Food for dry skin

Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Dee has decided to kick off reader's questions with one she is often asked about: what can be done about skin becoming very dry in winter.

Dry skin is common with the change of seasons, due to a change in the air temperature and humidity as well as exposure to heating.

We often tend to drink less liquid when it is cooler also. Skin is the largest organ of the body so what we put into our body will impact on the hydration levels and general health of your skin.

Ensure that you drink plenty of liquids such as room temperature water, herbal teas, broths and soups.

An estimate of how much we should be aiming for is 25ml per kg body weight on rest days and 35ml per kg on exercise days.

There are some really pleasant herbal teas available. Ginger and lemon is a very warming one in winter, as opposed to peppermint, which is energetically cooling so best in warmer weather.

Try to increase the amount of good fats you have in your diet by regularly having raw mixed nuts and seeds, avocado and oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel.

Even if you are not fussed on avocado, I challenge you to try this chocolate mousse recipe. Once it has been refrigerated for around an hour, it loses all avocado taste.


Raw heavenly chocolate mousse (dairy-free) 

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
¼ cup cacao powder
4 Tbsp maple syrup(check it is not maple flavoured syrup)
2 tsp vanilla extract cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil (softened)
Pinch of mineral salt

Method

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and velvety. Pop it into the fridge for at least an hour and then enjoy. Top with fresh berries and coconut flakes, if desired.


Rough dry skin or rough raised bumps on the backs of arms can be a sign of vitamin A and beta carotene deficiency. Liver and cod liver oil are the best sources of vitamin A, but egg yolks and leafy green vegetables are other options.

Orange vegetables such as pumpkin, kumara and carrots are also good sources of beta carotene. A tasty snack idea is to roast carrots with a little coconut oil until soft then add them to home made hummus.

Hummus is so easy to make: put chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and cumin seeds into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add roasted carrots. Have this tasty dip with vege sticks and rice crackers or in place of butter.

Remember to exfoliate regularly in winter. You can make your own scrub using coconut oil and raw sugar. Use it in the shower with loofah mitts; the heat from the shower will soften the coconut oil and leave your skin glowing.

The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.

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