If you’ve been keeping up with your studies here at highschoolreuniondiet.com, you’ve already learned why certain special nutrients have a beneficial influence on the skin, and which ones to make sure to make a habit of if you want your skin to stay healthy and appear young. So far we’ve studied 8 Skin Rules!, and encouraged you to be a diligent and disciplined student—because nothing will make your skin beautiful as fast as great food. Here are two more Rules, making it an even ten—which, face it, isn’t much to commit to memory in the service of your precious skin.
Rule 9. EAT B’s
There’s a bunch of the B’s, and each bestows a special beauty benefit on skin. There’s Vitamin B1, which aids circulation (which aids the glow and radiance); Vitamin B2, which helps with smooth color consistency, and will even reduce dyspigmentation; Vitamin B6, which can protect against eczema; and then the Niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid and para-aminobenzoic acid—all essential to the natural regeneration of skin. Each of the beauty-boosting B’s helps to maintain proper functioning of the glands that keep skin smooth and hydrated, and therefore a deficiency in any one can cause dryness or scaliness (and skin that appears older than it should!). The best B sources are red meat, fish and poultry, whole grains, Brewer’s Yeast, bananas, natural peanut butter and eggs. And just to insure you hit all the notes on a consistent basis, it won’t hurt to add a multivitamin to the mix, or take a daily B-Complex—as long as you know that you can’t fully rely on supplements for these vital nutrients, because pills can’t duplicate the super-efficient delivery system inherent in whole foods.
The Do’s and Don’ts of drinking are as important as the ones for eating, and there are plenty of liquids we should prodigiously avoid if we want great skin (soda, sugared “vitamin” drinks, fruit punches and beverages loaded with sugars and HFCS, to name a few of the usual suspects). These drinks are essentially processed foods, and to get a full read on how processed foods age the skin, consult The High School Reunion Diet’s detailed explanation of “The Sugar Addiction Cycle.” Or, just cut to the chase and replace the tired old sodas etc. with the best drink on earth: water. Despite claims that there’s no evidence that water helps the skin, it verifiably helps circulation—which improves the look of the skin. Water also flushes toxins and impurities from the system, which definitely helps the appearance—color, hydration and texture–of skin. So drink water, getting your feet wet with at least 6 glasses a day, starting in the next five minutes. And then, for extra credit, consider making a regular thing out of a cup of green tea. Surely you’ve heard by now of its motherlode of antioxidants; its showy wealth of vitamins C, D, and K; its rich riboflavin, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron. As a bonus, it sports anti-inflammatory substances known as catechins, and studies show this helps prevent basal and squamous cell skin cancers (for health), and aging (for beauty).
High School Reunion Diet
Popular dermatologist and High School Reunion Diet author Dr. David Colbert advises patients that simple foods replenish skin in a way that no cosmetic dermatology procedure quite can. And certain skin “issues” (wrinkles, spots, aging) respond brilliantly to special, target nutrients. All you have to do is learn their sources, and make a point of eating them in whole foods.
In How to Save Your Skin Parts I and II, you learned to Eat ACE, Don’t Eat White, and several other HSRD Skin Rules! (If you forgot, better go back and do your homework—these lessons are as good for your health as for your beauty.) Here are two more daily Rules for maintaining youthful, strong and luminous skin:
Rule 7. Eat Silica.
Say what? What’s silica? Good thing you asked, because both your sunny complexion and your shiny hair rely on the answer—and on your getting enough of this essential trace mineral. For one, it will help your skin and hair retain moisture, and this means an end to split ends as well as to dull, dehydrated skin. Silica also strengthens connective tissue—including muscles, ligaments, bone, nails, cartilage—and a deficiency might show up as lack of elasticity in the skin and compromised wound healing capabilities. Good sources of silica include whole oats and brown rice, asparagus, green beans, lettuce, celery, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, leeks, strawberries, rhubarb, mango and sunflower seeds.
