The French Secret for Beauty
You’re probably already familiar with the “French Paradox.” It’s the fact that despite the rich foods and wine enjoyed by the people of France, they have excellent cardiovascular health and slim waistlines. Women in France are also renowned for their astounding natural beauty. They have discovered the secret for beautiful hair, skin, and nails, and it doesn’t come from surgery or drugs.
More specifically, a dynamic silica from a plant source. And it is the topic of this Terry Talks Nutrition®.
Beauty is Under Constant Attack
Many elements of what we consider “beauty” are in fact external indicators of health status. Just think of how we view thick, lustrous hair compared to thin, dull hair, or clear, well-toned skin vs. dry, irritated skin, or even strong, well-formed fingernails as opposed to misshapen, cracked nails. In each case, the beauty ideal is also the healthier of the two.
Unfortunately, there are many threats to healthy hair, skin, and nails. Wind, sunlight, pollution, diet, aging, and stress – just to name a few. Over time, all of these threats cause damage that takes a toll on the very structure of hair, skin, and nails. While topical treatments have their place, it is vital that you have nourishment from within to build the strength of collagen.
For instance, the aging process considerably alters both the structure and the mechanical properties of skin. Aged skin is less elastic than younger skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are characteristic signs of age, and especially photo-aged skin. Wrinkle formation is due to the decrease of elasticity, photo-aging and free radical attack on the skin. But building the strength of collagen can stop the process and even reverse it.
Why collagen? Because it is the critical building block of your skin and your hair and nails. And you need silica to build this critical protein.
Silica ensures the connection between collagen and proteoglycans. Proteoglycans make links with collagen and are major components of the space between cells. They make collagen-rich structures more resilient and bind water for better hydration.
To get a better idea of how important water is to healthy, attractive skin, just consider a sponge. When a sponge is dry, it is flat and stiff. When full of water, a sponge is plump and flexible. You notice the result as firmer, more elastic, and less wrinkled skin. Plus, the strengthening effects of silica will give you healthier nails and lustrous hair as well.
As you can imagine, silica doesn’t just help you look great on the outside. Like most multi-tasking nutrients, it does much more than just one job. It strengthens arterial walls, builds bone, and activates macrophages – the white blood cells we all rely on to eliminate cellular debris and protect us from disease.
Of course, for all of this to happen, you need the right form of supplemental silica from a living, botanical source.
What About Food Sources of Silica?
There are dietary sources of silica, but they don’t yield much, and I wouldn’t rely on them for targeting skin, hair and nails. You need at least 10 to 25 mg of silica daily just to prevent a deficiency, and even more (30 to 40 mg) to make a visible difference in these collagen-rick tissues.
But most food sources aren’t going to get you close to that. That’s because the absorption from those sources is very limited, due to its insoluble form and the way it is bound to fiber.
For example, bananas contain a significant amount of silica, but less than 2% of it is actually absorbed. In fact, eating even 50 bananas provides only about 8 mg of absorbed silica.
Plus, many of the best food sources of silica come from unrefined food, which is in short supply in the typical diet. After all, silica is mostly found in the fiber portions of grains, and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, most of that gets milled or peeled away before the food is consumed.
The Silica I Recommend
Considering the lack of good food sources, you’re probably going to need a supplemental source of silica. But not every source is the same. You have to choose your silica wisely.
The silica I recommend is an organic (living system) ingredient obtained from the above-ground parts of the spring horsetail (Equisetum arvense) plant. In a special process, the silica in the plant is extracted, still attached to the plant bioflavonoids that support its activity in the body. At the same time, this gentle process screens out all the harsh, abrasive, insoluble, and harmful substances.
This unique botanical silica is then blended with a specific marine oil to enhance absorption, beneficial effects, and cell membrane penetration of the active compounds. This form of silica is extremely soluble and bioavailable for the body. Organic silica also has positive effects on the formation of collagen, the key component for beautiful skin, hair, and nails. In fact, the specialized, botanical-sourced silica I recommend boosts collagen production by 50%!
But there are other reasons for choosing this dynamic source of silica. While there are other supplemental sources that are either mined from rock or synthesized in a lab, they are not the same.
To begin with, silica from plant sources has higher levels of bioactivity than all other forms. The highest content for silica from an edible source comes from the common horsetail (Equisetum arvense) stem, which is about 80% silica.
But aside from that, it has been shown that crystallized silica (whether mineral or synthetic) actually binds to hydroxyl free radicals that are downright toxic to certain white blood cells.
Silica for Strong Bones and Teeth, Too!
Silica helps your body build the collagen framework for healthy bones, and it helps calcium collect on that framework. In fact, this same specialized silica that is so potent for beauty also boosts calcium absorption into the bone by 50%!
Also, a case study of a patient receiving dental implants showed that the specialized silica helped heal the tissue of the jaw and gums and helped keep the jawbone matrix stable during the surgeries. There was also no reported pain, inflammation, or implant loss. The integration of the dental implants was considered “excellent”.
But here again, be careful to choose the right silica supplement. Other mineral forms of silica can actually transfer calcium away from the bones, to other tissues. This can be especially problematic if the other tissues happen to be the arterial walls – a dangerous place for calcium deposits.
Bring Home the French Secret for Beauty
While moving to Paris and living the good life may not be a realistic option, you can experience the French secret for beauty wherever you call home. The botanical silica I recommend, specially extracted and blended with marine oils for amazing absorption, is the best choice available. It has been shown to boost collagen production by 50%, and remember -- collagen equals beauty.
Skin, hair, and nails take time to grow out. While we are constantly shedding old skin cells and creating new ones, (about 35,000 cells every minute) we actually acquire a “new skin” every 50 days or so. Hair grows at the rate of about ½ inch per month (slower for some, faster for others), and nails grow an average of about 3 mm per month, so it can take up to six months for fingernails to regrow completely, and up to a year and a half for toenails. Of course these numbers are very general estimates. Age, genetics, stress, and certainly nutrients are big factors here – another reason getting this silica into your regimen can make such a difference.
And beyond lustrous hair, smooth skin, and strong nails, silica will build bone density to keep you strong on the inside, too. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.