For many people snacking on nuts and dried fruits tends to be a bit of a Christmas tradition. Indeed, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, figs, apricots, and dates are often the main features of the festive dinner tables, usually arranged in beautiful trays, included in many sweet and savoury dishes as well as eaten just as they are.
Typically hidden in knee-knocker positions under free-standing displays or in the back of the produce department bordering the grocery, dried fruits and nuts definitely earn their stripes when prominently placed during the holiday season.
What we sometimes forget is that making them part of our daily healthy habits all year round would be very beneficial to our well-being, especially as we age: they are not only tasty but also interesting on a nutritional level.
Packed with essential nutrients, and rich in fibres, proteins and vitamins, they are a concentration of good fats, those famous fatty acids of the omega 6 family which contain powerful antioxidants, able to counteract the action of free radicals that are responsible for cellular ageing.
Besides, since dried fruit and nuts are loaded with potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium, they also provide the body with immunity to fight against diseases while preventing anaemia, helping you to keep your heart in good health and maintaining bone mineral density and a healthy gut.
But did you know they can also be powerful allies to keep your skin radiant?
Here are the most powerful nuts and dried fruits you should eat to keep glowing inside out (not just at Christmas).
Skin benefits of nuts
No single dry fruit can match the benefits of almonds when we talk about healthy and youthful skin. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage and ageing. Vitamin E also nourishes and moisturises your skin, making it soft and smooth. Smaller in size, but of high benefits, almonds are considered one of the greatest nuts.
Another highly healthy food from the nut family, it is full of good fats and nutrients. Antioxidants and vitamin-B-rich walnuts help fight the damage caused by free radicals, thereby preventing any signs of ageing, for example, wrinkles. The presence of biotin in these nuts also strengthens hair and reduces hair fall.
A great diet supplement, these are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Pistachios are great for dry and flaky skin because they have loads of healthy fat content that moisturizes the skin and keeps signs of ageing at bay. It also contains Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for our skin cells as it reduces the risk of sun damage.
- Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are loaded with niacin which works as an inhibition agent against various skin disorders (it protects the skin from dermatitis and pigmentation). These dry fruits are considered ideal by nutritionists for glowing skin since they also contain copper which helps with cell rejuvenation and combating free radicals.
Skin benefits of dried fruits
Dates are naturally rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which may help reverse and prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals inside the body. Dates contain many vitamins B and A, which remedy many skin problems like a dry and itchy epidermis, improving its elasticity and texture.
This superfood contains a good source of vitamin A which is responsible for keeping your skin healthy. Packed with potassium, magnesium, and iron they possess a good amount of resveratrol that slows down ageing. According to studies and research, raisins also work wonders on dark spots, blemishes, and other issues that make your face look dull and aged.
Apricots contain vitamin C and antioxidants which reduce the appearance of any fine lines and wrinkles and give that smooth appearance to your skin. It also promotes quicker cell regeneration. Ideally, you should include them in your everyday diet by adding them to your cereals or even to your smoothie.
Dry figs are packed with vitamins like Vitamin C, B6, and K. These nutrients aid in regulating sebum production, preventing skin moisture loss, and premature signs of ageing like fine lines. Antioxidants in figs also help the general skin tone, promoting collagen production.
The Bottom Line
Eating dried fruits and nuts on a regular basis can have numerous benefits for the skin. Therefore, midlife is a good time to start including them in your diet daily.
“I advise consumers to eat the nuts they enjoy most and can easily incorporate into meals and snacks since that improves the chances of getting them to eat them regularly,” says Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, a nutrition communications specialist in New York City.
Robyn Flipse recommends using a portion-control container, placing a certain number of nuts into snack bags, or using a 1/4-cup scoop to serve themselves from a larger container. Eat them in moderation and they will really make a difference to your health and beauty.