6th February 2019

Beautiful berries

I do love berries and have long been a fan of eating them in place of other fruits. I particularly like them for the juicy flavours, very high vitamin and mineral content and generally low glycaemic load. This gives a slow release of natural sugars and fibres rather than spiking our energy levels. This makes them easy to snack on, add to breakfasts and smoothies, eat on the go and are very tempting for the whole family!

Berries are like little power houses of whole health nutrients, beneficial for our heart, digestion, skin health and good at generally supporting the ageing process, along with a number of other wellbeing benefits. This is why I love including them in my diet all year round. Often in winter months our fruit consumption drops because we opt for more warming foods, milkier drinks and smoothies so our antioxidant, mineral and hydration intake might suffer at the time our skin needs it the most! Berries are a great source of skin loving nutrients still available throughout the winter months.

Our skin definitely needs extra TLC when it’s colder; it’s coping with the cold outside and the drying central heating inside. The winter months tend to be when I see the most clients reporting dry skin conditions, not just on the face but the whole body.

Here are some of the key skin loving nutrients you find in berries that will benefit your skin all year round.

 

Vitamin C, A key vitamin that appears in abundance across all berries. This is a skin loving mega anti-oxidant which is amazing when eaten and applied topically to the skin. Our bodies constantly need Vitamin C to be replaced as we don’t create it ourselves in the body. It’s essential for a healthy immune system, growing and repairing tissue, wound healing, healthy bones, strengthening blood vessel walls, staving off damage from the sun’s harmful rays and an essential ingredient to support pigmentation issues… to name a few!

 

Vitamin K, a vitamin that is not so frequently discussed. However, it’s essential for strengthening capillary walls as it prevents our arteries from calcifying and supports the blood clotting process, all essential parts of maintaining a healthy circulatory system. If our circulation is working well, our skin is being fed by fresh nutrients and oxygenated blood efficiently from our internal circulation supply. Vitamin K is a key ingredient often used in eye products because it strengthens capillary walls supporting the reduced appearance of dark circles.

 

Vitamin A, I’m not sure where our modern-day skincare would be without the skin benefits of Vitamin A. An essential for boosting cell turnover, supporting the ageing process, reducing the appearance of acne, pigmentation, fine lines, the list goes on!

 

Minerals – magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc, iron are all found in different strengths across berries and are all essential minerals for healthy skin formation; from collagen production, healthy red and white blood cell formation, balancing hormones and helping balance oil production too.

All berries are rich in plant fibres which support a healthy gut without being an aggressive or stodgy fibre source. If our gut is healthy then our skin is going to be happy and clear. There is such a close connection with our gut health and that of our skin.

Here’s why your skin loves fresh berries:

 

Raspberries

are a relative of the rose! They have one of the highest levels of combined antioxidants – 40% more than other berries, making them good for the fight against UV damage, pollution and stressful lives.

Key nutritional factors of raspberries include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.

They also contain omega 9 and have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties due to their natural flavonoids which help protect our cells and combat inflammation. This makes them good for skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea.

Raspberry ketones have been found to reduce the production of melanin in our skin (the pigmentation). There are some sunscreens that use raspberry seed oil as a natural ingredient to help combat pigment issues with sun exposure.

Raspberries are also rich in folates supporting in the formation of healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around our bodies.

 

Blackberries

An ancient British berry which I love for its free growth throughout our English countryside. They take me back to my childhood, blackberry picking in the fields and along countryside tracks.

Key nutritional skin benefits include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folates, Magnesium and Zinc.

Blackberries are made up of more than 85% water! This, coupled with all the natural fibres and nutrients makes them an amazing skin hydrator. The combined Vitamin A, C and K along with omega 3 and 6 oils in the seeds are all perfect for the skin.

 

Strawberries

Having grown up in the British countryside with a mother who was passionate about Wimbledon tennis, strawberries have always played a huge part in our family. As a child I recall taking punnets with fresh cream into school for my May birthday to share with my class mates instead of cake. They have the highest levels of Vitamin C of all the berries – a single serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange!  

They also have a lovely blend of B vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, iron, copper, potassium, vitamin K and manganese.

Anthocyanins is the antioxidant that created their red colour, a great support to our circulatory system. They also have slightly astringent properties making them good for treating puffy eyes. An alternative to the slices of cucumber, take strawberries straight from the fridge, cut them in half and glide them under the eye area.

They have natural AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) widely used within the skincare industry for their skin brightening and exfoliating effects. There are many fruit acid peels available; strawberries and blueberries are often used alongside other fruits for their skin rejuvenation effects. Strawberries might also be good for your breakouts, they contain a natural form of salicylic acid which is widely used as clinical antibacterial ingredient.

Strawberries are also great for your hair and scalp, the vitamins and AHA’s help stave off dandruff whilst the high levels of Vitamin C encourage a better iron absorption which can promote healthy hair growth. Plus, because they are loaded with silica they can support split ends and thick lustrous hair too.

 

Blueberries

These are probably the most consumed berries in our house all year round. They are an easy ingredient to super charge your breakfast, add to porridge, cereal, on top of pancakes, add to smoothies, make blueberry muffins or sit and eat a punnet to yourself while curled up on the sofa. I find these are the easiest to digest of all the berries, might they hold the key to better skin hair and nails?!  

Key skin loving nutrients in blueberries include vitamin K, vitamin C, Flavonoids, B vitamins and are very high in fibre.

Blueberries have a high concentration of salicylates, the salt part of salicylic acid. Within the facial treatments at my spa, my most commonly used low level peel is actually a blueberry peel. They are great for treating all skin types, especially spot prone skins because of this natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. They are great for keeping pores clear and sloughing off dead skin cells for a smoother complexion. 

Weather you eat them or schmoosh them and apply them to your skin and hair, berries have a place in your life for radiant skin all year round. 

For lots more information and yummy berry recipe ideas go to lovefreshberries.co.uk

 

 

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