October 2011 – blogUT

The cosmetics industry, better known as the “beauty economy”, is thriving in this day and age. The industry has developed an inexhaustible number of beauty products, each designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Crest White Strips for a healthy and white smile, products from Neutrogena for healthy skin, and Listerine mouthwash to counteract bad breath.  These cover a minuscule component of the industry’s creations. All of the beauty products out there can be a bit overwhelming – which ones really work and which ones are scams? Forget about roaming through the cosmetics department and head over to the supermarket. Here are five inexpensive food items that have been proven to let the inner beauty shine.
1. Raisins for a healthy smile. Who would have thought of this one? Raisins, in fact, are a prime source of antioxidants, which are chemicals that fight bacteria growth. Would you believe that people who eat bran cereal topped with fresh raisins are less prone to tooth decay than those who eat store-bought raisin bran? It’s true – researchers at the University of Illinois figured out that one. Alright, get ready for the picture, and say “raisin”.
2. Edamame for healthy skin. Edamame, a type of East Asian green soybean, can be purchased in most health food stores. Edamame and other soy-based foods contain collagen, which keeps skin firm and vibrant. “Soy is fairly cheap and it does some good,” says dermatologist Dr. Ramsey Markus. Want to find out what “good” Dr. Markus is referring to? Munch on some edamame!
3. Cucumbers for healthy eyes. Resting cucumber slices over the eyes has actually been scientifically proven to reduce swelling and inflammation. Using cucumbers to smoothen the skin around the eyes is a common world-wide practice. Everyone has seen this done either on a movie or in real life. So, since the stars yearn for the cucumber remedy for puffy eyes, why not follow their lead?
4. Parsley for fresh breath. Instead of popping a slice of gum or a mint in my mouth, I decided to indulge in a stalk of parsley. After only a couple of chews, the freshness in my breath was quite apparent. Parsley contains compounds called polyphenols, which are strong enough to break down smelly odour such as sulfur, which gives garlic its iconic scent. Garlic bread, anyone?
5. Tart cherry juice for better sleep. Calling all insomniacs! Any ideas on how to sleep more comfortably and wake up feeling well-rested without using medication? Drink a glass of tart cherry juice before turning out the lights. Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, which is a hormone that stimulates sleep, which is activated in darkness.
These foods have been proven to stimulate beauty, and work just as well or better than products found in the cosmetics department. Dare to try them?

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