November 6, 2012
July 18, 2011
It’s important to fight inflammation from the inside out, but topical skin care that contains supercharged ingredients and proven antioxidants is an important piece of the anti-inflammation puzzle, too. There is a whole crop of inflammation-fighting ingredients in skin-care products today. While vitamins are some of the more noted anti-inflammatory agents, these key players also provide excellent skin benefits.
Ginger. Praised for its holistic healing abilities, ginger helps to mitigate the effects of inflammation because of its natural antioxidant properties, which reduce cellular stress.
Ginseng. Boasting more than 25 different antioxidants, ginseng works to regulate the release of enzymes that destroy the skin.
Vitamin C. Orally, vitamin C acts as an anti-inflammatory, and, when it’s applied to the skin, it helps to fend off free radicals while improving skin clarity, especially dullness, caused by sun damage. Vitamin C products and those that contain derivatives of the vitamin are especially beneficial for preventing sunburned skin.
Coffeberry. The fruit of the coffee bean is said to be one of the most potent antioxidants—three times more powerful than green tea.
Alpha Lipoic Acid. This rather small molecule packs a powerful punch. It affects how the cell is able to protect itself and helps get rid of scar tissue, a result of inflammation.
Mushroom Extract. Traditionally used in Eastern medicine, and becoming more mainstream, some varieties of mushrooms double as powerful antioxidants, scavenging off free radicals.
July 5, 2011
If you love the white stuff — we’re talking sugar, folks — your sweet tooth could be making your skin sag, crinkle, and wrinkle before its time. Blame glycation. That’s what happens when sugar hits your bloodstream, gloms on to proteins, and forms the aptly named AGEs, or advanced glycation end products. AGEs are bad news for your skin. They damage the collagen and elastin fibers that keep it strong and supple.
While scientists aren’t ready to say “sugar causes wrinkles,” docs know from observing people with poorly managed diabetes what out-of-control blood sugar does to skin — and it isn’t pretty. Bluntly put, it causes “premature” aging.
That should be extra inspiration to skip the cakes, cookies, and sugary drinks and fill your plate with wrinkle fighters. Here’s even more: There is plenty of scientific proof that certain nutrients help nourish the fibers that keep skin stretchy and healthy, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, RealAge expert and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. Step right up to the beauty buffet and serve yourself this way:
- Cover half — yes, 50% — of your plate with fruits and veggies. The antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in plants act like a dietary highway patrol, pulling over speeding free radicals before they can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin. You’ll also get loads of vitamin C this way (brightly colored produce is full of it). That’s great because C is essential for making new collagen.
- Then add extra flavor or crunch by topping your fruits and veggies with nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of olive oil. Nuts and seeds are full of vitamin E, an off-the-charts antioxidant. Since sunlight depletes vitamin E in skin, you need to continually replenish your supply, and the more you get from food — not supplements — the better. While that’s true in general, if there’s any chance you could get pregnant, taking big doses of E is a don’t. It’s linked to heart defects in newborns.
As for olive oil, its healthy fats help skin cells resist wrinkle-causing sun damage.
- Fill 25% of your plate with lean protein. Think fish, skinless white-meat poultry, beans, chickpeas, lentils, and tofu. All give you the good proteins your body needs to make new skin cells and keep up with its own antiaging skin repairs.
- Fill 25% of your plate with 100% whole grains. As in whole-wheat pasta, brown or wild rice, barley, any breads made from 100% whole grains, and more. Unlike the simple carbs in sugar, the complex carbs in whole grains are the kind your body and skin crave. Instead of triggering blood sugar spikes and forming brigades of aging AGEs, whole-grain carbs are full of fiber, which steadies blood sugar. Plus, the selenium and zinc in whole grains help harness the collagen- and elastin-damaging free radicals.
June 1, 2011
Can the fountain of youth—as well as glowing complexion—really be found in what you eat? Doctors have long supported the connection between skin health and diet, but when it comes to getting the right amount and the right kind of foods, what do you eat to help the skin from within? The ingredients below, found in your everyday, favorite foods offer serious beauty benefits.
Melatonin helps fight inflammation and is good for acne, rosacea and eczema. This powerful antioxidant, found in cherries, bananas, tomatoes, oats, rice bran and ginger, helps to scavenge damaging free radicals and fight skin inflammation, which can surface as acne, redness or irritation.
