Are you feeling sluggish, tired or even a bit down this Monday morning?
Along with our overall health, our mood, energy level and appearance can be impacted by our diet. Healthy foods may make for better moods because food is the #1 source of chemical building blocks that regulate emotions and well-being. Nutrition also plays an important part in the health and appearance of our skin. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins A, C, and E, phytochemicals and minerals, as well as the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, contribute to the health of our skin and the foods below can also help boost your mood.
Tomatoes: The molecules that give tomatoes their color are carotenoids, antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Not only do free radicals contribute to skin damage and aging, they also can destroy mood-protecting fats in the brain according to a 2011 study from the National Institute on Aging. This study showed that older people who ate more carotenoid-rich foods were 28% less likely to be depressed. One serving of tomatoes a day is sufficient for your daily dose of carotenoids.
Arugula : Dark, leafy vegetables are among the most nutrient-dense foods we eat. Folate, which can help protect us from feelings of depression, originates in the leaves of plants. Arugula contains three mood boosting elements; folate, fiber and calcium, all which have been shown to fight off feelings of depression.
Fatty Fish: A recent study by the New York State Psychiatric Institute concluded that EPA, a type of omega-3 fat found in fish like salmon and mackerel, can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression. Fish provide an excellent source of high quality proteins and nutritious fats, putting them high on the food choice list for healthy skin. Clearly, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely beneficial to our skin.
Eggs: Studies have increasingly linked low levels of vitamin D to depression. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which may better your mood.
Whole Grains: Carbohydrates are our most important source of energy. Eating carbohydrates promotes a release of insulin, a hormone that stimulates mood-boosting serotonin production. Choosing whole grains over processed carbs helps you to avoid a spike in blood sugar.
Protein: Protein-rich foods keep you alert and energized, which is especially important for those with depression.
What’s for Dinner?
Try this mood boosting recipe from The Beautiful Skin Diet by Dr. Richard Asarch and Chef de Cuisine Neal Mendel
Chili-Seared Salmon with Roasted Pepper Salsa
Per serving: Calories 380, Vit A IU 1528, Vit C mg 83, Vit E mg 1.2
- 4 6 oz. salmon filets, about 1 inch thick
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- dash of salt & pepper
- 2 tsp. olive oil
Red Pepper Salsa:
- 3/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup plum tomato diced
- 1tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, roasted and diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper roasted and diced
- 2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
Method for Salmon: Combine chili powder, black pepper and salt. Rub evenly over salmon filets. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add filets; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily. To serve, top salmon with salsa.
Method for Salsa: Roast peppers on an open flame until black on the outside. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Steam for 10 minutes. Peel under cool water, removing skins and seeds and dice. Discard stems. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Let stand at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dr. Richard Asarch, along with Chef Neal Mendel, have written a book to help guide you to eating for beautiful skin. The Beautiful Skin Diet can be purchased at the Asarch Center DERMAspa or online at amazon.com. The Beautiful Skin Diet is available in paper copy or digital copy for your kindle!
With just a few simple steps, you can achieve a lifetime of beautiful skin. Eating skin healthy foods, being consistent in your skin care regimen and using quality products are all good steps toward great skin health.