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Have you ever watched the way children eat? You can read the menu on their faces from milk mustaches, to cookie-crusted cheeks and dripping soup beards. As we grow up, we grow out of wearing our food on our faces – or do we?
Our face and skin reflect our health and the quality of food that we put into our bodies. That's the message of Dr. Mitra Ray, Stanford University cell biologist and co-author of "Do you have the guts to be beautiful?" In fact, Dr. Ray defines beauty as the cells in your body radiating health, and cellular health, in turn, depends on good nutrition.
A native of Calcutta, Dr. Ray received her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1986 and a PhD. in biochemistry from Stanford Medical School in 1991. She studies health and beauty at the cellular level, and has done research on degenerative diseases and whole food nutrition as preventive medicine.
What is your skin telling you about your health?
The skin is one of our largest organs and it's also the dumping ground for toxins that the body is not properly processing. Dr. Ray can read the skin on your face, its wrinkles and spots, and tell you what's going on in your internal organs.
The good news is that many wrinkles are not really permanent and can be reversed. Often they are simply a sign that your body needs more hydration to plump them out of existence. But sometimes your wrinkles have a different message for you.
If you have horizontal lines across your forehead, it could mean a buildup of waste in the intestines, particularly the colon. If you get your bowels moving, you may see a significant resolution of those furrows.
Two short vertical "worry" lines between your eyebrows could indicate a clogged liver. In her book, Dr. Ray recommends daily ground milk thistle seeds to prevent these wrinkles (unless you're pregnant), and also artichokes three times a week.
Crow's feet at the outer corners of the eye can be caused by processed and overcooked foods. To reduce these, add more raw foods and fiber to your diet.
Bags and puffiness under the eyes could be telling you that sugar and refined flour are a problem, so you might want to experiment with cutting down on both refined and natural sugars, including fruit juices, as well as pasta and bread.
Blue circles under the eyes may also indicate too much bread as well as too much dairy.
Age spots may be telling you that there are too many impurities in your blood. What can you do? Try eliminating preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, and hydrogenated fats.
If your lips have gotten thicker over the years and are fuller than when you were in high school, you might think it's sexy, but in fact, you could be constipated!
Dr. Ray suggests that anyone can look 10 to 20 years younger in just 30 days by paying attention to the signs that your skin is giving you, and cleaning up your diet.
Looking and feeling beautiful both inside and out has less to do with moisturizers, serums, lifts, tucks, injections or surgery, than it has to do with a green smoothie every morning. It's about beauty from the inside, radiating health, rather than looking all done up.