Getting older comes with some unique challenges. But luckily, we can take advantage of some of nature’s most potent superfoods to fight disease and sickness and maintain our youthful glow.
Rose hips are the fruits that come from the wild rose plant. They can range in color from deep red to orange to dark purple, and they’re typically ripe for the picking around late summer to early fall. Rose hips have been used historically in Chinese Traditional Medicine, and are considered to be a powerful kidney tonic and diarrhea remedy. Though we don’t typically consume rose hips the way we do other fruits, modern research shows that they boast even more impressive nutritional benefits.
For one, rose hips are a powerful anti-ager. You might recognize the ingredient from some of your anti-aging beauty products, and for good reason. Rose hips are full of antioxidants including vitamin C, which is an immune-booster as well as a precursor to wrinkle-fighting collagen. Furthermore, rose hip oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the rose hip fruit, is rich in polyunsaturated fats. These fats support a healthy skin membrane and protect skin from inflammation caused by things like ultraviolet (UV) rays and pollution.
Research suggests that both topical application of rose hip oil and consuming rose hips in supplement form may benefit aging skin. One small study showed that taking three milligrams of rose hip powder daily resulted in a decrease in skin wrinkles and significant increase in skin moisture and elasticity. Other research suggests that topical products rich in vitamin C (such as rose hip oil) increase cell turnover revealing fresher, more radiant looking skin.
Consuming rose hips could also help you manage conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Rose hips contain antioxidants including vitamin C, catechins, quercetin, and ellagic acid. These compounds can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, lowering your risk of heart disease. In one small study, consuming a drink made with 40 grams of rose hip powder daily resulted in a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and blood pressure when compared to the placebo group.
Rose hips may also help you prevent or combat obesity, which can therefore reduce your risk of a host of other health conditions like heart disease and cancer. This is because rose hip may help the body to eliminate stored fat. In one study, subjects taking a 100-mg dose of rose hip daily had a significant decrease in body fat — particularly around the belly area. The researchers speculate that this is because of a compound in rose hip called tiliroside, which may speed up fat metabolism.
Luckily, it’s easy to incorporate rose hip into your daily routine, and there are several ways to do it. If you’re looking to use rose hips for its anti-aging skin properties, try a topical rose hip oil like this one from Aria Starr ($16.95, Amazon). Don’t expect it to smell like roses, though: Rosehip oil actually has a mild, woody scent.
You can also consume rose hip internally for skin benefits, as well as all the other health benefits mentioned. However, there are a few things to note: Since rose hips contain such a high amount of vitamin C, taking too much could be a risk to anyone with recurring kidney stones, sickle cell anemia, and hemochromatosis (an iron disorder). Rose hips also interact with lithium, antacids, estrogen, and blood-clotting medications. As always, talk to your doctor before trying any new supplement. For a rose hip supplement we love, try this one from SolaRay ($9.99, Amazon).
Here’s to a healthier, more radiant you!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.