As the holidays approach we are drawn to sparkle (well I am) Firstly there is the type of sparkle that you can buy - jewellery, xmas lights, tinsel. Then there is the type of sparkle that money can't buy and that is a positive mood, shining eyes and glowing skin.
However, you can nourish your skin and create a positive festive mood by choosing the right beauty foods. I think that beauty nutrition is at its most important at this time of year, and thats because there are so many tempting treats that will happily steal your beauty and leave you looking tired and your skin looking dull.
I'm sure you will all agree that the hardest skin-sabotaging foods to navigate will be found at the dessert table. All the beauty stealers can be found ... refined sugar, white flower, cakes, biscuits, pastries.... the list goes on and on.
I don't want to turn into a right bah-humbag, but unfortunately the sweet table is packed full of powerful ageing ingredients that love to form wrinkles. But, with a little guidance you can splurge on desserts containing cocoa and cinnamon as they have the ability to block wrinkle formation and promote anti-ageing. The Journal of Nutrition published some research in 2006 experiment that found that drinking a cocoa-rich beverage improved skin hydration and reduced skin redness by increasing the supply of nutrients, blood and oxygen to the skin. It also raises levels of neurotransmitters in the body, giving you a feel-good boost that’ll have you feeling positively festive in next to no time.
Obviously all chocolate isn't created equal, so make sure you choose dairy-free dark chocolate (look for at least 70% dark). The reason we want to avoid dairy, is because it blocks the absorption of some of cocoa’s best nutrients. Cinnamon is also a perfect addition to any treat. This antioxidant-rich spice stabilises blood sugar spiking and will help to keep your energy and mood in check after you have a sweet treat.
Ingredients (Serves 1)
1 ½ cups almond milk (you could choose any dairy free milk though)
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp loose chai tea
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 tbsp bittersweet chocolate chunks (look for 70% dark)
stevia, if you need things to be a little sweeter
In a saucepan, combine milk, tea and cinnamon and heat until steaming and almost simmering. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in cocoa powder and chocolate chunks. Remove from heat, strain into a mug and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and stevia if desired.
Let me know what you think ?
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!