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Image via Craft Or DIY

Dr. G: “When we talk about good skincare practices, there are a few important steps to follow –  Exfoliate, cleanse, treat, hydrate and protect, but healthy and vibrant looking skin does in fact also need to come from within. Staying true to a health diet (without sugar, alcohol, excess caffeine, dairy) is essential for obtaining the ultimate glow, even skin tone and radiant-looking skin. Concentrated extracts from cruciferous vegetables line broccoli contain bioactive phytonutrients that can help to reverse and repair a lifetime of skin damage – revealing smoother, clearer and more radiant skin.”

Q: We’re seeing a lot of superfoods in skincare. Lately, it seems as though Kale is the ingredient of the moment. What are the health benefits of kale, and how do those translate to skincare?

Dr. G: “Kale is one of the healthiest foods to eat and definitely shows on the skin. Kale contains lutein which is a carotenoid that helps fight and protect against free radicals. Kale also contains high levels of Vitamin A which helps with tissue repair, Vitamin C which assists in brightening skin and Vitamin K which helps with darkness under the eyes due to it’s coagulation properties.”

Q: Are the concentrations of kale substantial enough to really make a difference? Or do you think some of this is hype?

Dr. G: “The skin is the last organ to benefit from anything ingested as it is the furthest away from the source. So, yes putting kale directly on to the skin could be more potent than eating it , but probably not by much. Skincare products need to have the appropriate delivery system as well as crucial anti-aging ingredients to really be effective.”

Q: In your opinion, what is the most potent age-fighting cruciferous vegetable to be using topically (and ingesting internally)?

Dr. G: “Broccoli has more vitamin C than any other vegetable of its kind. As a concentrated source of this powerful antioxidant, broccoli extract offers outstanding protection from free radical assault. In addition, broccoli contains significant amounts of special flavonoids such as kaempferol and quercitin that help recycle vitamin C, thereby boosting its effectiveness. Broccoli also provides a number of important carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene that also function as key antioxidants to help protect your skin from the effects of premature aging. Along with vitamin E, another valuable antioxidant, broccoli is a rich source of vitamin B and health-promoting minerals like manganese and zinc.”

DIY Broccoli mask

Every January people panic over what type of detox to attempt or foods to eliminate and by the third week, the bad habits are usually back with vengeance. No need to fall off the wagon before February! So this year we decided to implement healthy choices all year long not just for January. We all know that the key to success is moderation. Instead of trying to quit every bad habit cold turkey, we are going to change it up on monthly basis. Every month we will decrease or eliminate an unhealthy habit. Below are a few tips and tricks to get the year started right!

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Photo via Byrdie

Limit alcohol intake to once a week. If your job requires a lot of socializing try to drink 1:1- one water to every one alcoholic drink. This will help ward off dehydration. Drinking extra water will also create the feeling of fullness.

Limit sugar intake to once a week. The trick with sugar is getting it out of  your system. Sugar is the devil and really the worst thing for your body. Start reading labels and thinking about what is in the food you eat. Hidden sugars will derail any healthy diet. If you have a sweet tooth reach for the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a good sugar to eat in moderation and you bypass all the gross chemicals in junk food candy.

Switch dairy to a non-dairy choice. There are so many dairy alternatives available now. Soy, coconut milk, rice milk, and almond milk (which comes in many varieties). First and foremost milk is for baby cow consumption not human consumption. Dairy causes inflammation and is acid forming in our bodies. After pasteurization, all enzymes, proteins and vitamins have been destroyed and therefore milk provides no real health benefits.

A fibrous diet is a happy one. If you suffer from constipation or lack of regularity, add a cruciferous vegetable to your diet. Broccoli, Red or Green Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels and Kale all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and are very high in fiber. They are all also crunchy and easy to cook with.

Drink as much water as possible. Eight glasses always sounds like a lot, but it really does help the entire body. Your eyes and skin will be clearer and your body will function at a higher level when hydrated.

Exercise is the best cure for the winter blues, a few extra holiday pounds and overall wellness. Exercise allows us to sweat out toxins(salt, sugar, alcohol), increase circulation, increase blood flow and release endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good!