Biotin, found in nuts, eggs, peanut butter, oats, liver and salmon, helps strengthen nails and prevents hair from thinning. Because biotin helps to strengthen nails and hair, it’s beneficial for those suffering from hair loss or thinning hair. In fact, a biotin deficiency may increase breakage and cause hair to become dry and brittle.
Resveratrol, found in grapes, blueberries and red wine, protects against sun damage. It is believed to play a role in preventing photodamage caused by sun exposure (aka sagging, fine lines and wrinkles), as it protects against sun damage and slows the breakdown of collagen.
Vitamins C and E repair damaged skin. Found in citrus fruits, wheat germ oil, nuts, leafy greens, broccoli and kiwi, these vitamins help repair damaged cells. A one-two punch for protecting against sun damage, vitamins C and E are beneficial on their own, but even more powerful together. Vitamin E aids in hydrating skin and protects against free-radical damage, while vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen.
April 14, 2011
I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about blueberries lately. With only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries are a delicious way to receive a surplus of health benefits. Blueberries have been examined in all different kinds of nutrition studies. Results reveal that blueberries have a positive effect on everything from aging to cardiovascular disease. Recently, a researcher from Texas Woman’s University set out to examine whether blueberries could aid in overcoming one of the world’s greatest heath challenges: obesity.
Blueberries contain a high polyphenol content and Shiwani Moghe, a graduate student at TWU, wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis (the development of fat cells) and induce lipolysis (the breakdown of fat). The study was preformed in tissue cultures taken from mice. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73 percent decrease in fat and the lowest dose showed a 27 percent decrease. Although these results show promise for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body, there is much more research to be done to find an effective human dose and discover any adverse effects.
In the meantime, keep eating your blueberries. Blueberries’ antioxidant properties help neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to the development of several diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. Do you have any favorite blueberry recipes?
March 31, 2011
We all know about sugar’s link to diabetes and weight gain, but it may surprise you to know that it can also contribute to how old you look.
According to Meriden, CT, dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, processed and refined sugars play a pretty significant role in inflammation and advanced aging. “Glycation is the long-term effect that sugar has on the body,” he says. “High-glycemic foods are loaded with sugars that, when released, bind to proteins in the cells and to collagen in the skin. This sugar-protein bond also produces free radicals, which drive the production of inflammation. This glycation makes it difficult for cells to function properly, resulting in destructions to all organ systems, including the skin.”
Even though it’s hard to omit sugar entirely from your diet, natural sugars are thought to not cause a quick spike in blood sugar (since they help the body absorb sugar) like refined and processed sugars can, although any amount of sugar can cause it to climb somewhat.
March 25, 2011
January 11, 2011
Just like cutting an apple causes it to turn brown, oxidation affects your skin in a similar manner. As we age, the skin’s antioxidant defense system weakens, losing its capacity to fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are naturally-occurring, unstable extra electrons that seek out other extra electrons from healthy cells, damaging them and creating more free radicals in the process. They cause DNA damage in cells throughout the body—including the skin—leading to inflammation and deterioration of the cells, essentially “rusting” them.
Antioxidants bind to free radicals before they can cause this damage. Vitamin C, for example, prevents this from happening by protecting the cells.
To see for yourself, cut an apple and rub lemon juice on it. Just like it preserves the apple, it can help protect your skin.
December 6, 2010
Do you know where to find edible antioxidants?
Much has been reported about the value and importance of antioxidants and incorporating them in your diet and beauty products. Free radicals can cause inflammation, damage and disease, and antioxidants are vital because they fight these free radicals.
Think you know where to find antioxidants? You may be surprised where they’re hiding. Here are four unexpected examples…
Vitamin C: You know it’s found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, but you can also get it from sweet red peppers, plantains, broccoli, kale and potatoes.
Vitamin A: You know it’s found in liver, fish oil and eggs, but you can also find it in pumpkin and mozzarella cheese.
Vitamin E: You know it’s found in nuts and avocados, but you can also get it from ginger, soy-based mayonnaise, and asparagus.
Selenium: This mineral is widely known to be in fish, red meat, chicken, grains and eggs, but you’ll also find it in garlic.
November 10, 2010
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