To win the battle against the effects of time and the environment, we need to do more than just apply lotions and creams to our faces. No matter how sophisticated the ingredients grow, those anti aging creams only improve the appearance of the dead layers of skin on the surface. To reach the deeper, living cells, we need to nourish ourselves from within.
Juices are an great way to get vital antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins in fruits and vegetables we normally would not eat regularly. For example, pomegranate juice has been found to prevent the thickening of the arteries if drunk daily, as well as slow down the oxidation of cholesterol. And new research indicates it may have a much stronger antioxidant effect than red wine and green tea. Beauty foods like these can be a very effective tool in improving the way our skin looks and feels.
Antioxidants are an excellent way to slow down the aging process on our skin. There are a variety of antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables. These include polyphenols, flavanoids, and proanthocyanadins. Proanthacyanadins help capillary walls stay strong, which is important in making sure all the right nutrients and oxygen get to our cells. If our cells are starving because of nutrient transportation problems, they are not going to be healthy, or look good. Blueberries and blackberries are rich sources of proanthocyanadins, so that’s a great excuse to make these delicious fruits part of a regular diet. If you can’t get fresh berries, or they’re too expensive, try frozen berries as they still retain their nutritional value.
Paul Bedson, who utilizes traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in his approach to the body, suggests these juices for good skin health:
- Carrot, celery and lemon juice
- Cucumber, lettuce, and pineapple juice
- Half a glass of cucumber juice with half a glass of water
TCM sees healthy skin function in relation to how well the other organs of elimination function. The skin is considered an organ of elimination as it excretes about one quarter of the body’s wastes through perspiration. The other organs of elimination are the kidneys, the lungs, the liver and the bowels. The rationale behind considering the excretory organs as a whole when addressing skin health, is that if one of the organs is overloaded, or not doing its job properly, it throws the whole system of excretion out of balance, placing greater stress on the other eliminatory channels. So juices, food and supplements that support these other channels of elimination should also lead to a corresponding improvement in the skin.
Herbs that support the eliminatory channels, and thus indirectly the skin, include burdock, cleavers, nettles, goldenseal, yellow dock, and milk thistle, or st marys thistle.
References: Paul Bedson, The Complete Family Guide To Natural Healing (Hinkler Books, 2005)
Erica Angyal, Gorgeous Skin In 30 Days (Lothian Books, 2005
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