Did you know it’s National Corn and Cucumber Month?
Hale Cosmeceuticals is located in Bloomington, Illinois, smack in the middle of the Corn Belt. We know corn…and we know the research that reveals corn’s health and skin benefits. But corn shares its month in the spotlight with another well-known skin health enhancer: the cucumber. If these two vegetables don’t make a regular appearance in your lunch box or at your dinner table, here’s why you need to add them to your next grocery list:
Corn has long been a dietary staple of American civilizations. It’s been known as a good source of fiber for decades. But recent research is starting to reveal corn is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that combat the degenerative work of free radicals. Free radicals released during the oxidation process are responsible for the breakdown of the skin matrix, which results in sagging and wrinkled skin.
The ways in which we commonly eat corn—boiled on the cob, popped or just warmed from a freezer bag—may actually improve its skin-enhancing, cancer-preventing antioxidant activity. Research from Cornell University found that heat “increases antioxidant activity and the level of phenolics.” In fact, some scientists have dubbed popcorn “the perfect snack” because of its high fiber and antioxidant content!
Cucumbers on the eyes is a generally accepted household remedy for puffy eyes, but cucumbers can do so much more for your skin. Applied topically, cucumbers can also:
Cucumbers aren’t just good on your skin. When part of a balanced diet, cucumbers continue to deliver skin benefits. Although how they do such wonders for your skin isn’t completely understood, but part of the “magic” may be in their high silica content. Silica is a trace mineral essential in the construction of connective tissues—like collagen. Silica, like hyaluronic acid, may help connective tissues retain water. Hydrated connective tissues are firm tissues, which help maintain your skin’s youthful appearance.
Cucumbers are also a good source of Vitamin K, which is one of the most recent vitamins linked to skin benefits. In fact, pickled cucumbers are on the Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin K!
Although you can almost always enjoy the skin benefits of corn and cucumbers, now is the perfect time of year for fresh produce. Stop by your local farmers’ market to pick up the freshest (and sustainable!) corn and cucumbers!