Foods for Beauty: Beauty from the Inside Out
Beauty From the Inside Out: Foods for Beauty
The skin reflects what’s going on inside our bodies. Putting pure, clean stuff inside – by eating heaps of organic seasonal fruits and veggies and guzzling plenty of water – shows up on the outside like sunshine follows rain. Since the skin is an exit spoint for toxins in our bodies, the less junk there is to evacuate, the more room our skin can glow with supple splendor. Even the most sophisticated and pure skin products can only improve the appearance of the outer layer of skin. To reach deeper, to the living cells, we need to nourish from within.
Concentrate on what you DO, not what you don’t do
Focusing on what you love and does your body good is much more fun than getting hung up on denial. Including plenty of goodies that nourish the body to grow beautiful skin provides much more pleasure than hacking out all the treats and snacks that you might love, but know do little good (other than a moment of recreational delight). Life is too short to live in renunciation. Go for the good stuff with unabashed jubilance.
It’s great to live in a world where chocolate and wine are good for you. Yes, it’s true – dark chocolate is a wealth of age-defying antioxidants (1) and red wine is laden with resveratrol, believed to lower the risk for heart disease (2). M motto is: All things in moderation including moderation – indulging in the finer things can have fabulous effects.
Here are some skin beautifying food to enjoy:
It’s abundant in antioxidants that combat free radicals (unstable molecules that bang around, damaging cells and tissue trying to become stable). Free radicals from pollution, stress and junk food take a toll on health and viciously age the skin (3). Green tea can help you get a grip on them. It’s also especially high in unique catechins (polyphenols), which are powerful antioxidants that are believed to inhibit cancer and tumor growth (4). Green tea can keep the metabolism burning at a healthy clip to aid weight-loss (5), and may even improve cognitive function for clear thinking (6). It’s a winner all around.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other berries are abundant in antioxidants and phytochemicals that support and nurture beautiful skin and a great body. Berries are loaded with vitamin C, one of nature’s most potent antioxidants, which may reduce or repair wrinkles (7) and regulates collagen productions (8), which is essential for perky, supple skin.
Both the juice and the whole fruit have long been hailed as a beautifying food. Pomegranates are loaded with precious goods for great skin, like flavoniod antioxidants and tons of vitamin C. They’re also rich in nifty compounds called anthocyanins (which are responsible for the fruit’s ravishing crimson color), that effectively inhibit photoaging (sun-damage) (9). The anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties don’t hurt either (10). And pomegranates taste incredible.
Extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed sesame oil, flax oil, and others, as well as raw nuts and seeds, olives, and avocado contain high-quality oils that are vital for health down to a cellular level and prerequisites for lustrous skin. Uncooked oils have the most to offer because the unique nutrients in oils are damaged and destroyed by heat - the fresher the better and the least refined, best.
Tip: Store oils away from light and heat, which damage them and diminish their good properties for beautiful skin. Darker glass bottles protect the oil better than clear glass.
Cruciferous vegetables (collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale) and leafy greens (lettuces, spinach, swiss chard) give you more nutrients in fewer calories than any other food. Green is good. The crucifer family is loaded with skin-beautifying compounds like sulfur-containing phytonutrients, which boost the body’s natural detoxification enzymes (11) to combat potentially carcinogenic invaders (12).
This is a feel-good medium for obtaining beautiful skin and a healthy heart. Loaded with beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids, red wine is an abundant source of resveratrol, which is concentrated in the skin of grapes and widely valued for its anti-cancer properties (13). Red wine also shows great promise in protecting skin from sun damage (14). Cheers to that!
Oh yes! Prized for millennia as the “food of the gods”, chocolate has now been blessed by science for its unique and evocative properties. Chocolate is wealthy in antioxidants. It contains catachins, like those found in green tea, and it’s the greatest food source of procyanidin (15). These compounds counter skin damage and encourage cancer-free, heart-happy health (16). New research is ablaze about chocolate’s ability to improve circulation (17), so it’s a delicious way to keep your skin looking young and aglow. Dark chocolate offers optimal benefits all around (fair-trade and organic are plusses), and it’s best shared with someone you love.
(1) USDA/Agricultural Research, “Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity,” 2005 - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234416.htm (sited 5/30/07)
(2) Science Daily, “Red Wine’s Health Benefits May be due in Part to “Estrogen” in Grape Skin,” 1997, Northwestern University - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971219062019.htm (sited 5/30/07)
(3) NCIB (National Center for Biotechnology Information), “Oxidative damage elicited by imbalance of free radical scavenging enzymes is associated with large-scale mtDNA deletions in aging human skin,” Lu, H., et al., 1999, Vol. 423 (1-2), p. 11-21
(4) NCI (U.S. National Cancer Institute), “Tea and Cancer Prevention,” 2002 - http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/tea