Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing

Read Time:4 Minute, 26 Second

  • Study showed 10 out of 11 females experienced  visible improvements to their skin
  • 7 out of 11 saw an improvement in their  wrinkles
  • Watercress contains  more  vitamin C than oranges, four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than  apples, tomatoes and broccoli

By Bianca London

PUBLISHED:11:17 EST, 12  October 2012| UPDATED:11:17 EST, 12 October 2012


If you want to roll back the years, forget  expensive lotions and potions and instead reach for something more natural (and  cheap): a bag of watercress.

The old adage of beauty coming from within  has been borne out by a new study in which 10 out of 11 female volunteers  experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding  one bag of watercress a day to their diet.

One woman even managed to reduce her facial  wrinkles by an incredible 39 per cent.

Forget expensive creams, a recent study shows that adding one bag of watercress a day to your diet can improve your skin tone and reduce wrinkles 

Forget expensive creams, a recent study shows that  adding one bag of watercress a day to your diet can improve your skin tone and  reduce wrinkles

The women, who ranged in age from 23 to 58,  began the trial by having their faces photographed using a VISIA complexion  analysis system which gives a subsurface reading of an individual’s skin and  focuses 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).


•    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

After four weeks of eating 80g of watercress  a day the volunteers had their skin reassessed by the VISIA camera, and the  results were extremely positive.

The majority of women also reported increased  energy levels.

During the trial the volunteers made no other  changes to their usual health and beauty regime.

They were allowed to eat their daily quota of  watercress in any way they chose – in salads, sandwiches, whizzed into smoothies  or wilted into pasta, however it was not allowed to be cooked.

One of the success stories of the study was  Ruth McKechnie, 54, a theatre training teacher from Cambridge who saw a 39 per  cent improvement in her wrinkles, 13 per cent improvement in her skin texture, 5  per cent per cent reduction in brown spots and 18 per cent improvement in her  levels of bacteria.

She said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled with the  results of the trial and astounded at how my skin has improved in almost every  aspect.

‘It feels smoother to touch, looks plumper  and best of all my wrinkles have reduced! I had a particularly stressful few  weeks at work and thought it would have a negative effect on my skin so to see  such an improvement really is impressive.

‘I have also felt more energised and  generally healthier which has helped me deal with the stress. Watercress will  certainly be top of my shopping list from now onwards.’

Throughout history, eminent philosophers and  doctors have revered the health boosting properties of watercress from the  pharaohs in Egypt and the ancient Greeks, to the Romans and  Anglo-Saxons.

Now, sophisticated science techniques have  confirmed folklore beliefs.

Philosophers and doctors have raved about the benefits of watercress for yearsPhilosophers and doctors have raved about the benefits  of watercress for years

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.’

There are plenty of delicious ways that watercress can be incorporated into your dietThere are plenty of delicious ways that watercress can  be incorporated into your diet

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.’

Watercress Alliance member Dr. Steve  Rothwell, who holds a PhD in watercress explained: ‘There have been a whole host  of scientific studies that have shown that B Carotene can help reduce the ageing  of skin, so we were encouraged to carry out our own small pilot study using  fresh watercress.

‘We were delighted with the results of the  new pilot study which may now be used to secure funding for a larger scale  university research programme, as the findings have proved so  conclusive.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Categories: Disease and Conditions, Ignored - Breakthrough Cures & Treatments

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
%d bloggers like this: