The Hyaluronic Acid Diet

1
2
3
4

One might say that the idea that food is raison d’etre is debatable. But in fact, it is not. Food is just too good. Which is why most so-called "diets" offend me. When it comes to short term, difficult-to-sustain daily meal plans that simultaneously suck all the enjoyment from my life, in most cases, I'd rather pass. (Doctor-ordered diets must be exempted here.) But the diet I'm here to tell you about changed my mind. Because it’s not about cutting out good foods/life's simple pleasures. It’s about adding others in to enhance thy beauty and sustain thy youthful glow: this is the hyaluronic acid diet, and it is both delicious and life extending. I have a theory that these secondary factors contribute to its effectiveness, but we can talk about that some other time.

You’ve heard of hyaluronic acid. It's possible you even read about it here. If you haven’t, do, but for now: know that it’s an ingredient naturally produced in the body that’s also used in moisturizers, anti-aging products, and as a joint pain reducer. Hyaluronic acid has tried and true results—as shown in this study—and it is not only produced by and for your own body, but a pretty wide variety of foods contain it, too. Luckily, those foods all have something in common. That is the simple fact that they are—surprise!—actually satiating. If you try just one diet in your life, let it be this one. Here is to a longer, more beautiful, more fulfilling life. The list is here:

Potatoes

Thanks to McDonald's, probably, potatoes tend to get a bad rap. But back in the ‘80s, Connie Chung and ABC gave us “The Miracle of Hyaluronic Acid,” a ten-minute feature profiling the long life expectancy and low disease rates of a small village in Japan called Yuzuri-Hara. According to a researcher there, the constant—apart from relevant factors such as little to no pollution and a low-stress lifestyle—was believed to be the diet, which was full of one unique ingredient: potatoes. Despite the video’s dated overtones and Chung’s pronunciation of “hyaluronic,” it does ring true to some extent—potatoes are full of hyaluronic acid. And while yes, they are starchy, they’re also high in vitamin c, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants. Also, they're really good roasted with EVOO, garlic and parsley. Just ask Ina Garten.

Sweet potatoes

Same but different. Here is one reason to order the sweet potato fries with chili oil next time you're at Ruby's. The other is that they are delicious.

Kale

Yes, kale has been known as the darling of Whole 30 and other Instagram diets all over the world. But let's not be reductive. It is so much more than that. High in protein, fiber, and a number of brain-enhancing vitamins, it's no wonder it qualifies as a “superfood.” As such, the fact that it makes this list doesn’t come as a surprise—hyaluronic acid is on its long list of beneficial nutrients. But have you ever massaged kale with olive oil and lemon juice and salt and pepper to be eaten as a quick and easy meal? You should.

Red Wine

I have two pieces of excellent news: the first is this.

Dark Chocolate

The second is this.

Red meats

So often the bad guy. I am a vegetarian, actually, so the fact that I'm writing this makes me feel hypocritical on multiple levels. (And yes, I do recognize that vegetarianism might be called dieting on some level. I have nothing to say for myself.) But facts are facts and the fact of the matter at hand is that "organ meats" are rich in hyaluronic acid and that's what this diet is about! Might as well balance the over-caffeination in your body with a nice burger at lunch today.

Almonds

Not only are almonds high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E, but on top of all that, their hyaluronic acid content can make a visible difference in your skin. Same goes for cashews. Stock up on your nut butters. Almond butter and jelly sandwiches?!

Citrus fruits

Orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, clementine—sweet, juicy, excellent sources fiber, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. Fight infection, satisfy sugar cravings and plump skin all at once.

Bone broth

Would I still be able to call myself a vegetarian if I adopted slurping bone broth on a daily basis? Probably not. Nevertheless this is going to be one of your best sources of hyaluronic acid in food. Let me know how it goes for you. I'll make up for it with red wine, ounce for ounce.

—Anna Stevenett

Photographed by Tom Newton.