One of the strangest things about modern culture’s obsession with anti-aging is that it perpetuates the idea that beauty (or health) is only skin deep.
Do you doubt me?
Simply consider the dollars spent on aging technologies like Botox, plastic surgery, spray-tans, hair dye, etc. It’s only about what can be done to the surface.
With the advent of thousands of new dermatology technologies and facials and lasers, very few people talk about what’s going on beneath the skin.
With so many plastic surgery and laser rejuvenation techniques, we have become so used to artificial anti-aging — do you even recognize that bleached white teeth are a mere façade? Good teeth, like the rest of your body, are built from the inside out.
When it comes to aging in particular, it turns out that what we feed ourselves, and what kind of environmental space we choose to live on a day to day basis, will have a lot to say about our skin and our quality of health. Since skin is clearly important to people, let’s start with it.
There are two different types of changes that occur in the skin:
- Chronological Aging: this occurs due to the passage of time alone.
- Photo Aging: changes resulting from chronic sun exposure.
Photo aging shows up as wrinkles, slackness, loss of collagen, and texture changes. You can also lose pigmentation, or gain excessive pigmentation in areas of high exposure.
In both chronological and photo aging, the best support begins with your diet. After all, you wear the biggest organ in your body: your skin.
So, what’s happening? It’s all about replication.
Your body’s cells constantly replace themselves by replicating, and each replication takes a toll on your DNA (literally). That’s chronological aging.
However, over-exposure to the sun damages your DNA’s ability to provide a quality replication. Now, I’m not saying to stay completely out of the sun. And guess why? Some exposure to the sun actually HELPS your DNA function better!
Another way to think about cell replication is to compare it to a photocopier. What happens when you begin to run out of ink? It’s kinda like that with aging. Our cells, including skin cells, make copies of themselves, but after too many copies are made (or with over-exposure to the sun), they begin to make poorer and poorer copies. Ergo, we age.
And, on a grander scale, what we see happening to our skin is also happening inside our bodies.
What’s great is that juicing helps us restore much-needed nutrients and hydration levels, and helps clear away the cell-wastes that make it difficult for cells to accurately replicate.
TOP 7 HYDRATING JUICES:
And green foods help us respond to the Sun more efficiently.
DRINK Your Sunscreen?
Did you know that your skin has natural compounds that protect you from sunburns, and that more of these compounds are created by, and operate optimally by getting good nutrition?
In fact, there’s been a lot of talk in recent years about your body working with the sun naturally, and science emerging about possible dangers with conventional sunscreens. (Link:) Did you know the ancient Aztecs and Mayas used cocoa butter for sun protection?
In reality, we are built differently — each of us — with varying levels of sun-efficiency based on our ethnic background and heritage, with the ability to produce our own SPF naturally. And the reason why we can do this is because of MELANIN.
Melanin is that substance which dictates the colors of nature: hair, skin, and eyes (and feathers, fur or scales in other branches of the animal kingdom). In humans, it provides the physiological differentiations that we call skin color. It all boil down to the amount of melanin we have.
In the skin, melanin is capable of transforming damaging ultraviolet light waves into heat (a process known as ultrafast internal conversion). This transformation keeps ultraviolet radiation from damaging our DNA. In other words – it’s our natural sunscreen. It’s no wonder (as any child may point out) that most people who have traditionally lived close to the equator are rich in natural.
But, did you know that, to a point that is different for each of us, you can help your body produce more melanin?! This means that eating quality, nutritious food IS skincare.
For example, a proper diet and UV exposure lead to melanin production and vitamin D production!
POP-QUIZ: Did you know that Vitamin D is necessary for every hormone in our body? Yet, over 75% of people in North America are deficient in vitamin D.
They key is: hydration and a nutritious diet — like you get when you juice raw fruits and vegetables
So, what works?
TOP 4 Nutrients for HAPPY YOUTHFUL SKIN
Now that we know how to safely get our Sunshine, let’s learn a bit more about the key nutrients we need to be ingesting to regrow and restore collagen and hydrate our cells, repair the capillaries and normalizes skin tone. Not to mention, all those sumptuous antioxidants.
- VITAMIN C
How to get it: Oranges, tangerines, limes, guava, lemons, papayas, strawberries, black currants, grapefruit and mangoes, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbages, spinach.
- VITAMIN K
How to get it: raw coconut, dark leafy greens
- VITAMIN E
How to get it: blackberries, bananas, apples, kiwi, avocadoes
How to get it: coconut, bell peppers, bananas, pineapple and watermelon, collard greens, kale, and bok choy, watercress.
Bonus (the secret ingredient): MULBERRIES
Mulberries support our bodies with an incredible ability to access our natural rejuvenating process within the protective layers of our skin. According to one source, “Mulberries do this by regulating melanin synthesis.” They are so rich with vitamins and minerals, so they’re excellent for supplementing all kinds of disease regimens.
When it comes to anti aging, they are rich in one very important ingredient that fights against this – Vitamin C. As you may already know, it’s an antioxidant that regulates your body’s free radicals. Who knew that by using using mulberry juice (Midwesterners rejoice!) you can get rid of those premature aging signs that nobody wants, like wrinkles, altered pigmentation.
So, where do aging problems start?
Often, they actually begin by spending too much time indoors. If you live in a temperate climate, when you experience winter you’re inside more and you lose your protective stores of critical vitamins. Ever wonder why you begin feeling better in the spring when you naturally begin to spend more time in the sun? The sun is using the nutrients in the food you consume to replenish those empty cells, and your brain is rewarding you with dopamine! Some people even report feeling a “tanner’s high” (is this is sign of vitamin deficiency?).
So, ultimately, getting some sun — but not enough to burn you — and eating (and drinking) a good diet will give your skin, and you, a healthy, energetic glow!
Interesting in learning more? Check out these resources!