Here in South Florida, we like to say that we live in Paradise. And there’s some truth to that …
The sun shines all the time. The beaches are stunning. And for those like me who choose to live healthy, we have an abundance of delicious fruit … right in our backyards.
Mangos, bananas and citrus grow right off the tree … free from harmful pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
But there is one fruit I wish was easier to grow here in South Florida … and that’s blueberries.
Sadly, most people prefer to eat blueberries in highly processed pastries and pies loaded with unhealthy sweeteners and artificial preservatives.
But I prefer to eat them raw when they’re bursting with healing nutrients and vitamins.
Few foods come close to the antioxidant power of wild blueberries. They deliver more than twice the already-potent antioxidant punch of strawberries and pomegranates.
And that means they’re a great food choice for people like you who want to keep their skin looking young and radiant.
The reason your skin ages because of an assault by harmful free radicals produced by pollution, an unhealthy diet, UV sun radiation and other damaging environmental elements. Antioxidants are a natural way to neutralize this damage.
Blueberries are high in two very specific antioxidants that keep your skin vibrant and healthy: anthocyanins and pterostilbene.
Anthocyanins fight the free radicals that destroy collagen, the structural protein that ensures the elasticity, firmness and regeneration of your skin.
Pterostilbene is close relative of the anti-aging dynamo resveratrol. Pterostilbene offers many of the same cardiovascular, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-Alzheimer’s and energy production benefits. But it’s more easily absorbed by your body.
A recent study showed pterostilbene reduced both skin inflammation and sun-related skin damage. The study also showed that pterostilbene (but not resveratrol) prevented chronic UVB radiation-induced skin cancer.1
Blueberries are also rich in vitamins A, C and E. All three are critical to producing youthful, glowing skin.
Vitamin A has been proven to help reduce wrinkles, fade brown spots and smooth roughness.2
Vitamin C is essential for collagen production.3 Plus, it prevents “spider veins” by strengthening the capillaries just below the surface of your skin.
And besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E also helps your skin maintain its protective moisturizers.4
Although it’s too difficult to grow blueberries in my backyard in South Florida, wild blueberries are available to us all nearly eight months of the year. And they freeze well.
Because of their powerful anti-aging and skincare benefits, blueberries have become one of my “must eat” foods.
You should make them one of yours, too.
To your good health,
Al Sears, MD
1. McCormack, D. and McFadden, D., “A Review of Pterostilbene Antioxidant Activity and Disease Modification,” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2013; 575482.
2. Alberts D, Ranger-Moore J, Einspahr J, et al. Safety and efficacy of dose-intensive oral vitamin A in subjects with sun-damaged skin. Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10:1875-1880.
3. Geesin JC, Darr D, Kaufman R, Murad S, Pinnell SR. Ascorbic acid specifically increases type I and type III procollagen messenger RNA levels in human skin fibroblast. J Invest Dermatol 1988;90:420-424. (PubMed)
4. Zhai H, Behnam S, Villarama CD, Arens-Corell M, Choi MJ, Maibach HI. Evaluation of the antioxidant capacity and preventive effects of a topical emulsion and its vehicle control on the skin response to UV exposure. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2005;18:288–93. doi: 10.1159/000088014. [PubMed]