Rule 8. Eat Zinc
Zinc is good for your skin not just because it helps control the production of oil (and thus helps you stay clear of acne), but also because, as a mineral that we need in order to synthesize collagen, it is key to proper wound healing, the skin’s precious self-repair mechanism. Zinc helps Vitamin A (another Skin Rule!) travel more efficiently from the liver to the skin. And studies are being conducted on the effectiveness of zinc treatment on a range of skin conditions from contact dermatitis to sunburn. Besides being key to skin health, zinc helps us maintain healthy eyesight and normal sense of smell, and assists mightily in proper immune system function. It’s even said to shorten the duration of the common cold. Among its many benefits, it is linked to prostate health in men. Great sources of zinc include fresh oysters, red meat and poultry, eggs, liver, whole grains, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon seeds, pecans, cashews, and peanuts.
Watch here for more of Dr. Colbert’s Skin Rules!
Photo via Nickton– http://www.flickr.com/photos/18203311@N08/4936402903/
In your previous High School Reunion Skin lesson ( http://www.highschoolreuniondiet.com/2011/01/high-school-reunion-skin/ ) you learned four key nutrients that, when taken in whole foods, naturally renew and beautify the skin. (If you didn’t learn, or don’t remember, go back to PART I and do your homework until you do.) Your main assignment here is to understand that medical research now proves that certain nutrients have a very special influence on the skin, and when consumed regularly will help it stay healthy and appear young.
The next step of course is to know those nutrients, and to know the best food sources for them, and then to make a point of consistently eating those foods. So to add to the original four ‘rules’, here are two more….
RULE 5. EAT C
Too obvious? Well, then add that tried and true wisdom to this: together with the two super-skin vitamins we already learned in Part I, this trilogy represents the most potent skin renewal combo on earth. Vitamin C is an absolute goldmine, offering the richest free rad protection you can get, and its best source is food, not the supplements. How easy is this? Eat red and green bell peppers, guava, broccoli, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips. Pick your faves and eat daily. This level of C helps protect collagen and elastin, the important fibers in your skin’s structure, and so helps prevent wrinkles. And as we learned in the High School Reunion Diet, a C Ester daily, in addition to plenty of C rich foods, makes for a perfect, and low-cost, skinsurance policy.
6. EAT Selenium
It’s a mineral. And in addition to providing good solid free rad protection, it plays a key role in maintaining tissue elasticity. And that quality, of course, makes for young-looking skin. As a bonus, selenium is known to help prevent skin cancer, because it can help protect the skin against ultraviolet light. Great dietary sources of selenium include seafood such as tuna and salmon, wheat germ, garlic, eggs, brown rice, brazil nuts and whole-wheat bread. Make a point of incorporating these into your daily diet and watch your skin—literally—bounce back!
Check back here for the next High School Reunion Skin rules!!!
The Food Network featured a great recipe for Brussels Sprouts a while back and here at the HSR Diet we love our Brussels Sprouts! Just a few benefits of the cabbage-related veggies include ample amounts of Vitamin A, K, C, B6, dietary fiber, potassium and iron. Surprisingly Brussels Sprouts even have some Omega 3 fatty acids thrown in, those same health-boosting fats found in fish.
The best part of the recipe below is it only takes about 15 minutes to cook, a little less if you’re a pro in the kitchen. Plus, the pecans add a dash of nutty flavor and the cranberries are packed with powerful antioxidants. Try mixing it up with different types of nuts for variety.
What you need:
- 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
- 3 ounces coarsely chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Slice the Brussels sprouts using the thinnest slicing disk of a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you may slice thinly with a knife or a mandoline.
Set a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat and add the pecans. Cook, stirring continually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma, approximately 2 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and stir to combine. Once the butter has melted, add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continually, until the color brightens and the sprouts are just tender, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cranberries, toss and serve.
Looking for something to do with all those extra Easter eggs that never made it into a basket? We have just the recipe for an egg scramble packed with essential vitamins and tons of nutrients.
