Cocoa lovers will be pleased to know that this “food of the gods” - the meaning of its Latin name Theobroma - helps in improving blood flow and hydrating skin because it is a good source of antioxidants. Ensuring that the skin gets enough ‘drinking’ water is important for skin health and cocoa is widely acclaimed as the go-to ingredient for this. In a 12-week study done on 24 women, those who drank a high-flavanol cocoa beverage noted increased hydration, reduced skin roughness and stronger skin defense against UV rays. Researchers attributed cocoa’s skin health benefits to flavanols - compounds that are found naturally in cocoa and have been noted to improve blood flow and vessel function.
Cocoa For Skin Hydration
Skincare Foods: Tomatoes For Sun Defense
A UK study showed that people who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily and clubbed it with a tablespoon of olive oil over a period of 3 months got better protection from sunburn as compared to people who had taken only olive oil. Another study showed that the group put on a strict tomato paste diet had a 30% increase in protection against sun damage. The studies concluded that the reason for the participants’ strengthened skin resistance was the presence of lycopene – a very effective antioxidant - in tomatoes which boosted the skin’s natural SPF (Sun Protection Factor).
Walnut The Eczema Warrior
Also known as dermatitis, eczema is a condition that inflames the skin causing it to be dry, red, itchy, patchy and cracking. Another skincare foods, walnuts have been traditionally used to treat eczema sufferers due to their generous omega-3 fatty acids content. These fatty acids boast antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: they protect healthy cells from free radicals and help alleviate skin diseases caused by inflammation like psoriasis and eczema. Master herbalist Dr Paul Haider says that walnut leaves can also be used to cure serious skin diseases such as impetigo - a common and highly contagious skin infection that causes sores and blisters.
Coffee To Prevent Skin Cancer
First, it was cocoa and now coffee for healthy skin – isn’t it great? In a study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2015, it was reported that people who drank four or more cups of coffee daily were 20 percent less likely to develop malignant melanoma - the leading cause of skin-cancer death in the U.S. – than non-coffee drinkers. The protective effect is most likely to be caffeine – no surprises here of course - and its efficacy as a molecular sunscreen that absorbs UV rays and protects DNA from damage. But that doesn’t mean you can go on a coffee-drinking binge; just keep it to a maximum of four cups daily and you should be fine.