There are many people who are addicted to beauty, and they fiercely love their anti-aging lotions and potions. However, what you put in the face (meaning, inside your mouth) has the same importance as what you put on it – and perhaps, according to the dermatologist Jessica Wu, MD, it’s even more important. Many researches proved that when you are feeding yourself, you feed your skin, and all of those sweet treats and salty snacks have a way to mess up your complexion.
“Foods that contain lots of sugar and simple carbohydrates speed up the aging process,” tells us Wu, who adds that when it comes to skin health, sugar is the public enemy No. 1. Neka Pasquale, an acupuncturist, herbalist and certified Chinese nutritionist, agrees with that as well.
“The sugar that you intake may have profound effects on our personal appearance. It promotes dull, brittle skin through a process named glycation, and it’s also causing wrinkles and skin inflammation,” adds Pasquale.
On the other hand, the super foods may be the aging antidote that you are looking for. According to a research, there are some foods that help protect against sun damage by increasing the skin’s defense against the UV rays, while the others keep away the wrinkles that are caused by the free radicals.
Here are the six skin super foods to reverse the clock from the inside out.
FOR PLUMPER SKIN – CACTUS WATER
It is very simple, the water is the fountain of youth. As Wu says, “Drinking water in general is beneficial for the skin; it hydrates it so as to keep the skin looking plump and it also helps digestion, and that helps with the acne breakouts,” adds Wu.
You can get an extra dose of beauty benefits in your hydration routine if you simply cactus water to your mix. Even though the coconut water was the plant-water darling for much time, the cactus water will change that. This beverage contains tough-to-come-by antioxidants known as betalains, which have the ability to detoxify and revitalize the skin. For you that are going to mean less under-eye puffiness and an extra-glowy complexion. Although more research is required, animal studies proved that that cactus extract has the ability to help fight the effects of the sun’s skin-damaging UV rays, while the human studies suggest that taking prickly pear extract helps to regulate the blood sugar in the organism.
Wu suggests drinking frequently cactus water after binging on sweets so as to help your body handle the sugar overload. She also warns to be careful of the type of cactus water, since these are some types with an added sugar and various flavors. You need to 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. It is the chemical that gives the plants their green color. The antioxidant-rich extract is very beneficial for producing the red blood cells in our organism, imparting a youthful and nice glow.
You could very easily find liquid chlorophyll (derived from alfalfa, algae, spirulina or wheat grass) at your local health food store. We are partial to the mint-flavored type, and that makes for a refreshing pick-me-up when you add it to water or ice tea.
FOR SOFTER, WRINKLE-FREE SKIN – GHEE
Butter has made it on the list of skin super foods. Ghee, a staple in the Indian cooking, is clarified butter that was boiled down so the water content and the dairy elements can be removed. Compared to the regular butter, ghee very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also vitamin K, which according to Wu help prevent bruising and maintain the skin elasticity, respectively.
The super fat is mostly popular in the Paleo set, and lots of them drink ghee-spiked coffee (also known as Bulletproof coffee). Ghee supporters claim that they have brighter eyes, much more energy, and clearer skin. Wu claims that ghee is the much healthier alternative to standard butter, but “it’s still saturated animal fat.” Meaning, consuming it too much in the name of clear skin won’t do your figure any favors.
BANISH CELLULITE AND YOUR RUDDY COMPLEXION – BONE BROTH
The green juice could soon lose its status as the “It” accessory of the wellness elite since the bone broth slowly comes onto the scene. As the name itself tells, bone broth is made by boiling vegetables and animal bones for a few hours, and then straining the liquid of them. The idea is that as they are being boiled, the bones and their marrow release nutrients. That means, the longer they are boiled, the more nutrients are going to be released.
Depending on the type of vegetables and bones that are being cooked, this broth contains skin-saving ingredients like sulfur, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and glucosamine, which, as the researchers found, can soothe the inflammation in the body, translating to less-blotchy skin. Moreover, Pasquale stated that, since it’s a good source of collagen, bone broth could also 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 very beneficial for you. As Wu has told us, this super vegetable, due to the vitamins C and K content, can 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 so as to reduce bruising.
The sweet, nutty kalette could be grilled, roasted, or you can eat it raw.
SKIP THE BOTOX AND EAT THIS INSTEAD – BROCCOLEAF
If you recently have had dinner at a super swanky restaurant, you are probably seeing less kale and more broccoleafs since the leafy green takes over being the new super food. “Broccoleaf, meaning the leaves from the broccoli, is much higher in calcium than the kale, and calcium keeps the bones strong,” said Wu. Not only do the bones hold up the face, Wu adds that strong bones help delay wrinkles and sagging.
A single serving of broccoleaf contains 100 % of your daily vitamin C needs, which, as Wu indicated, will help promote collagen and prevent wrinkles.