Consumers today are bombarded by a wide variety of anti-aging products for the body and face, whether they are simple cosmetics or surgical procedures. But the fountain of youth really just comes from better nutrition, one health expert says.
A survey by the American Academy of Dermatology found that 94 percent of women are confused by all the available anti-aging treatments (over-the counter and prescription) as well as the procedures available in a doctor's office.
Yet according to Cherie Calbom, author of "The Wrinkle Cleanse," you can look younger starting with your next meal. Her book outlines a four-step approach to getting softer, younger-looking skin, explaining that a diet rich in raw foods, vegetable juices, whole grains and lean protein can cleanse the body of toxins and protect it from the causes of wrinkles and other symptoms of aging.
The mention of vegetable juices might ring a bell: Calbom, who has a master's degree in nutrition, is better known as "The Juice Lady" for her work with juicing and health. She has appeared regularly on the QVC channel for the last eight years and is the author of several books, including "Juicing for Life."
Calbom stresses that several factors affect how our skin ages, including environmental toxins, sun exposure, free radical attacks on the cells, inflammation and a weakened immune system. Her approach to creating a better diet geared toward reduced wrinkling has four components:
* Step 1 involves quick cleanses with either an all-day vegetable juice fast or a two-day raw-food program, designed to help repair damaged cells.
* Step 2 introduces a low-carbohydrate diet for 14 days that has plenty of vegetables, sprouts, vegetable juices, low-sugar fruit, whole grains and lean proteins. One key aspect of this stage is lowering caloric intake overall.
* Step 3 is composed of cleaning programs for your intestinal tract, liver, gallbladder, kidneys and blood. Detoxification is key, according to Calbom, in the effort to fight wrinkles.
* Step 4 outlines the vitamins and minerals needed to fight the symptoms of aging and how they can be incorporated into your diet.
Calbom offers several nutritional guidelines and more than 75 easy-to-make recipes and menu plans. Her strategy emphasizes what she calls the "wrinkle fighters" - foods that are rich in nutrients to help strengthen collagen and elastin for better skin. Some examples include carrots, which add luster to the hair; artichokes for better energy; and almonds, a good source of vitamin B.
"The Wrinkle Cleanse" is published by Avery/Penguin Group USA. It's available in bookstores now. - NU