I am a freelance writer born in Johannesburg now living in Melbourne. I love travelling and have lived in London and Taipei as well as travelling in and around South Africa. I have a great interest in exploring and love to share my finds with others.
Published September 1st 2012
Spring is around the corner and the sun is shining with big blue skies and fluffy white clouds dancing on the horizon. Spring for me is a fantastic time of year to begin the first of many picnics. A wonderful blend of the great outdoors, your favourite healthy foods and good company – picnics are a fantastic idea for your next weekend.
But with all that wonderful sunshine its important to remember to 'slip, slop and slap' or why not go one better and see my list of fantastic picnic foods that protect the health of your skin!
1. Almonds – Sun blocker
A handful of almonds are packed full of Vitamin E, which aids in the defence of sun damage along with a good dose of sunscreen. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant, which help to control free radicals (created from UV light exposure). Free radicals are scavenger molecules that attack healthy cells breaking down collagen and elastin. Almonds will assist you in the fight against the ageing effect these free radicals create in your skin and with an additional benefit of mono-unsaturated fatty acids the 'good fats' almonds help in the protection of your coronary arteries. Why not combine almonds with a fresh salad to add extra crunch, place in low fat yoghurt or simply eat them as is – yum!
Delicious berries including fresh summer strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are again packed with antioxidants that help keep your skin looking youthful and healthy by keeping free radicals at bay. Berries also help the body to manufacture collagen which makes the skin appear smoother and feel much softer.
Mangoes are easily one of the most popular summer fruits and can add a tropical taste and feel to any dish or occasion. Mangos are high in Vitamin A, containing more than 80% of your daily requirements. Vitamin A is important in the maintenance and repair of skin cells and can fight the effects of premature aging of skin. Mangos are also fantastic for a healthy lifestyle with fewer than 70 calories per serve.
Tuna is a tasty, low calorie food with a fantastic secret – selenium. Selenium promotes elastin, which is the the connective tissue that maintains the smoothness, flexibility and tightness of your skin. Tuna is also loaded with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which assists in the maintenance of cardiac function. Tuna sandwiches are always a popular choice as a picnic classic. Why not also try tuna salad with a light vinaigrette or cold tuna fish cakes (two large cans of tuna in spring water combined with 1 whole egg and formed into patties that you can then grill in the oven till browned).
No drink has the same amazing health benefits as water. A key ingredient in the success of your body is good hydration and water is your skin's best friend. I love using a filter jug at home as it gives you the purest form of water. Try to stay away from flavoured water, which is loaded in sugar and other additives and preservatives. If you like a little zing to your water why not try a squeeze of lemon or lime. Your skin craves water and in order to look after that healthy glow make sure you drink up.