The One Anti-Aging Vitamin Your Skin Needs

 

If you are a beauty product lover like me, then you have probably tried about a million products. I have no less than five serums that I currently alternate between to maximize hydration, reduce fine lines and obtain that coveted youthful glow.

 

I know it’s overkill. In fact, you only need 4-5 products in your skincare arsenal for great, glowing skin and to prevent the damage that causes wrinkling, sagging, pigmentation and other effects of aging.

 

If you are going to use one vitamin on your skin, I believe it should be vitamin C. My personal favorite is an antioxidant serum with a 10% concentration of pure vitamin C from SkinCeuticals called Phloretin CF.  Vitamin C serums are absorb more readily by the skin than creams and other formulations, so you really are getting the most effective product with a serum and not wasting your money on something that doesn’t work.

 

antioxidant serum, topical vitamin C

 

So why is vitamin C *the* skin vitamin of choice, you ask?  Well for starters, there is a ton of research supporting the abilities of this powerful antioxidant to reduces the signs of aging and prevent further damage.

 

Studies have shown that topically-applied C can:

  • Reduce pigmentation (goodbye unattractive age spots)
  • Protect your skin from damaging effects from the sun 
  • Aid in collagen synthesis (hello firmness and elasticity)
  • Reduce inflammation, helping with conditions such as acne & rosacea

 

While vitamin C isn’t the only vitamin that an help give you great younger-looking skin, it’s a really important one. If you are only going to invest in one topical skin product, then topical C will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

For additional benefits, take a multivitamin with at least 100 milligrams of vitamin C and eat foods rich in C like papaya, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

 

Do you want to learn more about how you can get the amazing skin you’ve always wanted?



All You Need to Know About Asian Superfoods, Part 3

Sharing the last of my Asian superfood series with you today, part 3 of 3.  Some of these were familiar to me… others not so familiar.  But variety is the spice of life, right? 🙂

And speaking of spice…

The first superfood on the list today is turmeric.  Turmeric is used for its anti-cancer properties, as well as an immunity booster and liver detoxifier.  If you are a fan of Indian food (namely curries), you may recognize turmeric as a key ingredient.

curry shrimp

Turmeric is said to be helpful in fighting the common cold, as well as other respiratory problems.  Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin (the chemical found in turmeric which gives curry that distinctive yellow color)  and found it began to kill cancer cells within 24 hours!

Next is soybeans.  Soybeans are rich in protein, isoflavones (which have antioxidant benefits) as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (heart-healthy!). They also contain potassium and magnesium, which are necessary for our muscles to contract and relax.  Edamame are probably the most well-know type of soybean.  You can buy them in the frozen food section of most super markets.  Once thawed, they are a great addition to salads.  I love ordering steamed edamame as an appetizer when I go out for sushi.

soy beans, edamame

Last in the superfood series are two fruits — wolfberries (also known as goji berries) and pomegranates.

Wolfberries are rich in vitamin C and selenium, which both protect the heart and aid in cancer prevention.  They are also high in vitamin A – excellent for the eyes and skin.  You can usually find them amongst the dried fruits in markets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin B and vitamin C.  My friend sprinkles pomegranate seeds on top of her fruit salads, which adds a very interesting visual appeal.  Pomegranate juices are readily available in pretty much every super market, making it super easy to get your superfood boost.  There is even a POM supplement now for those who want the benefits without the added calories in a juice.

 

I hope you found the Asian superfood series interesting and perhaps have added a new thing or two to your diet.  I find that variety keeps cooking at home a task that is enjoyable rather than draining.  If you missed parts 1 and 2 of the series, you can find them here:

Asian Superfood Series, Part One

Asian Superfood Series, Part Two

 

 

 

 

 

The Asian Superfood Series, Part Two

If you read my blog last week, then you know I started a series of posts about Asian superfoods – some with great healing benefits that we might not think about here in the US.  If you missed my first post, you can read it here.

This week, I’m going to give you the lowdown on four more Asian superfoods that are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and huge disease-healing and prevention powers.

