Winter weather is slowly creeping in and for those of us who love summer, it’s sad to see it go.
As our bodies get used to the colder temperatures we start to notice our skin becoming dryer and more sensitive to the products we apply. Our appetites also shift to warm, hearty meals instead of quick and light snacks. Now is the time for steaming hot soups, pies and stews! But what we eat during the colder months is hugely important for our wellness and our skin, including the super sensitive skin of our lips.
During winter, a few things might start happening to your lips:
- You’ll unconsciously lick your lips to moisturise them – this actually makes your lips dryer!
- The air is dryer, the wind is blowing and temperatures are colder, making the outside world a pretty hostile environment for lips and sensitive skin.
- The dryness you feel will almost always result in chapping and cracking.
It is possible to maintain the healthy, hydrated skin and moisture-full lips you have during warmer months – even if there’s a chill in the air outside. The best way to do this is to look after yourself inside and out with healthy foods and plenty of hydration.
So here’s our list of the best winter ingredients that will warm you up and keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Think lots of nutrients, antioxidants and essential fatty acids! Fatty acids usually come from plant foods so avocado, flax seed and walnut oil, with their naturally high essential fatty acid content are excellent moisturisers. Almonds, eggs and leafy greens like broccoli and spinach are also a great source.
Salmon: The omega-3 fat content in salmon makes it a very moisturising fish! Omega-3 repairs skin cells, keeping moisture in. Try baked salmon with cous cous, spinach (another winter favourite) and breadcrumbs on top for an easy lunch or dinner on a cold day.
Avocado: This green protein machine is full of healthy fats and vitamins, making it a perfect ingredient for smooth and healthy skin throughout Winter. Spread it on toast, try it in risotto or add it to your Winter morning smoothie.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale and any other dark leafy greens contain lots of vitamin C and antioxidants. These greens will help protect damaged skin and they are low in calories. Try substituting in some leafy greens to your regular meals to add a bit of colour and that little health boost. Greens are also great to help boost immunity, which you’ll need over the next few months!
Sweet Potato: Sweet potato is not only hearty and versatile, it’s a source of vitamin A, C, B6 as well as potassium, fiber and phosphorus to help your body produce more energy. Sweet potatoes have more overall nutrients than regular potatoes but slightly more sugar – don’t worry, we all have a craving for it when it’s cold. You can include sweet potato in almost every meal. Make sweet potato mash, add it to curries or simply bake it up with other delicious vegetables like zucchini, carrots and pumpkin.
Coconut: Coconut is a natural source of minerals like iron, selenium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Coconut milk is lactose free so it’s a great substitute for anyone with intolerance. Coconut oil can also be a good replacement for regular cooking oils because it’s high in natural saturated fats, promoting healthy and glowing skin all year round.
Eggs: Eggs provide some of the best proteins you can get and they are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. With vitamin A, B12, B2 and B5, iron, selenium and essential amino acids, eggs are a good source of nutrients for the skin and body and an easy to prepare meal before braving the cold.
A good rule of thumb for staying healthy and hydrated in Winter is to stick to healthy foods. Have a treat now and then but remember that salty and sweet treats do nothing to help promote hydrated, healthy skin and will lead to chapped and irritated lips. Eating healthy will also strengthen your immunity which is important if you want to keep the cold away!
Look after yourself as we head into Winter and please share your favourite winter recipes with the luk community! I’m always keen to try new healthy recipes 🙂