Food Friday: Eat Walnuts for Healthy, Soft Skin

Walnuts are high in Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, both which benefit your skin. Just 1/4 cup of walnuts provides nearly 95% of your daily omega-3 requirements.


Having grown up in New England, I’ve always eaten walnuts. Turns out that’s been good for my skin. Walnuts are high in Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, both which benefit your skin. Vitamin E is a natural anti-inflammatory which can help people with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals that cause skin aging. Omega-3 fatty acids help your skin to manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself, so eating foods like walnuts can help keep skin looking and feeling soft and healthy.

Just 1/4 cup of walnuts provides nearly 95% of your daily omega-3 requirements. So toss walnuts into your cereal, salad, trail mix, or cooked grains. Or make this recipe for apple-maple walnut breakfast quinoa that’s healthy for your body and your skin. High in protein, fiber, and vitamins, it’ll help you look and feel good.

Apple-Maple Walnut Breakfast Quinoa
Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
2 teaspoons butter
1 medium apple of your choice, diced with skins on
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted walnuts, or more if you’d like
1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1. In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring water and quinoa to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the water, puffs up, and turns translucent. If the water has evaporated before the quinoa is cooked, just add a bit more water. Quinoa should maintain a slight crunch when cooked.

2. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples and cook 2 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Add walnuts, apple pie spice, and salt. Cook 1 minute more. Add to quinoa and stir.

3. Divide quinoa into two bowls, and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve hot.

Photo credit: FCC, Ioan Sameli. Recipe credit: Susan Russo

Food Friday: On Antibiotics? Eat Yogurt.

Antibiotics can reduce the amount of good bacteria in your gut. If you’re on antibiotics, then you should consider eating yogurt.

Greek Yogurt, Fig, and Black Currant Parfaits

Have you been on oral antibiotics for your acne or rosacea? If so, this post is for you. Antibiotics such as minocycline and doxycycline are sometimes necessary to reduce bad bacteria on your skin. They also reduce the good bacteria in your gut that are essential for good health and good digestion. Here’s how you can put billions of good bugs back into your system: Eat yogurt.

Look for yogurt labeled “live and active cultures,” that is high in protein and low in sugar and fat. We use filling, high-protein, non-fat Greek yogurt in the recipe below along with antioxidant-rich fresh figs and black currants (both currently in season).

Greek Yogurt, Fresh Fig, and Black Currant Parfaits
Makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons honey
A couple of pinches of cinnamon
A couple of pinches of salt
A couple of pinches of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
6 fresh figs, quartered
1/2 cup fresh black currants*
1 tablespoon pistachios

1. Heat honey, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest, and rosemary either in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm and smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Use two cocktail or other pretty glasses to assemble parfaits. Start with yogurt at the base. Then top with fig pieces, currants, pistachios, and honey sauce. Repeat. Eat. Make again tomorrow.

*Note: Black currants are small, round berries with a glossy black skin and tart flesh. They’re available at farmers’ markets and organic markets. If you can’t find them, blackberries make a good substitute. Dried black currants are more widely available, but their flavor and texture is sweeter like a raisin.

Photo and recipe by Susan Russo of

Food Friday: The Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Eating lycopene-packed tomatoes is good for your health. Eating tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and high blood pressure.

Plump Cherokees the color of red wine. Cheerful pumpkin-colored Early Girls. It’s prime time for heirloom tomatoes. Are you enjoying them?

You should. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties, that gives them their red color. Translation: Eating tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and high blood pressure.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad with Feta Cheese

Serves 4

2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes

2 medium ripe peaches

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

The juice of 1/2 lemon

A sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 to 2 springs fresh mint, torn into small pieces

1. Slice tomatoes and peaches into wedges and place on a serving plate.

2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Pour over the tomatoes and peaches. Add mint leaves and feta. Serve.

Photo and recipe by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.