By: Fola Onifade
Healthy skin is about more than just the products you buy to put on your body, it's about the food you put into your body. In fact, healthy skin begins within, so paying attention to what we eat can help us achieve and maintain flourishing skin.
So what foods should we be eating and why? There are so many foods that provide all sorts of benefits, but today we'll focus on important nutrients that help our skin thrive, and the foods that are full of them.
Prevent Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Fatty fish like salmon and tuna contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to the production of collagen, a protein that helps to keep the skin thick and supple. These fats also help reduce inflammation that can lead to redness and acne.
Sunflower seeds are packed with Vitamin E, with one ounce, containing 41% of our recommended daily intake of the skin-boosting antioxidant. Vitamin E is a water-soluble antioxidant that helps manage the effects of photo damage. And it's key in keeping your skin barrier strong because it actively promotes cellular restoration. Sunflower seeds are also a great source of protein, making them an effective healthy snack to munch on.
Fight Free Radicals & Sun Damage
Green tea contains catechin, a powerful antioxidant compound that helps to prevent the skin from sun damage. Antioxidants are compounds that help fight off free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cells. Green tea is also known for improving the skin's moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity.
Red grapes are a source of reservatrol, a compound that can be found on the fruit's skin. Studies show that reservatrol may help reduce signs of aging by slowing down the production of harmful free radicals.
Target Dark Spots
Bell peppers help the body produce Vitamin A with its rich source of beta carotene. Vitamin A stimulates the immune system and acts as an antioxidant against skin cell damage. It helps regenerate skin tissue, encouraging new skin cell growth and lightening the appearance of dark spots caused by the overproduction of pigmentation.
Tomatoes are an excellent of source of Vitamin C which is known to benefit all skin types by fading hyperpigmentation, brightening, and supporting collagen production. Tomatoes are also filled with carotenoids like licopene that help maintain healthy skin and prevent wrinkles.
Treat oily skin
Sweet potatoes are also full of the carotenoid beta carotene, a nutrient that converts into vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A has been shown to help reduce oil production in the skin, and can be found in several acne medications. According to Healthline, half a cup of baked sweet potatoes has more than 6x our necessary daily value of Vitamin A.
By: Fola Onifade
By now, someone you know has mentioned the life-changing effects they’ve experienced from meditation. The results may sound interesting to you, but you might still be wondering: how do you even meditate? If you’ve got 100 things you could be doing, it can be difficult to rationalize spending precious moments sitting doing nothing.
There are a lot of reasons people choose to begin a meditation practice. For some, meditation benefits include less feelings of stress or better ability to focus. Maybe you've heard it helps with pain and anxiety, or your perhaps your friends share meditation quotes that inspire you.
Whatever the reason, meditation teaches us awareness and this important lesson has ripple effects throughout every facet of our lives. So, how do you do learn this magic trick / superpower thing?
Start With Sitting Still
Another approach you can take — especially if you’re in a place where you can’t easily access a quiet space — is tuning in to the sounds around you. Make note of what you hear and focus exclusively on those sounds to help ground yourself in the present.
Let Your Mind Do What It Does
Then let them gently float away, like a cloud drifting by in the sky. Some days will be better than others. Some days, your mind will be still and quiet, and other days you’ll struggle to rein it in.
Grow Awareness Each Time You Return
Remember that there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” meditation, there’s just awareness and non-awareness. Every time you notice your thoughts have drifted off, you sharpen your awareness. Like physical exercise, the more reps you get at this, the more power and control you gain over your mind.
Meditation won’t solve all your problems or transform you into a mind-bending guru. Most of the time, you won’t even notice its subtle benefits until you’re faced with a situation that you handle in a new way that may surprise you.
Resources to Build Your Practice
So give it a try today. If you can, find a comfortable place where you can relax. Start with 1 or 2 minutes and work your way up to 10. Practice doing nothing. No phone, no TV, no distractions, unless you're trying a guided meditation for assistance.
Check out some of the apps above that we recommend as you begin your mindfulness journey.
Remember to be patient and kind with yourself during this time. Wishing you peace as you and your mind getting reacquainted.
1.) Free Online Workouts
We love the sound of free. Whatever type of workout you’re into, from Instagram to YouTube to professional fitness pages, there's plenty of free content right now. For example, if you want to improve or begin a yoga practice, check out Core Power Yoga’s free live daily online classes.
Or, if you're looking for an HIIT workout, celebrity fitness trainer Massy Arias always provides quick, but powerful workouts via her Instagram, and now she’s adapted to share content that can be done literally on your carpet floor. Trust us, we tried (and struggled till the end).
You can check out this list of over 125 free at-home streaming workouts for more ideas for an indoor fitness session.
2.) Get Outdoors
While we do have to keep our social distance, that doesn’t mean we can’t step outside to soak up some vitamin D. Go for a stroll around your neighborhood and check out this brief guide on how to do a walking meditation.
Turn that stride into a jog if you’re feeling up to it and release all that pent up energy. Even if you don’t make it outside, pop open those windows and let some fresh air waft through your space. Hey, we gotta start somewhere.
3.) Clean Your Crib
While this might not get your heart rate up, it will keep your blood flow moving and your limbs active. Give that oven or refrigerator it’s overdue clean. Spruce up the living room and rearrange the furniture if you’re feeling inspired.
In a time like this, when the anxiety and stress of the pandemic could be hurting our motivation to exercise, keep in mind that the important thing is to keep your muscles active. It doesn’t have to be a workout that will have you gasping for air by the end.
If you want to step it up a notch, add some heat like jumping jacks, push ups, burpees or lunges at the top and bottom of the stairs.
This one is really easy, and possibly our favorite: put on a playlist, turn up the music and dance like you’re having the time of your life. Burning calories while shaking that derrière is our jam.
The key here is less about what you do and more about doing something. Find what gets your body moving and makes you feel good. That’s self care, sis.
Working on your fitness? Tag @skinbyame and let us be your witness!