November is officially National Pomegranate Month; and what better way to celebrate the powerhouse antioxidant rich fruit than to utilize its benefits in all aspects of your life? From healthy, beautiful skin to lower stress levels, the pomegranate is a valuable resource in helping jumpstart your complexion and your mood.
Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and author of The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger, shows us six ways pomegranates can help your skin look younger and your body feel healthier.
- Build Youth Back into Your Skin
Summer berries aren’t the only way to get your antioxidant fix. The pomegranate, a winter fruit, has powerful antioxidants that assist in the cellular renewal process and help cells stay plump with water. It also boosts anti-aging agents, helping to maintain skin’s collagen levels, and fights oxidative stress that ages us internally and externally. You can eat pomegranate to reap the benefits but also look for topical products that contain Pomegranate Extract to help fight free radical damage and promote overall skin health.
- Decrease Inflammation
Winter weather is known to inflict a mild inflammatory reaction in exposed skin, like the face and hands. Studies have shown that Pomegranate Extract significantly reduces the activity of proteins that cause inflammation. It also reduces the production of pro-inflammatory compounds produced by cells isolated from cartilage.
- Increase Your Oxygen Intake
Exercise is great way to increase oxygen flow. However, the cold winter weather can make it challenging to get daily exercise. Research shows that eating organic pomegranate seeds and drinking pure pomegranate juice can increase oxygen levels to the heart and , making the skin look fresh and smooth--without having to hit the gym!
- Minimize Cultural Stress
Don’t let the winter blues and the pressures of the holidays send you over the edge. A study found that having pomegranate juice every day resulted in lower stress hormones and a reduction in blood pressure, which leads to healthier, happier skin. Volunteers in the study reported feeling less distressed and more enthusiastic in their general well-being after consuming pomegranate juice.
- Boost Your Natural SPF
Many people think that sun damage is only prevalent during summer months, yet the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage skin even through overcast weather. One of the most important foods to combat sun damage is pomegranate, which contain polyphenols, like ellagic acid. Murad’s clinical trials show roughly a 25% improvement in SPF when a pomegranate extract supplement is added to a diet because it boosts natural sunscreen levels. If topical sunscreen also contains pomegranate extract, there is an additional improvement in SPF by 20%. Studies have also shown the application of pomegranate to the skin minimizes the risk of developing skin cancer.
- Help Banish Breast Cancer
Murad recently partnered with City of Hope to help raise funds for breast and women’s cancers research, education and treatment. So it only makes sense that the internationally acclaimed hospital would find the pomegranate to be as amazing of a superfruit as Murad did. City of Hope researchers identified six chemicals in the pomegranate that suppress aromatase — a substance in the body that helps produce estrogen. About 70 percent of breast cancers need estrogen to grow, so pomegranate is a prime candidate as a breast-cancer-blocking super food. Other scientists have also detected two substances in the fruit with the potential to fight both colon cancer and diabetes.