Happy 4th of July! Hopefully today you will celebrate your freedom and spend time with friends and family. Holidays and days off from work give us a chance to re-group and relax and can boost our moods when we head back to the daily grind. Healthy foods may also make for better moods because food is the #1 source of chemical building blocks that regulate emotions and well-being. We’ve already told you that nutrition plays an important part in the health and appearance of our skin. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals are all important components. Of major importance for your skin are vitamins A, C, E and the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids.
Many of the foods we recommend for your skin health could also boost your mood.
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. On serving of tomatoes a day is sufficient for your daily dose of carotenoids.
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.
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.
This weekend’s fun recipe for summer includes all three of these mood and skin boosting ingredients:
Chili-Seared Salmon with Roasted Pepper Salsa
by Dr. Richard Asarch and Chef de Cuisine Neal Mendel
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
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.