As fall arrives, you may notice that the skin on your hands is starting to crack, your feet are redder than usual and your elbows are itchy. When the humidity is lower during fall and winter, your skin can get dryer, flakier, and sometimes even bleed.

Fortunately, while dry skin can be tough in cold climates, there are a number of simple changes to your diet which can keep your skin moist and healthy throughout the cooler seasons.

As we enter fall, Kerri Ferriaoli, a nutritionist at YorkTest, has given her top tips for how your diet can reduce your risk of developing dry skin as the season’s change, and what five foods and drinks can relieve dry skin. See the 5 best foods to combat dry skin this Fall below.

  • 1. Water

    Food and beverages rich in micronutrients are necessary for hydrating your skin from within. I feel water is the most important nutrient, and you should drink at least 60 ounces of it every day. Having enough water every day is just 22 percent of adults in the US, according to a recent study by Evian.

    When we don’t drink enough water, you can tell by the suppleness of our skin. There is also a chance you might feel fatigued, have food cravings, be irritable, and feel anxious. Try having a glass of water every 90 minutes, and always before eating, to reduce your soda intake and increase your hydration levels.

  • 2. Wild-caught Fish

    If you choose wild-caught fish, you’ll get a higher level of fatty acids. These fish, caught in natural environments such as oceans and lakes, are rich in omega-3, the unsaturated essential fats the body cannot make on its own, so we have to consume them every day.

    In addition to moisturizing the skin, omega-3 can protect it from redness and dryness due to its ability to support the skin’s barrier. Fatty acids such as omega-3 are abundant in cold-water fish like tuna, salmon, herring, and mackerel.

  • 3. Coconut Water and Oil

    Coconut water is super hydrating, containing plenty of electrolytes. As a matter of fact, I recommend people replace sports and energy drinks with coconut water. You will be performing at your best by drinking it due to its high potassium content, and its higher hydration levels.

    Coconut oil is also a great addition to your diet – and your skincare regime. It has a great fatty acid profile with medium-chain triglycerides, which help to regulate the skin’s oil production.

    It’s also slightly saturated, making it beneficial to cook with when frying and baking. I’d also suggest using coconut oil as a moisturizer immediately after washing – just be careful to let it sit for a little while before putting clothes on, to avoid having oil on your clothes.

  • 4. Chia, Flax, and Hemp Seeds

    Other food items rich in fatty acids include chia, hemp, and flax seeds. In one study, women who consumed half a teaspoon of flaxseed oil daily experienced increased smoothness and hydration of the skin.

    Breakfast is one of the best times of the day to get these foods into your diet, with flax seeds perfect to be baked into muffins and bread. Chia seeds are an ideal accompaniment to enhance smoothies, granola, and salad dressings, while hemp seeds can be sprinkled on avocado toast and eggs to add a pleasant crunch.

  • 5. Walnuts

    A handful of walnuts, packed with omega-3 fats, is a great way to increase your vitamin levels, promote skin health, and prevent wrinkles. By removing dead skin cells with vitamin E, you can also prevent clogging of pores, reducing your chances of oily skin. A walnut face mask made with walnut powder, papaya pulp, honey, and other ingredients would be perfect for skincare enthusiasts. And if you don’t want to snack on them on their own, there are some fantastic nutty combinations you can try – such as apple and walnut salad, walnut toffee tart, or a fall favorite – pumpkin with walnuts and blue cheese.

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