Considered to be the molecule of eternal youth, resveratrol is an anti-oxidant with surprising effects: it delays ageing and prevents disease. Its reparative powers have attracted the attention of the cosmetics industry, which is including it in skin care products.
However, the lack of objective data about how resveratrol works has raised many doubts. Does it really have potent skin rejuvenating properties or is it just a myth?
Red wine, grapes, peanuts, walnuts, blackberries and blueberries are just some of the foods that contain resveratrol. Dozens of nutricosmetic supplements and anti-ageing creams and serums based on this ingredient are sold in pharmacies and the Internet. Resveratrol, identified in 1940, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It became especially popular from 2003, when Harvard University (USA) doctor David Sinclair published studies that reported that mice fed with resveratrol increased their life expectancy by 40%. If these results could be demonstrated for humans, we would live to about the age of 136 years.
According to Sinclair, the restorative power of resveratrol is due to the fact that it increases the quantity of a protein called sirtuin that acts in situations of physical stress – such as when we go without eating for a long time.
Resveratrol prevents cancer, reduces blood sugar in diabetics, improves heart performance, protects brain cells and fights infections caused by viruses.
But what does it do for the skin? Resveratrol-treated skin ages less when exposed to ultraviolet radiation; this is because this active ingredient enhances the vitality of the epidermal keratinocytes, which are the cells that constantly renew the surface layer of the skin. Sun damage is less, as the sun-exposed skin repairs and renews itself more rapidly.
Try this breakfast recipe full of resveratrol rich blueberries and walnuts
- 1 Cup Oats
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Full Fat Milk
- 1/2 Cup Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
- 2 Cups Blueberries
- 2 Teaspoons Honey
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180C. Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Bring water and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in toasted oats. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 20 minutes or until oatmeal is soft and creamy, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup blueberries, walnuts, honey and cinnamon. Spoon oatmeal into serving bowls and top with remaining blueberries.