April 20, 2008

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No... It's a Super Fruit!

What is all the fuss about these so called "super fruits"? They're not really new by any means as they have been cultivated in their various locations for centuries. Recent studies have shown some incredible discoveries so I decided to do some investigation. Connecting the dots between their benefits of ingestion and topical uses made perfect sense and we began using the extracts, pulp and oils of the fruits and seeds in some of our products. (see links below)

Let's go over the top contenders:
  • Açaí Berry: (ah-SAH’-ee) The berries are produced by a palm tree that grows in the Amazon region. Recent studies have shown the small grape-like berries to possess high levels of antioxidants. Historically, Brazilians have used açaí berries to treat digestive disorders and skin conditions. In skin care açaí is being used to prevent signs of premature aging and inflammation of the skin. Studies have shown the extracts of the berries and oils made from the seed contain high levels of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals to help promote skin cell health and fatty acids and phytosterols to help to preserve collagen and boost skin cell regeneration.

  • Goji Berries: Historically used in ancient Chinese medicine, this amazing fruit packs a powerful punch of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Recent studies have shown that extract of the berries helps to calm skin sensitivity, irritation and redness. They are a rich source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C, and chock full of antioxidants to aid in neutralizing skin-damaging free radicals.

  • Mangosteen Fruit: The mangosteen hails from Southeast Asia. Studies have shown that this very perishable fruit and its rind contain a powerful class of antioxidants (xanthones) known to protect and nourish the skin and aid in the fight against free radicals. I have been told that the flavor of the fruit is incredible, but I doubt I will get a chance to eat any fresh unless I travel to Asia as it is hard to come by in North America. I do drink the fruit juice mixed with cranberry, pomegranate, blueberry and açaí berry and it's very tasty.

  • Pomegranate: A legendary fruit with ties to ancient times is native to the region from Afghanistan to the Himalayas in northern India and it is now grown commercially in many locations around the world. It's no news that the pomegranate is busting out all over with antioxidants. Polyphenols from pomegranate are known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate seed oil helps to refine skin tone and high levels of ellagic acid help boost collagen production. The bright red fruit tastes amazing and it is good for you inside and out. What's not to love?

  • Quinoa: (KEEN-wah) Not a fruit, but an ancient grain that deserves top ranking in the super-foods club originated in the Andean region of South America. Quinoa was revered by the Incas who called it "the mother of all grains." Quinoa contains extremely high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and is a natural source of Vitamin E and antioxidants. Quinoa oil imparts excellent emollient and moisturizing properties to the skin. It also enhances circulation in the skin area treated to help aid revitalization of the dermis.
How's that for a crash course? Don't you feel smarter already? You can find these ingredients and more in our Mangosteen & Açaí Berry, Sanguinello & Pomegranate, and coming soon, Goji Berry & Quinoa Seed collections at Bidwell Botanicals.

You knew I had to throw in a sales pitch eventually, right?

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