Someone once said that youth is wasted on the young. The premise to this saying is that young people don’t imagine that they will ever have a wrinkle or change in skin pigmentation or elasticity. The formation of such unwanted changes will happen so far down the road, it’s not even given a thought. Because of this, many young people may engage in risky skin behaviors early on. While the common examples are smoking and lack of sunscreen, the big factor that comes to my mind is the lack of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
We all age, and we will all, at some point, develop a wrinkle or find that our skin is not as radiant and plump as it once was. But what if we could hold onto our youth a little longer, and if we did make bad decisions early on that are now negatively affecting our outer beauty—what if we could reverse some of the damage? If you’re thinking this can only be done with expensive beauty treatments, think again. The average cost of a department store beauty cream is approximately $125, but many creams can cost as much as $500 to $3,000. We pay the steep cost because they promise glowing, smooth skin that will help us to look younger, and it’s this promise of youth that speaks to our emotions and our wallets.
There is a cheaper (and just as effective) option and it’s located right at your local grocery store, farmers market or even your backyard garden! It’s food—and it has the power to make you look amazing, inside and out. I was in my 20s when I decided that I wanted to devote my life to helping others transform their eating habits and thus, transform their lives. I watched my peers around me spend hundreds of dollars on skin treatments to delay the inevitable aging process, and during that time, I was spending my money at farmers markets for fresh produce.
As I headed into my 30s, my skin was fabulous and I had saved enough money to put a down payment on my first home. During the mid-1990s, the emergence of vitamin C in wrinkle creams became abundantly popular. There was scientific evidence that a vitamin C serum could enhance outer beauty. But some products only had very small amounts of vitamin C despite their very big price tag and unless you had the knowledge of how to purchase the right vitamin C serum, the changes of getting ripped off were high. My friends were buying so much vitamin C serum; I’m sure many maxed out their credit cards in the quest for ultimate “prettiness.” I often wondered why they didn’t consider eating pretty in addition to their skin cream regimen or even instead of it. It would be cheaper, no doubt and the benefits would go well beyond the outer beauty.
In 2007, a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher dietary intake of vitamin C was associated with a decreased likelihood of a wrinkled appearance. The association of vitamin C and better skin was independent of age, race, education, sunlight exposure, income, menopausal status, body mass index (BMI), supplement use, physical activity and energy intake. To get more vitamin C in your daily menu, think beyond your morning glass of orange juice and go for some additional (yet excellent) sources of vitamin C such as papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and bell peppers. In fact, you could throw all of that in a stir fry for a beautiful meal!
Isn’t it time for YOU to eat pretty? My column, Eat Pretty, will cover everything you ever wanted to know about making yourself beautiful with the brush of nature. You’ll learn how to get gorgeous hair, strong nails, radiant skin, less acne and much more, all through food. You’ll get the science behind outer beauty, as well as foods and recipes that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and is the canvas for creating a beautiful work of art—yourself! I hope the ideas and tips you receive from me will help you live not only a longer life, but a prettier life as well!
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