At first glance, these key ingredients seem more suited for the kitchen than for your medicine chest, but working them into your diet can have real beauty benefits:
Cocoa: Cornell University food scientists found that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times the amount found in green tea. Research has demonstrated that the antioxidants in cocoa are highly stable and easily metabolized by the human body, which means they can be readily used by the body. Cocoa has a high concentration of anti-aging polyphenol antioxidants, so it's possible that incorporating dark chocolate into your diet might alleviate the signs of aging.
Product pick: The antioxidant properties of the cocoa extract found in Payot Creme de Choc ($48; available by calling 800-450-9564) might have a rebalancing effect on the skin. You'll also get a dose of vitamins A, C and E along with green tea, ginseng and royal jelly to help boost cellular renewal and protect against environmental aggressors.
Cranberries: They are rich in flavonoids, which have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, making them very valuable to your overall well-being. Not only are cranberries jam-packed with antioxidants, but they also act as a natural breath mint.
Product pick: Sircuit Skin Sir-Activ Zeolyte Purifying Scrub ($48; sircuitskin.com) uses cranberry extract to assist in skin-cell renewal. This scrub also has zeolyte beads, derived from volcanic rock, which can help trap and wash away pollution and debris on the skin.Almonds: A 2003 Food and Drug Administration study suggests that 1.5 ounces of fiber-, protein- and vitamin A-rich almonds daily might reduce the risk of heart disease. Six almonds a day also are believed to provide the fatty acids your nails need to stay strong and prevent splitting. Product pick: Joey Pure Pores Crushed Almond and Honey Scrub ($30; sephora.com) uses only the meat of the almond (no harsh, abrasive shells) for gentle exfoliation. With added honey for natural hydration and clay to absorb excess oils, you have a sweet-smelling treat that can brighten, soften and refine dull, dry skin. Grapes: Grapes are high in polyphenols, which have many health benefits including the prevention of heart disease and cancer. When applied topically to sun-damaged skin, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes and red wine, can help decrease the effects of UVB exposure and help stop skin cells from developing skin cancer. Resveratrol also might benefit the skin through moderate grape and red-wine consumption. Product pick: With grape seeds, essential oils and brown sugar, Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub ($45; sephora.com) helps you say "Cheers!" to smooth skin.Source: The Augusta Chronicle. Powered by Yellowbrix.