It’s obvious that the quality of food we choose on a daily basis influences our health. Yet most of us have absolutely no idea what or how much we are actually eating. Ageing isn’t just the unfolding of a genetic time table. It has a lot to do with the damage you do on the inside through poor food and lifestyle choices. Anti-ageing begins on a cellular level and not on the surface of your skin. So there really aren’t any miracle moisturisers, lotions or potions to turn back the clock, as many skin care companies would love you to believe.
If anti-ageing formulas don’t come in a bottle then where do the secrets of flawless skin and ageless body lie? My only line of defense is ‘nutrients’ that are fed to your body daily to repair, restore and protect it, and give you a rosy glow and sheen that shouts of utmost health.
Let’s look at a few anti-ageing tools to see a noticeable difference in just a few weeks:
1. Load Up on Anti-Oxidants
The most powerful anti-ageing tool is anti-oxidants. The pigments that give food and vegetable their colour are potent antioxidants. Deep green vegetables like spinach, mustard and fenugreek are packed with polyphenols and chlorophyll. Carotenoids and flavonoids found in most fruits and vegetables help build cell membranes and protect collagen. So think of colour. Go for bright red tomatoes, carrots, purple cabbage, beetroot, yellow orange red capsicum, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
2. Buy Seasonal Food
To optimise phytonutrient content of foods, buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Opt for organic produce, limit pealing as some phytonutrients are concentrated in the skin. Steam or lightly cook to preserve water soluble nutrients. As a bonus, the more anti-oxidants you have in your bed stream, the more protected you are from diseases like cancer and diabetes.
3. Eat Good Fats Everyday
Your body can make all the fats it needs except for two essential fatty acids, Linoleic Acid (LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). And these two are like the team leaders to build strong cell walls for beautiful and well-nourished skin. They also maintain cellular hydration, reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar control. Flaxseed oil is numero uno containing all the essential fatty acids for a beautiful complexion and great health. Other EFA rich foods are coconut, avocado, walnut, almonds, mustard seeds, pumpkin seed oil and oily coldwater fish.
Please take note: EFAs will not make you fat; in fact they breakdown and eliminate cholesterol and bad fats from your body. EFAs are wonderful wrinkle softeners and moisturise the skin from within.
4. The Power of Protein
98% of your hair, skin and nails are proteins! Hence ample protein would wade off the visible signs of ageing whereas deficiencies can result in obvious pre-mature ageing and even droopy facial muscles. Include beans and legumes such as chickpeas, kidney, black beans and lentils in your daily diet. Choose organic eggs, chicken and fish as the conventionally raised poultry or farmed fish is loaded with antibiotics and hormones, which play havoc on your hormones.
5. Kilo Joule Restriction or Calourie Restriction
Calorie restriction has been studied for over 70 years with a positive conclusion that it extends life and reduces disease. This means cutting our empty calorie foods that have zero nutrient value such as simple sugars and flour. The secret to longevity is low levels of insulin. Interestingly, studies conducted on oldest living humans have found that they have lower blood sugar levels and less insulin. Insulin is the major accelerator of the ageing process.
According to research, so far, by maximising the nutrient density of food intake, calorie restrictors not only enjoy a healthier life but a longer one as well. It certainly is some food for thought!