This may be the best news you read all day. Chocolate is good for your
skin! Yes, chocolate, that
rich dark ambrosia your mother said caused breakouts and all your dateless weekends, actually
has many redeeming qualities.
Research has shown that the cocoa bean has many
health benefits. But make sure to select chocolate that’s low in sugar and free
of milk or soybean products, which can counter the benefits.
So, how does chocolate help your skin?
Cocoa contains flavanols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
That means protection from UV damage, which causes wrinkles, sun spots
and skin cancer. Also, epicatechin and resveratrol, two antioxidants in
the cocoa bean, have benefits for the heart, blood vessels, brain and
nervous system, helping to slow down the aging process.
And if you want another reason to enjoy that chocolate bar, remember that
dark chocolate reduces stress and increases the production of mood-enhancing
neurotransmitters –again an anti-aging benefit. In fact, there are
more antioxidants in dark chocolate than
green tea or red wine.
How much do you know about the beloved cocoa bean? Take our
Of course, sadly enough, one cannot live on chocolate alone. If you’re
searching for other foods that will give your skin a healthy, youthful
glow, try these:
Olive oil. Olive oil beat out many others, including sunflower and peanut, because
75 percent of its fat is from monounsaturated fatty acids, which are believed
to help with anti-aging. The antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil may
also fight off free radicals.
Tomatoes. If you don’t want to burn the color of these beauties, try eating
more of them. Research shows people who ate five tablespoons of tomato
paste daily, along with a tablespoon of olive oil for 12 weeks, enjoyed
more protection from sunburn compared to a control group that ate just
olive oil alone, according to a 2008 British study. Apparently, cooked
and processed tomatoes have particularly high levels of the antioxidant
lycopene, which provides some protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Oranges. These fruits have plenty of water, so they hydrate your skin. One large
orange is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps make collagen
and keeps your skin soft.
Avocados. You can’t go wrong with
avocados which help your skin stay hydrated and are loaded with monounsaturated
fat --again, the “healthy fat” that can help absorb vitamins
and nutrients your skin needs. So, spruce up your salad with plenty of
these green darlings.
Oats. Oats are the natural alternative to refined bread, rice and pasta –all
of which are high-glycemic foods that can trigger acne and wrinkles. Low-glycemics
like oats don’t raise your blood sugar and are generally better
for health and anti-aging. They also have natural chemicals that treat
Salmon. This fish has
omega-3 fats, which may keep skin cancer cells from growing and spreading. And salmon,
of course, has other health benefits like increasing your cardiovascular
health (those omega-3 fats again) and treating osteoarthritis and other
inflammatory joint conditions, thanks to high amounts of bioactive peptides.
So, how about
oatmeal for breakfast, topped off with a salmon dinner, lovely salad and dark
chocolate for desert? Your skin will be glowing and chances are, even
your mother will finally approve of your diet.
Which foods help keep your skin aglow? Tell us in the comments below.