I know, you’re thinking, “Groundbreaking Pam…berries?” And I know, it’s not. But the thing is, I can’t not tell you about the benefits of berries for your skin. As I’ve been digging into what actually counteracts aging and damaged skin, I figured out what wrinkles and facial lines truly were, and how important it is to consume a wide variety of berries.
So our skin is basically like an old school mattress with metal coils. The ‘coils’ are actually collagen fibers that are super firm at first, with just the right amount of bounce. Overtime, like a mattress, these collagen coils began to lose their resilience and bounce. The areas that lost their spring start to form lines and wrinkles, because they no longer have that strong coil underneath to support their structure. And this doesn’t just happen in our face. Collagen is connective tissue, which means it’s everywhere in the body. The reason we notice changes in the face so quickly is because it’s a prime target for sun damage and perpetual creasing (i.e. brow raising, smiling, laughing, etc). Lucky for us, unlike mattress coils, we can actually give life back to the collagen fibers in our skin. Aside from a variety of topical treatments and procedures (which I will totally dive into on another post), we can consume things to stimulate collage production from within. Vitamin C found in berries is a critical element in the production of collagen. This is the very thing that gives the bounce back to the aforementioned ‘coils’. Also, the more commonly known benefit of berries is that they are packed with anti-oxidants. That just sounds like it’s good for you, which would satisfy most curious minds, but some may wonder what anti-oxidants really do.
Free Radical, You Can’t Sit With Us.
So basically, when our skin breaks down from normal wear and tear, or ‘oxidative stress’, paired atoms are broken up. Some atoms end up back in a pair, and some are left to their lonesome. These unpaired atoms, known as free radicals, are left free to wreak havoc on nearby tissues and cells. It’s like your newly single girlfriend. At first, she seems okay, but by the third weekend of ‘Single Cindy in The City’, you and your liver can’t take it anymore. These terrible free radicals make their debut in the form of brown spots/hyper-pigmentation, broken blood vessels, and inflammation. The inflammation, which you may not actually see at the surface level of skin, literally suffocates the collagen and POOF-wrinkles. Oh, and did I mention that there are only 84 calories in a cup of blueberries? Get the 3 a.m. Taco Bell platter away from Cindy and slip her some berries; she’ll thank you in the morning.
It’s like Xanax for your skin.
Strawberries contain much of the same magical goodness as blueberries, in that it’s low calorie, fights inflammation and has a high vitamin C count. What makes strawberries stand out in the berry line up is that it actually contains biotin, which is key for healthy, shiny hair and strong nails. It also contains Ellagic Acid. Ellagic Acid stops the the destruction of free radicals by constantly neutralizing them before they even have the chance to cause inflammation. It’s like Xanax for your skin. And they perform like total rockstars when applied topically. They can help fight acne with their salicylic acidic properties, and contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which can serve as a gentle exfoliator.
I’m Down With KMC, Yeah You Know Me.
I’m talking about Vitamin K, Manganese and and Calcium. This trifecta of goodness is found in blackberries and helps with PMS cramps and heavy, painful menstruation. You heard me right. Vitamin K is essential in blood clotting which may ease excessive bleeding, and also helps regulate your hormones, #amen. The Manganese can actually curb mood swings, combat depression and alleviate headaches. The days before you begin your period are when you experience the lowest absorption rates of calcium. Low calcium, or hypocalcemia, can cause that irritability and anxiety we all experience from time to time. To combat this, increasing the amount of calcium we consume totally helps. It also fights the intensity of our cramps, bloating, weight gain and tender breast swelling. Why wasn’t this all taught in ‘Sex Ed.’ again?
So the next time you’re thinking about cutting back on sugar, carbs, or fruits all together, remember that there aren’t weights at the gym to firm up a wrinkly face.