Many people, being beauty addicts, fiercely love their anti-aging lotions and potions. However, what you put in your face (meaning, your mouth) is just as important as what you put on it – and perhaps, as the dermatologist Jessica Wu, MD, says it’s even more important. Many researches have shown that when you are feeding yourself, you feed your skin, and all of those sweet treats and salty snacks have a way to muck up your complexion.
“Foods rich in sugar and simple carbohydrates speed up the aging process,” says Wu, who adds that when it comes to skin health, sugar is the public enemy No. 1. Neka Pasquale, who is acupuncturist, herbalist and certified Chinese nutritionist, agrees with that.
“The sugar that you intake could have profound effects on your appearance. It promotes dull, brittle skin through a process that is called glycation, and it’s also causing wrinkles and skin inflammation,” says Pasquale.
On the other hand, the superfoods may be the aging antidote that you’re seeking. Research showed that there are some foods that help protect against sun damage by amping up the skin’s defense against the UV rays, while the others ward off the wrinkles that are caused by the free radicals.
The following are the seven skin superfoods to reverse the clock from the inside out.
For Plumper Skin – Cactus Water
The water is the fountain of youth, it’s that simple, according to Wu. “Drinking water in general is beneficial for your skin; it hydrates in order to keep the skin looking plump and it also helps digestion, which helps with the acne breakouts,” adds Wu.
You can get an extra dose of beauty benefits in your hydration routine by simply adding cactus water to your mix. Although the coconut water has been the plant-water darling for much time, the cactus water is going to change that. This drink contains tough-to-come-by antioxidants which are known as betalains, known that are able to detoxify and revitalize the skin. For you that will mean less under-eye puffiness and an extra-glowy complexion. Though more research is required, animal studies proved that that cactus extract is able to help fight the effects of the sun’s skin-damaging UV rays, while the human studies suggest that taking prickly pear extract helps in regulating the blood sugar in the organism.
Wu suggests to drink cactus water after binging on sweets in order to help your body handle the sugar overload. She also warns to be careful of the type of cactus water, as some have an added sugar and many flavors. You should look for cactus water with just prickly pear extract added.
For a Glowing Complexion – Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is considered the liquid gold of the nutrition world, and it is a chemical that gives the plants their green color. In people, the antioxidant-rich extract is very beneficial for producing the red blood cells, imparting a youthful and nice glow.
You can very easily find liquid chlorophyll (derived from algae, alfalfa, spirulina or wheat grass) at your local health food store. We are partial to the mint-flavored type, which makes for a refreshing pick-me-up when you add it to ice tea or water.
For Softer, Wrinkle-Free Skin – Ghee
Butter has made it on the list of skin superfoods. Ghee, which is a staple in the Indian cooking, is clarified butter that has been boiled down so that the water content and the dairy elements are removed. Compared to the regular butter, it’s very rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin K, which according to Wu help maintain the skin elasticity and prevent bruising, respectively.
The super fat is mostly popular among the Paleo set, and many of them drink ghee-spiked coffee (which is also known as Bulletproof coffee). Ghee supporters claim that they have much more energy, brighter eyes, and clearer skin. Wu claims that ghee is the healthier alternative to standard butter, but “it is still saturated animal fat.” Meaning, eating too much of this fat in the name of clear skin is not going to do your figure any favors.
Banish Cellulite and Your Ruddy Complexion – Bone Broth
The green juice may soon lose its status like the “It” accessory of the wellness elite because the bone broth slowly comes onto the scene. As the name itself suggests, bone broth is made by boiling vegetables and animal bones for several hours, and then straining the liquid of them. The idea is that over time the bones and their marrow release nutrients; the longer they are boiled, the more nutrients will be released.
Depending on the type of vegetables and bones cooked, this broth contains skin-saving ingredients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus and glucosamine, which, according to researches, can soothe the inflammation in the body, translating to less-blotchy skin. Moreover, according to Pasquale, since it’s a good source of collagen, bone broth is able to help with cellulite and it can promote toned, youthful-looking skin.
Heal Your Skin From Within – Kalettes
This is a stuff of childhood nightmares and the health guru fantasies: the kale-meets-Brussels-sprouts hybrid that is all kinds of good for you. According to Wu, this super vegetable, thanks to the vitamins C and K content, is able to help build strong collagen, keep the blood vessels strong (i.e., no pesky broken blood vessels near the nose) and also to encourage the blood clotting in order to reduce bruising.
The sweet, nutty kalette could be grilled, roasted, or eaten raw.
Skip the Botox and Eat This Instead – Broccoleaf
If you have dined at a super swanky restaurant recently, you are probably seeing less kale and more broccoleaf since the leafy green takes over being the new superfood. “Broccoleaf is much higher in calcium than the kale, and calcium keeps the bones strong,” said Wu. Not only do the bones hold up your face, Wu says that strong bones help delay wrinkles and sagging.
A single serving of broccoleaf also has 100 % of your daily vitamin C needs, which, according to Wu, will help promote collagen and prevent wrinkles.
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