A study into the beauty benefits of eating watercress has highlighted its power to improve the appearance of the complexion.
After just four weeks of adding one 80g bag of watercress a day to their diet 10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin – with one woman reducing her facial wrinkles by an incredible 39 per cent.
11 women aged 23 to 58 took part in the trial in which they had their faces photographed using a VISIA complexion analysis system to give a subsurface reading of their skin, focusing on wrinkles, texture (the balance between oily and dry areas) pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas (any underlying redness, inflammation, sensitivity or thinner skin) and porphyrins (levels of bacteria on the skin).
A VISIA reassessment after four weeks, in which time the women made no other changes to their health and beauty routines, highlighted the following:
• 10 out of 11 volunteers saw a positive improvement in their skin
• 7 out of 11 saw an improvement in their wrinkles
• 8 out of 11 saw an improvement in the texture of their skin
• 9 out of 11 saw an improvement in their pores
• 5 out of 11 saw an improvement in their red areas
• 8 out of 11 saw an improvement in the levels of porphyrins
• 5 out of 11 saw an improvement in their brown spots
• 3 out of 11 saw an improvement in their UV spots
• The majority of women also reported increased energy levels.
Dr Sarah Schenker, a leading nutritionist and dietician who oversaw the study, said:
“Watercress is a rich source of beta carotene needed to quench free radicals, which can cause damage to skin cells. However, in order to work properly a high concentration of Vitamin C is also needed to complete this process and watercress again has this in abundance. In addition watercress contains Vitamin E which is also important for skin health. It is this powerhouse of nutrients and the chain reaction in which they work together which is so important for maintaining good skin.”
Sarah added: “This study confirms that diet is an important aspect of beauty. Eating plenty of plant foods including watercress cannot only help to slow down the ageing of our skin, but may actually reverse some of the effects of damage.”