Keeping Your Skin Hydrated

By Kimmi Devaney

Many of us know that it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during warmer weather. But did you know that colder weather actually increases the chances of dehydration? According to a study at the University of New Hampshire, colder weather affects the release of a hormone responsible for sensing thirst. So, since we don’t feel thirsty, we usually do not drink enough fluids.

Winter and dry skin can go hand in hand. The cold and wind outside coupled with warmer temperatures indoors can do a number on your skin. While one way to moisturize your skin is externally with lotions, there are numerous ways to hydrate from the inside out by selecting foods with higher water content and of course drinking more fluids.

Here’s the good news: eating these foods and drinking more water and milk is healthier for your body and your skin.  In addition to protein and fluids, several vitamins, including vitamins A,C and E, are vital to skin health. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli and several other foods. It acts as a natural antioxidant to protect and help repair our skin.

Not only does the calcium in milk help to build strong bones, but milk also provides vitamin A and fluid for skin health. Milk is nearly 90 percent water by volume, so it is an excellent beverage to rehydrate your body and your skin. The remaining 10 percent provides your body with protein, calcium and other essential nutrients you need every day. For just a quarter per serving, milk is an easy and economical way to stay hydrated and keep your skin looking great.

Dark orange vegetables, such as pumpkin and carrots, are rich in beta carotene, which our bodies converts to vitamin A. Vitamin E, another natural antioxidant, is found in vegetable oil, nuts and sunflower seeds.

There are plenty of ways to add flavor and nutrient-rich foods into your meals this winter. Experiment with new recipes and new ingredients. You might just find a new favorite!

Here are a few more tips to protect your skin this winter:

  • Wear gloves, a hat and scarf to protect exposed skin
  • Wear moisturizing sunscreen on your face
  • Eat a variety of healthful foods and beverages. Aim for at least 2 quarts of fluids daily. The water in vegetables and other moisture-rich foods counts toward the total.
  • Keep a container of water, milk or green tea on hand to quench your thirst
  • Have a beverage with every meal or snack
  • Start meals with soup

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