Onion Spinach Scramble
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (cold pressed, virgin)
- Course salt to
- 1-2 cups freshly chopped spinach
- 2 or 3 eggs – beaten
Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the chopped spinach. Add egg mixture to the sauteed onions and cook as a pancake until done to your liking.
Good thing that eggs are an excellent source of protein and Vitamin A. Not to mention the significant amounts of Iron and Calcium you can find inside. So chow down and enjoy!
Kale is a close relative of the Brussels sprout and a bonafide superfood. The green cabbage-like veggie is loaded with nutrients and vitamins.
Here are just a few:
- Beta-Carotene – Great for the eyes
- Vitamin A- Helps prevent cataracts
- Vitamin C- Cold prevention
- Phytonutrients- Help prevent cancer
- Calcium – Promotes strong bones
- Potassium – Crucial for heart function; promotes good digestive and muscular function
- Manganese – Promotes good carb, protein and fat metabolism
Check out all the Virtues of Kale on a fellow nutrition blog.
As we learned in The High School Reunion Diet, Carbs aren’t all bad for you. It’s a matter of knowing the smart ones from the dumb ones. While the marketing terms of the packagers may take some decoding, ‘whole grain’ means smart carbs.
When reading a nutrition label for carbohydrates, be sure to read carefully, because the wording can be tricky. For example, “Made with whole grains” is a different thing from “100% Whole Grain.” We don’t know just how much “made with’ really indicates. It could be 2%, or it could be 92%. There’s no way to know.
To be sure, flip over the box and check the list of ingredients. Whole grains should appear at the top, and be referred to as “whole.” Stay away from refined flours and even ‘multi-grains’ unless they’re listed as whole. Your body will appreciate that whole grains offer sustained energy, while refined grains–often with added sugars that extend shelf life (i.e. white bread)– spike your blood sugar and then crash it, leading to a dangerous instability that can cause diabetes and other serious medical conditions.
For a list of common grains and what they do for your body check out this article on GirlHabits.
Dr. David Colbert of High School Reunion Diet fame appeared on the Martha Stewart Show this morning, March 3. The charming Ms. Stewart started the show off with a trip down memory lane with her guests, reminiscing about their high school days. Martha reported that she’d been an athlete and a “goody-two-shoes.” David noted that his favorite part about high school was leaving it. Later in the show, the Doctor shared his Shopping List, recommending we eat certain foods on a daily basis to stay young and healthy, inside and out. Included were:
Greek Yogurt for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effect, and its ability to fight infection
Blueberries for the antioxidants and phytonutrients (read: pretty skin)
Kale, which he gave an A for its Vitamin A. (Makes your eyes see better and sparkle more)
Spinach, as the most nutritious plant on planet earth
Red and Orange Bell Peppers, because great color means great nutrients
Almonds, for the kind of fat that helps keep you thin
Olive Oil, the world’s most famous fat, to be used in cooking every day
To see a clip of Dr. Colbert on the show, please go to NBC.com and click on The Martha Stewart Show
Winter Chops with Cherry Tomatoes
Just because it’s not the season, that doesn’t mean you should forego the stupendous health benefits of the cooked tomato. Though even ketchup and pizza sauce will give you the superb antioxidant protection of the tomato’s abundant lycopene, often what’s served underneath the sauce doesn’t do much for your waistline or your health. Learn to use tomatoes in new and inventive ways even when you’re not getting them fresh from your garden. This simple recipe delivers the goods, with the added health benefits of the onion—proven to help protect against many forms of cancer if eaten on a regular basis. (For all the details on both of these star vegetables, see The Lists section of The High School Reunion Diet.) Recipe serves 4.
4 Pork chops
1 Medium onion, sliced thin
2 pints red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the sliced onion until translucent and lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl.
2) Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, then sauté chops until browned and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a platter.
3) Return the onions to the pan, add the tomatoes and sauté together over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread on chops and serve.