We’ve all heard the saying, “beauty comes from within.” Throughout history, we’ve continually been searching for the answer to the ultimate question, “how do we keep our skin looking young, clear, fresh, and rejuvenated?”
The last decade or so has seen a massive uptick in greens supplementation research and development and how they might keep our skin looking young. We all want to look younger and more youthful, right?
Research in fields such as greens supplementation has advanced so far; there’s now an abundance of products on the market that promise to keep us looking young, fit, and healthy.
Let’s delve deeper and look at the various vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, elements, and compounds found in greens powders and how they impact our skin’s health (1).
The Role Of Vitamins
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant and plays a significant role in the hydrophilic phase. Vitamin C is water-soluble; however, it’s not synthesized by the body, meaning it’s vital we eat a diet that allows adequate intake.
Vitamin C plays a critical role in stabilizing the helical structure of collagen. This is why we see it used in greens powders, topical face creams, and moisturizers.
As well as stabilizing collagen, Vitamin C increases selenium levels, boosts cholesterol synthesis, and increases iron absorption.
Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are bleeding gums, bruising easily, lesions on the skin, and slow-healing wounds or bruises.
Vitamin E protects the body against collagen cross-linking and helps fight peroxidation.
Vitamin E contains eight compounds referred to as tocopherols, which are fat-soluble and has powerful antioxidant properties. High levels of tocopherols are found in leafy greens, vegetables, and some meats.
Synergistically, Vitamin C and E act powerfully to heal the body and play a significant role in strengthening the immune system, leading to younger fresher looking skin.
Cartenoids, which are derived from Vitamin A – possess incredibly high levels of antioxidant properties. Lycopene, retinol, and astaxanthin are all carotenoids derived from Vitamin A.
Astaxanthin, in particular, is a powerhouse and protects against a wide range of diseases. Its biosynthesized by phytoplankton and then digested by fish, leading to potential in nutrition and its role in slowing the aging process.
Cartenoids are found in foods like sweet potato, mango, papaya, pumpkin, and carrots.
Vitamin D has two primary functions within the human body, acting as a prohormone and allowing the body to synthesize through sun exposure (2).
Vitamin D3 is synthesized on the skin along with Vitamin D1. Foods and supplements like greens powders, eggs, salmon and mackerel, contain Vitamin D2 and 3.
Vitamin D plays several functions within our physiology. Vitamin D helps with calcium homeostasis and is vital to the immune system, protecting against disease.
When aging, the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D3 is reduced negatively, affecting our skin. This result is skin that looks wrinkled and old. Changing our habits by getting more sun exposure may help to mitigate these adverse side effects.
Polyphenols of late have got the research community’s attention due to their high levels of antioxidant properties. Luckily, our diets naturally provide a significant intake of polyphenols with a possible link to cancer prevention.
Polyphenols are responsible for fighting against UV radiation and other pathogens entering the body. For example, polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to help DNA damage and reduce inflammation in the skin caused by sun exposure.
Changes in the skin’s appearance are generally the first visible sign of aging, and for some people, it can hurt their mental and emotional well-being.
Polyphenols are also potent antioxidants that strengthen cells and may help prevent some tumors. Excellent sources are fruits and green vegetables, also tea, and even my favorite red wine. A perfect way to maintain antioxidants levels is by drinking greens powders or fruit and vegetable smoothies.
When thinking of calorie restriction, most people think it refers to some type of fasting. However, calorie restriction is not fasting.
Calorie restriction diets reduce your daily intake but don’t limit your level of essential nutrients, leading to malnutrition. Fasting, on the other hand, often means people do not eat at all, anywhere from a day or week, and in some extreme cases, a month.
Greens powders are a perfect choice here as they contain very-low-calorie counts while still providing numerous benefits to your overall health.
Research on calorie restriction is in its infancy; however, several studies on animals showed calorie restriction slowed the onset of age and extended lifespan.
A two-year study with 218 participants of varying ages and weight was undertaken to study the effects of caloric restriction on health. Participants in the experimental group reduced daily calorie intake by 12% and lost about 10% of body weight over the two years.
A decrease in body weight has been linked to a longer lifespan and decreases the risk of age-related disease. Several studies have concluded that calorie restricting diets help protect against bone loss, muscle mass loss, and osteoporosis, all helping your skin look younger and rejuvenated.
The role nutrition and supplementation play in keeping the skin look young is still debated amongst scientists (3).
Greens supplements and nutrition are all garnering great interest among the general public. Properties abundant in greens powders such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals positively affect the digestive, immune systems and keep skin fresh and supple.
Our skin is under constant attack externally from smoking, pollution, lack of sleep, and nutritional deficiencies. However, sun exposure is widely seen as the primary factor in the skin’s aging process.
Supporting the body’s antioxidant system with nutrition and greens supplementation is promising. Eating fruit, vegetables, specifically greens, is perhaps the best way to keep skin looking young.
As with most things in life, however, prevention is the most effective strategy to fight against skin damage.
Eating a balanced diet, incorporating daily exercise, implementing caloric restriction, and greens supplementation provide the best chance of looking younger and staying fit and healthy.