As early as 323 B.C., kings and explorers from Alexander the Great to Juan Ponce de León have been reportedly searching for the Fountain of Youth, the mythical waters with the alleged power to keep people forever young.
The magical site never was found, and it’s safe to say it probably doesn’t exist. But an anti-aging elixir isn’t that far-fetched, according to science. Here’s how you might be able to drink your way to more youthful skin with a little help from collagen and pomegranate.
How collagen improves skin
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found throughout the body, in the skin, bones, and muscles. It’s what keeps our skin firm and supple—yet as we age, production slows, and wrinkles can start to develop. Since the 1980s, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been able to fight fine lines by injecting collagen fillers. But more recent research shows that you might be able to skip the needles—ingesting collagen has shown promise as a way to repair and renew skin from the inside out.
One review in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that supplementing with collagen over eight weeks could give skin’s moisture and collagen density a major boost. Another study showed that eating more gelatin—the cooked form of collagen—may help combat the aging effects of sun exposure.
Pomegranate’s anti-aging powers
Pomegranate is one perfect fruit. It’s sweet, tangy, and loaded with antioxidants that fight free radical damage and protect fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen. The case for pomegranate’s potential as an anti-ager keeps growing, too.
As we get older, our cells’ energy source—known as mitochondria—degrade and build up in the body, weakening our tissues. According to a recent animal study, scientists have discovered a molecule in pomegranates that interacts with microbes in the gut in a way that prevents mitochondria from accumulating and doing damage. Translation: pomegranate may help keep our tissues “younger.” Though it’s still not yet known whether all humans have the necessary gut microbes to reap this reward from poms, the finding is pretty groundbreaking, and further research is under way.
In the meantime, you can reap the potent skin benefits of collagen and pomegranate (plus additional antioxidants from vitamin C, green tea, elderberry, and cranberry) by mixing up this refreshing beverage. It might be the closest thing to drinking from the fabled fountain of youth.
Yield: 1 serving
Active Time: 5 minutes
1 tablespoon Collagen+C Pomegranate Liquid
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 thin slices of orange
2 strawberries, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
½ cup sparkling water
Fill a large glass with ice and pour in collagen liquid and pomegranate juice. Add orange and strawberry slices and pomegranate seeds. Top with sparkling water.
(Note: The collagen liquid used in this recipe is not derived from vegetarian or vegan sources.)
Photo credit: Paul Delmont