DOCTORS’ NEEDLES and scalpels and hundred-dollar creams are various methods to tighten, smooth, and fight sagging—but it’s much more simple (and fun) to eat your way to beautiful skin. Some of your favorite foods, such as peanuts, cheese, and mango can help you do this. In this chapter, we’ll cover these and a slew of other foods that contain nutrients to help you buff and firm your way to a rejuvenated look. Your new face-lift is only a few bites away!
Does Food Really Alter Skin Roughness and Elasticity?
Let’s turn to the research: In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, sixty-two women (45 to 73 years old), were each given either a placebo or supplement with nutrients known to support skin health. The supplements included vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, and pycnogenol (an antioxidant found in bark). The researchers reported that those who took the nutrient supplement significantly increased the elasticity of their skin—by 9 percent—after just six weeks (those who took the placebo experienced no significant increase).
Consuming nutrients is the equivalent of giving yourself a natural face-lift. Let’s examine some of these nutrients more closely to see how they work. One of the best nutrients for the skin is vitamin E. This fat-soluble antioxidant fights many signs of skin aging and damage by neutralizing free radicals, the harmful compounds in the skin caused by sunlight and environmental chemicals. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, putting an end to their damaging rampage, which means less damage to the skin’s structure.
Say Good-Bye to Sagging
Sagging skin, a sign of aging is due to several environmental factors and certain internal factors such as hormones, which fluctuate during menopause especially. Changes of the skin that appear during menopause suggest that a drop in estrogen accelerates the aging process, as estrogen prevents oxidative damage that is caused by free radicals in the body.
Silica is a trace mineral rich in asparagus that strengthens the body’s connective tissues, such as the muscles, hair, tendons, nails, bone, and skin. In your skin, a deficiency in silica can compromise elasticity and reduce your ability to heal wounds. This deficiency also makes the tissue weak, inflexible, and unstable, which can lead to sagging. Modern food-processing techniques reduce the amount of silica we get in our diet.