Being sugar-conscious is one of the smartest things you can do for your skin, simple as that.
But while you're working on cutting refined sugar (you know, the added sugars you get in just about every processed food, from granola bars to yogurt to cereals and tomato sauce), there's one type of sugar-containing food that you SHOULD NOT eliminate...fruit!
'But doesn't fruit contain just as much sugar as some processed foods?' you ask. Good question.
It's true, fruit does contain naturally-occurring sugar, in some cases in significant amounts (100 grams of grapes have 18 grams of sugar, while the same amount of grapefruit just has 6.2). But that's not the whole story, and comparing whole fruit to processed foods that contain sugar is like, well, comparing apples and oranges.
Diets that advise you to avoid fruit are cheating you out of precious beauty nutrition. And the message that the sugar from whole fruit (we're not talking about fruit juice or dried fruit here) is the same as sugar in other foods is not telling the whole truth.
A recent New York Times article, 'Making the Case for Eating Fruit,' sheds some light on this topic.
"In the rush to avoid sugar, many low-carb dieters and others are avoiding fruits...Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, said that sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to any adverse health effects, no matter how much you eat."
What's more, it's packed with nutritional benefits, from a powerful dose of antioxidants (eat a wide variety of fruit to get the many, many beauty-boosting antioxidant phytochemicals that they contain), to fiber that encourages healthy digestion and elimination and fills us up. The fiber in fruit slows your absorption of sugar, so it doesn't produce the same spike in blood sugar that you'd get from, say, a slice of white bread or a candy bar.
Want to know which fruits are my absolute favorites for beauty? It's hard to pick just a few, but here are my top 7...
- Pineapple contains a natural enzyme compound called bromelain that helps the body digest protein. It can help you digest well and maintain a flat belly!
- Lemon provides a powerful alkaline detox for the body. Lemon is the one fruit that I always have in my kitchen!
- Blueberries are prized for their anti-aging, antioxidant capacity, plus the anthocyanin pigments that give their skins a deep blue color—and give our own skin youthful elasticity.
- Pomegranates contain phytochemicals that reduce inflammation and protect youthful collagen.
- Apricots are filled with beta carotene, which converts to skin-smoothing vitamin A; you can get about 60 percent your daily A needs from just 4 apricots.
- Watermelon is the fruit highest in iron, and it contains UV-protective lycopene, plus a ton of hydrating, detoxifying fluids.
- ...and Avocado (don't forget, it's also a fruit!) is one of the best sources of fats that you can feed your body and beauty. It's a fantastic energy source that also contains vitamin E to strengthen skin.
What's your favorite fruit for beauty and health?
While eating fruit and nothing but fruit all day long will cheat you of beautifying building blocks found in other whole foods, there's no harm in eating fruit every day. Eat fruit on an empty stomach, or at least an hour after meals, to avoid bloating and indigestion. And watch the amount of fruit you put in your juices and smoothies— those forms of fruit are low in fiber and they will spike your blood sugar.
Go ahead— make a beauty-boosting fruit salad tonight.
Have you been avoiding fruit in your diet— and will this news change your plans?
Candy image by Bianca Morales