Great skin starts from within, one little superfood at a time. I get a little woozy everytime I see another list of the foods I should be eating. Some are literally 100 items long. Tired. My list will always be short. My great skin miracle food du jour- blueberries. Since the beginning of 2013 I stared eating blueberries 4-6 times a week and I’ve seen dramatic results. I started this habit because a study from Harvard School of Public Health found the benefits of berries (particularly blueberries, strawberries and blackberries) consumed at least 3 times per week significantly cut the risk for heart attack. I could dig some good benefits for my ticker so I jumped on the bandwagon. 8-10 weeks after starting my blueberry habit I looked in the mirror and was blown away by the changes in my skin. My aging trouble spots (especially my upper lip and the crow’s feet by my eyes) had made a huge recovery. My skin was more taught, hydrated and supple looking and my skin tone was brighter and more even. Right away I new it was a fringe benefit from my new berry habit. If I could buy stock in blueberries, I would. Blueberries contain compounds called anthocyanins. These are what gives blueberries their dark blue color. A steady diet of fruits and veggies rich in these compounds have multiple benefits. Nutritonal Benefits:
- Vitamin A, C, E and K
- The highest food source of antioxidants
Benefits for the skin:
- Anthocyanins contain antioxidants that fight free radicals that damage your collagen. By protecting your collagen your skin will stay younger looking longer. Antioxidants also help protect against skin cancer.
- They improves skin tone.
- Blueberries are good for your circulatory system as they keep capillaries and blood vessels flexible and keep them from breaking. They also help keep spider veins and varicose veins from forming.
- Acne prevention: blueberries balance hormones and neutralize oil production in your skin.
- Blueberries are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the major causes of wrinkles.
Other health benefits:
- Blueberries help reduce blood pressure.
- They lower the risk of type II diabetes.
- They improve memory and mood.
- Their anti-inflammatory properties can ease arthritis and joint pain
Making eating blueberries a habit:
- Blueberries start appearing in stores and Farmer’s markets in the spring. Before buying, make sure they’re sweet, firm and loose in their containers. Give them a little shake, if they don’t move they may be starting to degrade.
- Buy in bulk when they are in season and freeze for later use.
- When you get them home, try soaking the berries in a 10% vinegar/water bath for a few seconds. It will prevent mold from forming and double the life of the berries without adding a vinegar taste.
- If not in season I buy frozen- and I prefer the “wild” varieties. They tend to be smaller, slightly more acidic and sweeter than the conventional frozen blueberries. I’ve found wild frozen blueberries and Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Safeway.
Add blueberries to the menu whenever possible:
- In cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt or ice cream.
- Toss fresh blueberries (not frozen) in a green salad for texture and flavor.
- Add frozen blueberries to a vinaigrette.
- Make a sauce for chicken, duck, pork or game meat.
- Replace fresh blueberries for frozen in any of the above foods.
Your skin is affected greatly by your diet. You can’t expect to feed your body grease and sugar and then expect it to look great by slapping on some creams and potions. Great skin starts from within. Besides that, when you put blueberries in your cereal it turns your milk purple. Is it ok this makes me so happy?]]>