First on the list is seaweed.  I know what you are thinking… it doesn’t sound very appetizing.  However, not all seaweed is created equal 🙂  There are edible types of seaweed used in soup stocks, Asian salads, and of course in sushi.  You might recognize the names nori, wakame, and kombu from Japanese menus.  One of my favorite things to order in a sushi restaurant is a wakame salad.  Honestly it didn’t look very edible the first time I tried it, but the flavors were delicious and kept me going back for more.  Nori is the type of seaweed that you’ll see wrapped around your sushi.  While likely an acquired taste for some, I find it provides a nice salty flavor.  A few months ago, I saw a toddler being pushed in a stroller eating what looked to me like dried seaweed.  I asked the mom, and that is exactly what it was.  I was shocked that a toddler would find that a suitable snack!  I easily found this snack on the shelves the next time I went to Trader Joe’s (who knew?!), and now I’m addicted.

Photo courtesy of Club Trader Joe's

It’s kind’ve like eating chips, but not as crunchy & without all of the fat & calories.  I definitely recommend giving it a try!  As for the benefits, seaweed is rich in iodine (good for the thyroid) and also contains vitamins A & E.  It also contains folate, which is necessary for repairing damaged DNA and forming healthy blood cells.

Next on the list is coriander.  I became very confused by the difference between coriander and cilantro while I was in Japan, so I had to do some research.  As it turns out, they are actually the same herb — however, when the leaves are used it is referred to as cilantro.  The seeds of the plant are called coriander.  Coriander is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C — two antioxidants that protect against age-related eye disease such as macular degeneration.  It also removes excess heavy metals from the body, such as mercury contained in the fish we are eating, other metals in our drinking water, and those we get from daily exposure to our environment.  Coriander is used in making curries, so if you are a curry fan then look no further!  I discovered something just this week that is a new favorite!  I am a huge fan of dark chocolate infused with spices.  I started out eating dark chocolate with cinnamon & chili peppers, and now I try it with any kind of spice.  This week, my local market had some new chocolate bars on offer.  I picked up this one.

It did NOT disappoint!  This is my new favorite after-dinner treat!!  Eating a square or two of dark chocolate every day is totally allowed.  Dark chocolate also has its share of antioxidants, so as long as you stick to a small portion it is good for you 🙂

Next on the list is almonds.  You might not think of almonds as an Asian superfood, but they are incorporated into Asian desserts more than I see here in the US.  Almonds are rich in vitamin E.  They are great for your skin and help lower HDL (bad cholesterol).  Almonds are also high in potassium, manganese, and riboflavin.  Raw unsalted almonds best, but when I eat them alone as a snack, I prefer them roasted.

Last on the list for today’s post is sesame seeds.  Sesame seeds are high in vitamin E like almonds, and keep your skin & heart healthy. Black sesame seeds are high in calcium.  These can be found in most Asian food markets, and are really good in marinades or sprinkled on top of plain rice.  Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds makes great dips and salad dressings.  Try this delicious recipe from Whole Living magazine that I have tried using tahini as a garnish for fruit salad.

Photo courtesy of Whole Living magazine

Stay tuned for next week, part 3 of 3 in the Asian Superfood series.  Don’t forget… if you missed last week, you can check it out here.

Leave me a comment below if you have any recipes or great snack ideas using these superfoods!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Asian Superfood Series – Part 1

If you have been following me over the last couple of weeks, you will have seen me eating my way across Asia 🙂

I have eaten some incredibly delicious foods, many of them containing Asian superfoods with surprising healing properties.

One such superfood is wasabi!  I have to admit that I’m not usually a fan of wasabi.  However, when in Rome (or Tokyo, as it were…).  I’ve enjoyed wasabi in sushi on this trip, as well as in marinades in dressings.  You can use a little wasabi in recipes that call for mustard.  With it’s richness in cancer-fighting antioxidants, why not give it ia try?

Another great Asian superfood that I order any time I see on ANY menu is the shitake mushroom.  Shitakes are rich in vitamin B2, zinc, and selenium — which makes them a great anti-cancer food.  They also contain a compound called ergothioneine.  Ergothioneine has many benefits, some of which include, conserving levels of other antioxidants (like vitamin C and vitamin E), as well as protecting against damage from UV radiation.  Try shitake mushrooms in recipes that call for portabello mushroom.  My favorite way to eat them is right off the grill with just a touch of sea salt!

El Scrapeo enjoying shitake mushrooms off a charcoal grillKaren enjoying grilled shitake mushrooms in Tokyo

Karen enjoying grilled shitake mushrooms in Tokyo

I’m off to try new foods now :-))

Join me next week to learn about more Asian superfoods!  If you have any favorites, please share them with me below.  Happy healthy eating!