The Juiciest Beauty Secret
THE KEY TO LIFELONG GLOW, AND THE FOODS AND RITUALS TO GET YOU THERE
When we are born, we are close to 80% water. We lose that precious hydration as we get older, dipping down to around 55% by adulthood. Due to the dehydrating effects of modern diets and lifestyles, aging is essentially a process of drying out.
The fountain of youth is aptly named, and what flows from it is water—a necessity for every cell, organ, and body system. But drinking gallons of water only takes you so far. To obtain the juicy, bright buoyancy that comes with true hydration, including radiant skin, seamless digestion, highly efficient detox organs, and losing track of your age, eat your water.
The "Health Food" Myth
Sakara founder and co-CEO, Whitney Tingle, was a test case for the "eat your water" philosophy. She cites processed foods designed for busy people as one of the main reasons she dealt with G.I. issues and debilitating cystic acne for many years. “I was a vegetarian, but that diet didn’t necessarily mean I was eating lots of vegetables," she explains. "I was eating a lot of shelf-stable foods like organic crackers, trail mix, snack bars, and peanut butter. My main vegetable was the avocado that I typically put on sprouted, whole-grain toast. These foods, considered by many to be ‘healthy,’ were super dehydrating to my system.”
Swapping dehydrating "health foods" for fresh plant nutrition was at the heart of her transformation. As skincare visionary and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad explains, “An ounce of a [water-rich] fruit or vegetable is almost an ounce of water. The water is in the structure, and is gradually released instead of going right through you. The trapped phytonutrients and antioxidants make your body alkaline, and balance your immune system, along with many other benefits.” The slow-release of the water, trapped in a web of nutrients, fiber, and divinely-designed vitamin and mineral makeup, allows for the cells and organs to fully absorb the water, instead of ending up down the drain. For Tingle, she experienced this profound shift in healthy, hydrated cells: a thriving internal ecosystem, improved digestion, and the plump, resilient skin she desired.
[Some] foods, considered by many to be ‘healthy,’ are super dehydrating to the system
The Beauty-Detox Connection
Beyond eating processed foods, there are other rituals that may be drying you out and hindering your glowing potential. Your latte-and-martini habit, though pleasurable, is especially taxing to the liver, pulling B vitamins and extra water to metabolize the stimulants. Ultimately, the extra demands on your liver dehydrate the body, contribute to toxic buildup, and can trigger system-wide inflammation. It's possible to see the effects of this cellular dehydration all over your face after a long night out.
Acidic inflammation dries out the skin, yes, but it also inhibits your body's ability to detox. You need well-functioning, hydrated detox organs to offset a few cocktails, your caffeine boost, or external inflammatory forces like chronic stress and pollutants. The kidneys, for example, need water to separate toxins from the blood and excrete them through urine. Lack of sufficient water supply can lead to painful kidney stones. Most notably, the colon requires water to coax along food and metabolic waste, as well as external pollutants. A dehydrated colon results in a buildup of toxins, with pathogenic material stagnant in the body needing to get out. The material that doesn’t exit the body will show itself squarely on your face, through its own preferred mode of inflammatory response. The range of skin conditions that unfold can be as tame as a couple of blemishes or as intense as eczema, psoriasis, and cysts. As your last line of defense, your skin acts as a very literal red siren, exclaiming that the body cannot rid itself of toxins.
All of these external and internal forces require well-functioning, hydrated detox organs to offset them.
To provide your colon, liver, and kidneys what they need, and to ultimately transform your skin towards ageless radiance, stock up on foods that contain at least 80% water. From all these juicy foods, your skin will have no choice but to emerge as glowing and youthful. But the real beauty is happening under the surface. “Our bodies are constantly regenerating, creating new cells to replace old, damaged ones. So, it is important that we eat and drink with a deliberate focus on promoting cellular health,” Dr. Murad advises. “The best way to do this is to keep our body saturated with cell-building elements such as vitamin A, alpha-lipoic acid, oleic acid, polyphenols, folic acid and vitamin C. These nutrients can all be found in water-rich foods such as raw fruits and vegetables.” These nutrients, along with omega 3 fatty acids and glucosamines, also promote the actual buoyancy and integrity of the cell membranes, helping to retain water and preserve collagen and connective tissues. Nourishing these building blocks will keep you cartwheeling and skipping out of the house sans neck scarf well into your 80s.
it's important that we eat and drink with a deliberate focus on promoting cellular health.
Strategic Ways to Stay Juicy:
Choose Rainbow-Drenched, Water-Rich Plants
Fragrant, lush fruits and refreshing salads aren't just sensual delights. They're medicinal, cueing your body that these foods are filled with water and designed to make you just as vibrant. You are what you eat, no? These luscious plants hydrate and heal the trillions of cells in your body. Think: radishes, cucumbers, microgreens, tomatoes, melons, and cauliflower. Stock up on these ingredients, and take advantage of their abundance in summer. Get creative and seek out what’s fresh at your farmer’s market or contactless CSA box. Explore here for delicious meal ideas that give a water-rich reprieve and balance out the sunshine.
Create An Electric Body
As a daily ritual, Beauty Water Drops in a glass of water alongside your coffee or evening cocktail is a powerful gesture for remineralizing the body. Minerals activate and energize, helping to balance the electrolyte to water ratio in and out of the cell structures. This is why many endurance athletes or long-distance runners rely so heavily on electrolyte drinks as they sweat out water while also hydrating constantly. Though you may not be clocking in an ultra marathon any time soon, adding minerals back into your water is important in combatting the effects of modern soil nutrient depletion, where you may be missing compounds like zinc, sulfur, and selenium. These are essential to creating the vital, radiant body you’re seeking.
Introduce "Slippery" Herbs
Herbal infusions, for those not familiar, are made by placing herbs and tea leaves to sit overnight in an airtight container with hot water. As the hours pass, the leaves mineralize, releasing ample amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols and bioflavanoids—all compounds that create system-wide health, but especially a thriving and glowing complexion.
In many practices, there are herbs and flowers known to be internally “slippery” or mucilaginous, which refers to the gelatinous substance that secretes from plants. Examples of mucilaginous or demulcent foods include the lotus root, okra, aloe, and flax seeds. When consumed, they cool, calm, and repair the membrane tissues in our mast cells and nerves, strengthening water barriers, cellular integrity, and hydrate the body on a profound level. Some favorite plants for creating herbal infusions include:
Licorice: An ancient herbal remedy, licorice is sweet and known to soothe the digestive tract and restore adrenal function.
Marshmallow Root: This antibacterial herb is effective at coating the GI, respiratory system, and even vaginal microbiome to tame inflammation.
Linden: Described as a “lotion for your insides,” linden is a powerful herb ally to soothe irritated tissues and calms the nervous system.
Slippery Elm: It’s often used to treat IBS or acid reflux as it calms the GI tract and respiratory system.
Sakara Wellness Coach and devoted student of folk and plant medicine, Sasha Pagni, suggests mixing marshmallow root with tulsi and rose, or licorice and hibiscus in your overnight infusions. To be even more in flow with Earth, you can place the herbs in a mason jar with tepid water, seal with an airtight lid, and place the jar in direct sunlight for the entire day, allowing solar energy to work its magic and break down the minerals. Strain and serve over ice for a bright and hydrating summer elixir.
The Link Between Glowing Skin and Plant-Rich Nutrition