You know summer is just about here, and I, myself love being outdoors, relaxing and, of course, eating well. Eating well has become especially important over the last several years because, if I eat well, I feel well and my skin feels well. And that matters now..
And although, we’re currently getting sloshed with a bit of rain, typically, the month of May in Budapest is already quite warm and sunny. So, in expectation of clearing clouds soon to come, I’m happily breaking out the grill, rinsing off the apron and putting on my chef’s cap.
It’s time to start making the summer menu.
This year, one of the things on our shopping list is fish along with a variety of grilled veggies and salads.
What I want to share this week is that eating well really is essential when it comes to providing all the nutrients your skin (and body) needs to stay healthy, tone and wrinkle free.
Because preparing a ‘skin smart’ summer specials can be a bit enervating, I’ve put together just a few quick tips on what nutrients to look for when at the market. (these are just some of my personal favorites. There are many more…)
But, before I list them, here are 4 tips on good nourishment:
First of all, buy the best quality food that you can. If there was ever one thing that’s worth its weight in gold, it’s quality food. So take a trip to the nearby farmers market and buy fresh local produce. The people there are usually quite friendly and knowledgable about what’s on the stand – so you can really learn a lot. Besides the great tastes and fresh smells, it can also be a few fun hours out. We have several large farmers markets here in Budapest with an amazing assortment of fresh produce coming from all parts of the country. (there’s so much to explore and I’m still not familiar with a lot of it, myself). Here are a few links to a few farmers markets that you shouldn’t miss out on when you’re in Budapest.
Second, try not to overeat. It’s always been a good rule of thumb to eat slower and chew your food thoroughly instead of gulping everything down fast. Eating slower is better for your digestion, hydration and eating pleasure. In fact, your entire digestive system will appreciate you taking your tummy into consideration as well.
Third, eat smaller portions throughout the day instead of having stuffing sessions. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast such as fresh eggs, whole grain bread, fresh butter, yogurt, kefir or oatmeal. It’s just what your body needs to kick start your energy and digestive system. The protein, healthy fats and slow burning carbs will dampen the hunger pangs and thus keep you more satisfied till lunch. And as a side effect, you’ll probably drop a few pounds as well. Avoid sugary and processed foods as much as possible as they’ll cause quick insulin spikes and will keep your tummy growling for most of the morning. Meals throughout the rest of the day should gradually get smaller and try to end eating by latest 8 pm. This way you give your body a chance to rest for many hours overnight and utilize the nutrients you’ve already given it during the day.
Fourth – water. I can’t stress the importance of drinking fresh, filtered water. I’m always so surprised to see and hear how many adults (and kids) either don’t drink or enjoy drinking plain water. In my opinion, this is just a matter of habituation. “Just drink it!”
Now back to the summer diet
Because of all the time we spend outdoors in the sun, it’s important to treat your skin right. Healthy skin regulates our heating/cooling system, strengthens our immunity, protects us from noxious agents in the environment and free radical damage from the sun. Remember, the environment isn’t without its dangers. Properly nourished, the skin has the best fighting chance to keeping itself well, which means staying smoother in texture, hydrated and wrinkle-free; ergo Looking Younger!
What nutrients are best for your skin?
Especially in the midst of the summer, our diet should contain a generous mixture of proteins, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins(from foods for better absorption) and as little processed food and sugars as possible. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc and protein are exactly what our skin needs to keep its protective layer intact, hydrated and functioning well. In other words, these healthy nutrients serve to strengthen your skin, while sugars and other processed foods serve exactly the opposite. They not only have little nutritional value, but they also precipitate weaker skin!
Here are just a few really important nutrients that you want abundant in your food.
Omega-3 fatty acids – increases the thickness of the skin and keeps it moist, supple and strong
Zinc – an important mineral that helps in the production of new, young and healthy skin cells
Vitamin E, C – strong antioxidants that protect against harmful free radicals and sun damage. They also stimulate the production of new protein collagens for healthy skin structure and support
Vitamin A – beta carotenes (carotenoids) act like sunscreen which protects against the harmful effects of the sun and free radicals.
My little ‘Skin Smart’ food shopping list!
– Salmon – grilled or cooked with fresh lemon, high in omega 3 fatty acids, proteins and vitamin E
– Avocado and tomatoes – salads and guacamole, high in healthy fats, zinc, vitamin E
– Bell peppers(red, yellow or green) – salads and sandwiches, raw, grilled or cooked – high in Vitamin A (beta carotenes) and Vitamin C
– Red Wine – high in Reservatrol, proven anti-aging effects (with moderate consumption)
– Dark Chocolate (70%) – high in anti-oxidants, but who cares…it’s chocolate 🙂
– Sweet Potatoes – high in beta carotene
So, enjoy the upcoming summer season spending time outdoors with family and friends, relaxing (stress management) and, of course, ‘skin smart’ eating.
If you have any special recipes that you would like to share, please let me know. I would be glad to share them on the post.
(Kate and I love to create a variety of salads. I thought I would share this mixed garden salad with roasted pine nuts, chicken and pumpkin seed oil.)
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Until next time
Randy Simor MD
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