By Christina Pirello
In the spring, we all talk about giving our homes a ‘facelift.’ We clean closets, wash windows, de-clutter and get rid of the ‘cobwebs’ of winter.
But what if you could rejuvenate and refresh your very real face with some simple tweaks to your food choices? Can you really get a facelift from what’s in your fridge? In my experience…and I have a lot…one of the most pronounced and gratifying effects of eating a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet is the radiance that your skin takes on.
Everyone seems to love a good cleanse these days but Mother Nature supplies us with a bounty of naturally detoxifying foods that help the body eliminate environmental and dietary toxins…and at the same time, support the optimal function of critical organs. And the most powerful naturally detoxifying food is green vegetables!
Green foods are powerful. They help detoxify and can counter the effects of that wee too much alcohol or fun foods you may have indulged in at the spring fling you attended. Green foods include an array of plant-based delicately-flavored foods like dark leafy greens, baby kale, baby spinach, young barely grass, blue green algae, wheat grass, spirulina, watercress, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, baby arugula, and escarole.
The chlorophyll present in greens is magic! Chlorophyll aka the plant’s ‘blood’ is what allows these greens to soak up the sun and transform it into food. In my humble view, there hasn’t been near enough fuss about greens’ magical powers, so here are four reasons why greens and their chlorophyll could be the secret ingredient to your best skin yet:
Healthy Skin Means You’re Healthy
Chlorophyll is often affectionately called “plant blood” because it’s the life force of every living plant. A key factor to chlorophyll, is magnesium.
Magnesium is essential to our body’s wellness as more than 300 enzymes require magnesium to work. It’s critical for cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems function and for optimal function of muscles, kidneys, liver and hormone-secreting glands. And our precious skin? Magnesium helps to move oxygen to your skin and is essential for the efficient metabolism of vitamin C (which is a crucial vitamin for radiant skin). Magnesium also aids in retaining elasticity and the “dewy” nature of our skin as we mature!
Mother Nature cares for us in so many ways (even though we are consistently careless with her many gifts), but one of her best tricks is the goodness of green’s chlorophyll to help heal cuts and scrapes, burns, nicks, and inflammation. Chlorophyll can even help prevent scarring and infections with natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and wound-healing properties. It also helps destroy pesky germs. So eat (or drink) your greens.
Because of its amazing germ killing action (creating an environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria) chlorophyll is great for helping fight breakouts. Pimples are, after all, the body’s attempt to rid itself of toxins and excess through these ugly little sacks of oil, dead skin and bacteria that we all despise.
Chlorophyll fights the bacteria that causes acne and can help stop breakouts or at least help them clear up faster. There’s a number of products that fight acne that contain chlorophyll and they’re great to use topically, but don’t make any excuses…eat or drink your greens daily.
Oh, Them Wrinkles!
Many movie stars maintain an ageless quality but that’s often the result of a team of dermatological and cosmetic professionals. But by simply adding chlorophyll to your beauty routine, you can age like diva as well. Chlorophyll is packed with skin-protecting antioxidants that can help prevent sun damage and delay the onset of wrinkles.
Chlorophyll has the great and unique ability to absorb light, so it can protect you from harmful UV rays. An Australian study of more then 1,000 subjects found that those who ate at least 3 servings of dark leafy greens a day reduced their risk of skin cancer by up to 55%. While a miraculous gift from Mother Nature, chlorophyll is best for its skin protective qualities when you consume it… but it’s not actually sunscreen. Though it’s fab for looking your glowing best, it’s no substitute for sunscreen so remember to protect your precious skin before hanging out in the sun.
Eat your greens and get your spring glow on!
PS FROM ALICIA – Don’t go off and buy chlorophyll pills! The chemical process to extract chorophyll isn’t exaclty clean – so it really is best to eat your greens! Steam and blanch, juice sometimes!
Christina Pirello is one of America’s preeminent authorities on natural and whole foods with a radiant personality that only serves to make her message more powerful. She is the Emmy Award-winning host of the television series Christina Cooks and the author of several books. Her most recent, Back to the Cutting Board, helps you set aside all that tension and pretense and rediscover a pure, joyful passion for the art of cooking.
Photo: Victoria Pearson