Head-to-toe healthy glow
Looking for a way to keep that healthy, youthful glow on your skin? Certain foods are naturally rich in nutrients that may help keep skin healthy and even fight signs of aging. The best part is that these skin-loving foods are some of summertime’s favorite treats.
Topping the list for skin-friendly foods are peaches, plums and nectarines, which offer an abundance of nutrients naturally designed to keep skin healthy. Vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants found in peaches, plums and nectarines work beneath the surface to protect and rejuvenate skin from the harmful damage of ultraviolet rays. Peaches are especially rich in alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), a key nutrient added to many age-defying cosmetics.
Studies have found lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in red-colored fruits, tends to act as a natural sunscreen. Lycopene actually protects skin cells from the sun’s burning rays which can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer, and replenishes the cells. In addition, lycopene helps your skin act as a natural filter, allowing enough sunlight through for your body to produce vitamin D. A bonus from lycopene-rich foods is that they may also help prevent wrinkles by strengthening the elasticity of skin tissues while keeping them from losing their tension. Watermelon, ruby red grapefruit and tomatoes are all rich in lycopene.
Colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and A are important for collagen formation, which helps keep skin firm. Bright-colored fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, carrots, spinach and broccoli, are your best choice for vitamins A and C.
Water is often overlooked, but has an important function in how elastic your skin is. Water, along with other beverages such as iced tea, is a good choice to help keep skin well-hydrated and looking firm.
Summertime best picks for healthy skin include: Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Watermelon, Tomatoes, Bell peppers, Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Broccoli, Pineapple, Oranges.
All you need:
2 pounds peaches, peeled (if desired, see Tip), pitted and sliced (5 cups), or frozen slices
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of Salt
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon chopped almonds or walnuts
All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish (or similar 1 1/2- to 2-quart dish) with cooking spray.
2. To prepare filling, combine peaches, raspberries, granulated sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place the filling in the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make topping. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl with a fork. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender or your fingertips. Add oil and stir to coat. Add orange juice concentrate and blend with your fingertips until the dry ingredients are moistened.
4. After 20 minutes, stir the fruit filling and sprinkle the topping evenly over it. Sprinkle with almonds (or walnuts). Bake, uncovered, until the fruit is bubbly and tender and the topping is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: Dip peaches in boiling water for 30 or 40 seconds to loosen their skins. Dip in ice water, and then slip off skins with a paring knife.
Katie Wilhelmi, RD, LD is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee Food Store.