Health Matters | Winter Dry Skin

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Winter Dry Skin

Winter is here, and conditions are perfect for uncomfortable, dry, itchy skin. As soon as the temperature drops and the house thermostat is set a little higher, your skin starts to dry. While slathering on moisturizers may temporarily soothe your skin, it may be time to add another supplemental method.

The general rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water per day. Some days, eight glasses of water may seem like a daunting task. But, you do not have to drink all that water – eat your water! According to the Mayo Clinic, on average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. Help ensure you are reaching your water intake needs by incorporating these six hydrating foods into your diet:

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse containing fiber, calcium and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E with only a few calories. It also contains sulforaphane, a potent compound that boosts your body’s protective enzymes and shields your skin from harmful UV rays. Even though broccoli is packed with nutrients, it still is made up of 90% water, making it a great food to work into your diet for extra hydration.

The spicy-sweet flavor of radishes makes them the perfect addition to salads and slaws. Radishes are another vegetable with high water content – 95%. Radishes also contain large amounts of skin-saving antioxidants and minerals including catechin, silicon, and sulfur.

While the water content of yogurt varies by manufacturer, flavoring, and type of yogurt, the average regular plain yogurt is made up of about 85% water. Not only is yogurt a water-rich food, many are a great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria proven to have powerful skin and health benefits. When ingested, probiotics line the gut and create a healthy and sealed barrier, which helps fight against damage and inflammation ranging from irritable bowel to acne.

When selecting a yogurt, check the label for “live” or “active” cultures to ensure it includes the good-for-you bacteria. Yogurt also contains a substantial amount of potassium and sodium, which can help replace the electrolytes you lose when dehydrated and re-energize your body.

This crisp summer vegetable has the highest water content of any solid food! In fact, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Made up of 96.7% water, cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. The vitamin C and caffeic acid in cucumbers soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling, which is why cucumbers are often used to help swollen eyes and sunburn.

Celery contains just six calories per stalk, but is packed with fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, and K. At 96% water, celery provides a combination of mineral salts, amino acids and vitamins that research shows may hydrate your body twice as effectively as a glass of water. Celery is also known to neutralize stomach acid and is often recommended as a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux.

Tomatoes are a very versatile fruit that can be sliced, diced, and pureed for inclusion in pretty much any meal. Tomatoes are not reserved just for meals, though. Sweet cherry and grape varieties also make an excellent hydrating snack. At 95% water, tomatoes pack enough sweetness and moisture to offset or replace higher-calorie condiments on your sandwich.

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