For Beautiful, Radiant Skin
You know how they say pregnant women glow? That’s because we are radiant when we’re both physically healthy and happy. Knowing that our inner and outer beauty are intrinsically connected, it only makes sense that the foods we eat can have a big impact on our skin’s appearance.
One way to boost our health and beautify our skin is to incorporate superfoods—those nutrient-packed, healing gifts of nature—into our diets. The following traditional Chinese superfoods are said to increase blood flow, slow aging, calm the inflammation that causes acne, and more. Give them a try to achieve that luminous glow.
These berries, tart when dried and bitter when fresh, are full of antioxidants, collagen promoting vitamins, and amino acids. While they’re heralded for many things, the key beauty win is in their beta carotene – an essential plant phytochemical that promotes skin health. They are a great addition to your diet when your skin is suffering from the effects of city pollution, is looking drab, or is sunburnt.
Goji berries are most commonly eaten dried (think of them as a substitution for raisins or dried cranberries). You can also brew them in hot water, bake them into granola bars or eat them raw as a snack.
This Chinese cabbage is a staple in many diets and packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. Bok Choy is green and leafy on the top and stalk-like on the bottom. Its variety of health benefits range from supporting bone health to naturally decreasing chronic disease risk, but it’s beauty boost comes from Vitamin C, which can help improve skin texture and smooth wrinkles.
Tip – Try sautéing it in oil with garlic and lemon.
Red Dates (Jujube)
Red dates are full of nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and have long been used by Chinese women after birth and menstruation to restore strength. These sweet fruits, commonly called jujube, contain polyphenols which have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties that have been found to combat acne, wrinkles, skin cancer development and even eczema.
Purchase red dates at Chinese grocery stores and eat them fresh or dried, add them to soups, bake them into deserts, or steep them in hot water to make jujube tea. Eat them when your skin is breaking out, looking dull, or any time to improve elasticity.
These legumes are often found in stir-frys, soups, and salads and are packed with nutrients like folate, magnesium, and zinc. While they come with plenty of health benefits, mung beans can clear heat from the body, making them a great natural option for combatting acne and other inflammatory conditions. They also have anti-aging properties that improve the youthful appearance of your skin.
Ginseng is one of the world’s most popular superfoods, and for good reason. On top of its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, it contains bioactive compounds that improve the blood’s circulation and oxygenation. Ginseng can increase energy, boost your immune system, and improve brain function—not to mention give your skin a warm and beautiful glow.
Many beauty brands, especially those from the East, include ginseng in their moisturizers, eye creams and face masks. Applied topically, it can improve radiance, brighten dark circles, and smooth fine lines. You’ll get the same perks from ingesting this herb, plus the added benefit of improving your overall health. Try infusing your stocks with ginseng or steeping a couple of slices in piping hot water to make ginseng tea.
Note: Ginseng is a powerful medicinal herb and should be used as such. You should not take ginseng every day, and red ginseng is not recommended for those with excessive yang, who already hold a lot of heat in the body. White or American ginseng tend to be less heating, but should still be taken with caution or prescription.
Bitter melon is not the tastiest superfood on our list, but its healing effects make up for that. What’s considered a damp food in Traditional Chinese Medicine, bitter melon can cool down internal heat and fight inflammation. It’s great for fighting inflammatory skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Bitter melon can be used to add bitterness to any dish and is commonly found in soups, dim sum, and curries. Its sharp taste can be softened by liberally salting the melon before cooking. Be sure to scoop out the seeds.
If you want glowing, healthy skin, try incorporating these Chinese all-star foods into you diet. They can have profound effects on your overall health and beauty.