Our skin can become dry for any number of reasons. The sun will naturally have a drying effect, but over the winter months we can often find the exposure to cold and blustery conditions, mixed with the overuse of central heating, can really take its toll on our skin. Long, hot showers can have a drying effect, while some harsh soaps and detergents can also play their part in stripping moisture from our skin. Some medical conditions make us more prevalent to flakier skin, and if there’s a history of skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, extra care is always needed to avoid the skin becoming too dry. Certain medications, such as diuretics, statins, and chemotherapy, may also play their part in contributing to our skin becoming dry and flaky.
To keep our skin smooth and supple, it’s important to use a good moisturiser, especially after a shower or bath. However, no matter how well we moisturise on the outside, it will never give us the glowing skin we desire if we don’t maintain a good level of hydration from within, by nourishing our body with plenty of water and a nutrient-rich diet.
There are many nutrients we can aim to include in our diets that are widely promoted for their skin-loving properties. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, mackerel, chia seeds and flaxseeds, help to moisturise the skin from the inside out. Vitamin A supports our immune system while promoting natural moisturisers to our skin. Brightly coloured foods such as carrots, yellow and red peppers, and apricots have high levels of beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A by the body. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant which supports the skin’s lipid layer and encourages skin hydration. Avocados, spinach, linseed oil, nuts and seeds are all good sources of Vitamin E. Keeping adequately hydrated with plenty of fluids will in turn maintain a good level of moisture within the skin. It can also be beneficial to include some foods in our diet with a high-water content such as watermelon, courgettes, and cucumber.
Certain foods with excess sugar or salt content, as well as alcohol and caffeine, can encourage our bodies to dehydrate and are therefore best limited.
Garlic & Lime Salmon with a Flavoursome Diced Salad
Both the salmon and the salad in this recipe are packed with skin-loving nutrients. The salmon fillets can be served hot, or alternatively, once cooled, can be refrigerated for later use.
For the salmon
For the salad
For the dressing
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/ fan 170°C/gas mark 5.
2. Place the lime zest and juice, garlic, olive oil and chilli flakes into a bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper, and whisk with a fork to combine.
3. Place the salmon onto a greaseproof-lined baking tray and evenly cover both with the garlic and lime sauce. Place in the pre-heated oven for 18-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
4. While the fish is cooking, make the salad by dicing the red onion, red and yellow pepper, and finely dicing the red chilli. Add to a large bowl along with the roughly chopped coriander.
5. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl.
6. When ready to serve, divide the salad between two plates, drizzle over a little dressing and top with the cooked salmon.
Omega-3 Seed Mix
A sprinkling of this omega-3 seed mix gives an instant and convenient nutrient boost to a bowlful of porridge or a plateful of salad. It can also be added to smoothies or soups. As the freshly ground seeds may lose some of their nutritional benefits overtime, it’s best to prepare this mix in small batches and then store in a sealed container in the fridge.
1. Add the seeds to a high-powered blender or coffee grinder and pulse until they become fine and ground.
2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.