in the fridge until firm and then break into pieces.

The bark will last up to 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator. (I intend to try this one out ASAP!)

*I personally recommend using dairy-free chocolate as the less dairy we consume, the better our bodies and skin will be :) This is my personal recommendation, however. Feel free to use whatever dark chocolate you love :)

Pecan + Cherries = Freckle Fader

Pecans are highly rich in vitamin E and B complex vitamins, as well as they contain the "highest concentration of antioxidants of any nut". Cherries are rich in melatonin and biotin, thus when these two tasty items are paired they help fight free radicals and damage from UV rays. Try topping a half cup of protein rich Green yogurt, or your favourite dairy-free yogurt (coconut, almond etc,) with fresh pitted cherries and pecans for a great summer snack (always try to buy fruits in season).

Almonds + Apricots = Wrinkle and Blemish Killer

Both Almonds and Apricots are rich in fibre, which helps "detoxify the body and regulate insulin levels." There are studies that show that when our insulin spikes it can contribute to acne (hence junk food causing more acne). Apricots also "contain high levels of vitamin A." Vitamin A is "more readily absorbed by the body when eaten with the mono saturated fat contained in almonds." The amazing apricot is also a very good source of vitamin C, which happens to be a building block of plumping-collagen. You can enjoy this combo by adding chopped, fresh apricots and soaked, raw almonds (not roasted) to a small amount of low fat yogurt, or your favourite dairy-free yogurt.

Walnuts + Blackberries = Zits Fighter

Those who have tendencies toward acne prone skin can rejoice in this "dynamic duo", as it can help soothe that acne prone skin. Blackberries, being slightly tart, contain a plethora of antioxidants and zinc to help "keep pimples in check". All the while, those delightfully, rich tasting walnuts are chalk full of omega-3 fatty acids, to help "further reduce inflammation and combat redness." Combine them for a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack.

Quick Blackberry Muesli
1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten-free)
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (or low fat yogurt or dairy-free yogurt)
1/2 cup blackberries
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp fresh ground flax seeds
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

In a small bowl, combine rolled oats and yogurt. Set aside for 5 minutes and allow oats to soften slightly. Add blackberries, walnuts, honey and flax seeds, stirring to combine. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired (or any other warm spices that you might enjoy, like cloves, nutmeg or allspice).

I definitely will be trying this one out too.

I hope you learned something new through this, as I know I sure did.

What's your favourite healthy go-to snack?

Till next time...

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