As the winter season gives way to spring, the temperature rises, and the air becomes drier, making it common for our skin to become dry, flaky, and itchy (called “dryness syndrome” in TCM).
But fear not! With the help of two delicious recipes, you can say goodbye to dry skin and keep your glow all through winter and spring. These recipes are not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and nutrients that nourish your skin from the inside out.
You don't have to spend a fortune on expensive skincare products when the secret to healthy, glowing skin lies in your kitchen. With these recipes, you can boost collagen production to brighten your skin and reduce dryness by using bones from chicken or pork.
Understanding the Importance of Proper Nutrition for Healthy Skin
Healthy skin is a reflection of good nutrition. What we put in our bodies directly impacts our skin's health and appearance. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is crucial for maintaining healthy skin.
For example, vitamins A, C, and E are potent antioxidants that protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.
In addition to antioxidants, protein is also essential for healthy skin. Collagen, the protein that gives our skin its elasticity and firmness, is made up of amino acids. Without adequate protein intake, our skin can become dry, saggy, and lose its youthful appearance.
Recipe 1: Papaya, Peanut, & Chicken Wing Soup
This soup is not only delicious but it's also packed with skin-loving ingredients. Papaya is rich in vitamin C, which helps boost collagen production and brighten the skin.
Peanuts are a great source of vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage. The chicken wings provide the bones needed to make a nourishing bone broth, which is rich in minerals that support healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- One whole papaya (a ripe Hawaiian is best)
- ¾ c fresh or dried raw peanuts
- ½ lb chicken wings (mid-joint is best)
- 2 lbs pork humerus/femur bones (knob parts are best, with as much cartilage as possible, cut into pieces)
- 5 pc red dates
- 2 slices fresh ginger
- Salt to taste
- Chicken wings: Rich in minerals that support healthy skin, hair, and nails, such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- Papaya: Rich in vitamin C, which boosts collagen production and brightens the skin. It also contains papain, an enzyme that helps exfoliate the skin.
- Peanuts: A great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage.
- Rinse and blanch bones in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Discard water and rinse off scum.
- Cook bones in 6 cups of water on medium heat for 2 hours (less time in a pressure cooker).
- Peel the papaya, remove the seeds, and cut it into 2” chunks
- Wash, soak, and pit the red dates.
- Put all ingredients into a soup pot with about 6 cups of water(including pork bone broth).
- Bring to a boil, then medium heat for 1.5 hours.
- Skim off oil, add salt to taste, and enjoy (definitely eat the cartilage for collagen!)
Recipe 2: Stewed Black Chicken Soup with American Ginseng
This soup is a traditional Chinese remedy for dry skin. Black chicken is a breed of chicken that has black feathers and skin. It has a higher nutritional value than regular chicken, including more collagen.
American ginseng is also a popular TCM herb believed to nourish the skin and improve circulation. This soup is rich, nourishing, and perfect for cold winter days.
- 1/2 Black chicken/Wu ji
- 3 gm of American ginseng
- 3 red dates
- 2 gm Goji berry
- 2 slices Fresh ginger
- Salt to taste
- Black chicken: Has higher nutritional value than regular chicken, including more collagen.
- American ginseng: A popular TCM herb that's believed to nourish the skin and improve circulation.
- Red dates: Rich in iron, which supports healthy blood flow and circulation.
- Dried longan: Rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from damage.
- Wash the chicken.
- Blanch in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes, and skim off the foam.
- Remove the chicken and chop the chicken into large pieces.
- Put pieces in a clay cook pot/Dutch oven.
- Add the remaining ingredients and 6 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, then cook on medium heat for 1.5 hours.
- Add salt to taste, and enjoy!
Additional Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin During Winter and Spring
In addition to these delicious recipes, there are other things you can do to maintain healthy skin during the dry winter and spring months. Here are some tips:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Avoid taking hot showers or baths, which can strip the skin of its natural oils.
- Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to keep skin hydrated.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Common Misconceptions About Skincare and Nutrition
Many things need to be clarified about skincare and nutrition. One of the most common is that expensive skincare products are necessary for healthy skin.
While some skincare products can be beneficial, they're not a substitute for a healthy diet. Another misconception is that certain foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, cause acne.
While certain foods may trigger acne in some people, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It's essential to eat a balanced diet that's tailored to your individual needs and skin type.
Say goodbye to dry skin this winter and spring with these delicious and nourishing recipes. By eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you can keep your skin healthy and glowing from the inside out.
Remember to drink plenty of water, use a humidifier, and avoid hot showers to keep your skin looking its best. With these tips and recipes, you'll be ready to face the dry winter and spring months with healthy, radiant skin.