In the spring, we all talk about giving our homes a ‘facelift.’ We clean closets, wash windows, de-clutter and get rid of the ‘cobwebs’ of winter.
But what if you could rejuvenate and refresh your very real face with some simple tweaks to your food choices? Can you really get a facelift from what’s in your fridge?
“If you do nothing else but change your food choices, you can radically alter your appearance in as little as three days. And, the longer you stay on what I call an 'anti-inflammatory diet,' the better you will look and feel.” –Nicholas Perricone, MD
I am a big fan of the work of Dr. Perricone, even though I may not always agree with his food advice. But he offers women sound advice on the best ways to tap into their inner beauty and have it show on their faces, through glowing skin and a healthy body.
Everyone seems to love a good cleanse these days but Mother Nature supplies us with a bounty of naturally detoxifying foods that help the body eliminate environmental and dietary toxins…and at the same time, support the optimal function of critical organs (which shows on our skin…for better or worse).
In my experience…and I have a lot…as I have always obsessively taken care of my skin…one of the most pronounced and gratifying effects of eating a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet is the radiance that your skin takes on.
Here are my fave foods for cleaning the cobwebs out of your skincare:
Green foods are powerful. They help detoxify can counter the effects of that wee too much alcohol you may have indulged in at the spring fling you attended. Green foods include an array of plant-based delicately-flavored foods like young barely grass, blue green algae, wheat grass, baby kale, baby spinach, spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, baby arugula, escarole and other organic leafy greens.
The chlorophyll present in greens You probably already know that chlorophyll is basically well, magic. Plant ‘blood’ allows greens to soak up the sun and transform it into food.
In my humble view, there hasn’t been near enough fuss made about greens’ magical powers, but word is getting around about how beautifully greens naturally with all kinds of ailments, from body odor to cancer prevention.
But did you know that it works miracles as a part of your skin care regimen? Chlorophyll could be the secret ingredient to your best skin yet.
The Great Healer
Mother Nature cares for us in so many ways (even though we are consistently careless with her many gifts), but one of her best tricks is the goodness of chlorophyll to help heal cuts and scrapes, burns, nicks, and inflammation. Chlorophyll can even help prevent scarring and infections with natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and wound-healing properties. It also helps destroy pesky germs. So eat (or drink) your greens
Because of its amazing germ killing action (creating an environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria) chlorophyll is great for helping fight breakouts. Pimples are, after all, the body’s attempt to rid itself of toxins and excess through these ugly little sacks of oil, dead skin and bacteria that we all despise.
Chlorophyll fights the bacteria that causes acne and can help stop breakouts or at least help them clear up faster. There’s a number of products that fight acne that contain chlorophyll and they’re great to use topically, but don’t make any excuses…eat or drink your greens daily.
Healthy Skin Means You’re Healthy
Chlorophyll is often affectionately called “plant blood” because it’s the life force of every living plant. Interestingly, chlorophyll’s molecular structure is quite similar almost to hemoglobin (our red blood cells that move oxygen to our blood). One little atom makes all the difference. In hemoglobin, the center atom is iron; in chlorophyll, it’s magnesium.
Magnesium is essential to our body’s wellness with more than 300 enzymes requiring magnesium to work. Magnesium also regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease; it’s critical for cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems function and for optimal function of muscles, kidneys, liver and hormone-secreting glands.
And our precious skin? Magnesium helps to move oxygen to all your cells and tissue…like skin. And it’s essential for the efficient metabolism of vitamin C which is a crucial vitamin for radiant skin. Magnesium also aids in retaining elasticity and the “dewy” nature of our skin as we mature.
Simply stated, give your body what it needs to function well (eat or drink your greens) and you’ll have healthy, glowing skin as one of your many rewards.
Oh, Them Wrinkles!
Many movie stars maintain an ageless quality but that’s often the result of a team of dermatological and cosmetic professionals. But by simply adding chlorophyll to your beauty routine, you can age like diva as well. Chlorophyll is packed with skin-protecting antioxidants that can help prevent sun damage and delay the onset of wrinkles.
Chlorophyll has the great and unique ability to absorb light, so it can protect you from harmful UV rays. An Australian study of more then 1,000 subjects found that those who ate at least 3 servings of dark leafy greens a day reduced their risk of skin cancer by up to 55%.
While a miraculous gift from Mother Nature, chlorophyll is best for its skin protective qualities if you consume it…it’s not actually sunscreen. Though it’s fab for looking your glowing best, it’s no substitute for sunscreen so remember to protect your precious skin before hanging out in the sun.
Oh…and eat or drink your greens!
Curcumin is another super detox ingredient that can help support the function of our liver which is critical because one of its many functions is to manage and help the body discharge the chemicals in our environment, food chain, air and water.
Using turmeric in cooking or added to various teas and drinks on a regular basis will leave you with a glowing complexion.
There’s Greens…and Then There’s Watercress
Watercress is a powerhouse of nutrition with more value to our wellness than just about any other green. Used as a therapeutic tonic since ancient times, it helps cleanse the blood and liver of toxins, creating an overall feeling of vitality. It’s said that this delicate green can enhance stamina, rid the body of excess fluids and is a great antioxidant (anti-ager). Studies of watercress have shown that it can help reduce DNA damage, inhibit the growth breast cancer cells, increase lutein levels for eye health and improve cell protective antioxidant enzymes.
Use this delicately bitter green in salads, to add freshness to stews and as a garnish on various soups. I tend not to juice watercress as it can be too strongly bitter in a concentrated form like juicing.