We’ve all read the beauty food articles about the positive effects of salmon, avocado, green tea, dark chocolate, red wine. Well, in western magazines/blogs anyways. As far as E-Mart’s “avocado-to-other fruits” ratio shows, we aren’t all on the same magazine page here. So what do Korean’s consider ‘beauty foods’?
A couple years of observation and some sneaky surveys of my co-workers (plus a quick Google fact-check) show that these are the top 4 “Korean Beauty Foods”:
1. Ginseng. Often referred to as the ‘root of life’, this interesting little root is revered as one of the world’s most potent natural medicines. Benefits: Ginseng is high in antioxidants. What does that mean? When your body is cleansing of free radicals and other nasties *cue antioxidants*, it shows through your noticeably sparklier eyes and clearer, more radiant skin. Oh, and did I mention it’s also a great anti-inflammatory, contains stress reducing properties, lowers cholesterol, is great for preventing infectious diseases and can improve physical and mental performance?
2. Kimchi. “Korean kimchi is undoubtedly the healthiest food on the planet” according to Eric Armstrong of treelight.com Whether or not it’s THE healthiest food on the planet, it sure can make you beautiful. Benefits: The answer lies in the ingredients. Spicy Peppers are great for your metabolism, Cabbage, Onions, and Unpasteurized Vinegar promote intestinal health, and Refined Sesame Oil has a very high concentration of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. What does it mean? Same as the antioxidant effects of ginseng, the state of your intestinal health shows on your face. Ever wonder why colonics is such a popular beauty treatment? Pardon my language but when you are full of shit, you look like shit. When your intestines are healthy, you will look healthy. As for the spicy peppers, giving your metabolism a kick in the butt means one great thing – puppies for everyone!! No, of course not (even though I wouldn’t mind getting a puppy for eating peppers). It means that your body will function better and faster. Read: lose weight, get prettier. Lastly, refined sesame oil is extremely unique in its high concentration of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Think salmon but better!
3. Seaweed. Seaweed is literally mermaid magic. Ok, maybe not ‘mermaid magic’ specifically but it’s equivalent to what it would do for you if they would just hand over their damn secrets! A wise man wrote a description plenty better than me so I will let him explain. Benefits: According to Seibin and Teruko Arasaki, authors of Vegetables from the Sea, “All of the minerals required by human beings, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc are present in sufficient amounts. In addition, there are many trace elements in seaweeds.” Edible plants from the sea also contain important vitamins including vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. Analysis has shown trace amounts of vitamin B12, wich rarely occurs in land vegetables. What does it mean? Seaweed feeds the shafts and ducts of the scalp to help improve the health of hair. It has been said that the thick, black, lustrous hair of the Japanese is partly due to their regular diet of brown sea vegetables such as arame. Research has shown that minerals are important to healthy hair growth, and arame has a high mineral content. health.learninginfo.org
4. Dakbal (chicken feet) As you may have read in my previous post Scratch That, chicken feet are considered a top beauty food and delicacy in Korea as well as through out Asia. Benefits: Dakbal is renowned for its high concentration of collagen, found in all that crunchy cartilage surrounding the feet bones. What does it mean? Crunch away at those chewy feet and you can expect the collagen to improve your skin, keeping it young and supple beyond its years.
Do you have any secret Korean beauty ticks up your sleeve?
Heard any crazy ones from friends or co-teachers?
Any crazy beauty experiment stories?