While scientists dig deep into the science of anti-ageing to find the ultimate solution to ageing woes, you still have that one thing that can make your life on this planet more healthful: FOOD.
The process of ageing is different in each individual, but the good news is that anti-ageing foods will work to make your skin look younger regardless of that. For starters, improve your lifestyle and resolve to take a proper healthful diet, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol and try to get organic foods as much as possible.
• Avocado: It is a fruit rich in monounsaturated fats. This nourishing fat helps to lessen bad cholesterol in your body that can cause blockage in arteries. Avocado also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant, which is good for the skin. It promotes healthy skin by improving its softness and level of moisture. Enjoy avocados sliced and on top of a salad or in a guacamole.
• Carrots: These have a lot of beta carotene which improves skin health, detoxifies the body and has good impact on overall health of the cell. According to a research as mentioned in the book “Stop Aging Now!” it was found that carrots have beta carotene, which is their main antioxidant asset and is a powerhouse against ageing and disease. The orange pigment present in carrots also helps to boost functioning of the immune system.
• Cucumber: It is a very good food for cell regeneration and it can also be applied externally as face wash or for the treatment of dark circles under the eyes. Cucumbers are rich in the mineral Silica, which is an important component for growth of health connective tissues like muscles, cartilage, bones, ligaments and skin. Cucumbers are also rich in ionic potassium, vitamin C and magnesium, which has an alkalizing effect on the body.
• Berries: Black berries and blue berries contain flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants. Your immune system is also benefitted by eating berries. In a series of experiments done at the University of California, in laboratory culture dishes, it was found that blackberries and blueberries have high antioxidant capacity.
• Cruciferous Vegetables: These include cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Have them raw to benefit from cancer fighting properties and reap beneficial effect on your skin. Scientists have also identified that the above mentioned cruciferous vegetables are known to maintain healthy hormone levels.
• Apples: Pectin is a nutrient found in this fruit which helps in removing toxins from the body. A body without toxins has a naturally healthy skin. Nutrition expert and author, David Wolfe, says that vitamin C speeds up the production of skin’s cells, making one look radiant and strengthening the hair as well as nails. He adds that apples contain B vitamins, like B9 and B5 that help to prevent acne and irritation.
• Coconut Oil: It has omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients that protect your cell structure. This promotes the health of your skin. Cynthia Holzapfel and Laura Holzapfel, authors of Coconut Oil: For Health and Beauty, state that “”because it is a saturated fat, coconut oil is not broken down by free radicals. When you use it to replace unsaturated fats in your foods or apply it to your skin, you reduce the opportunity for free radical damage and enjoy its anti-aging benefits”. They add that coconut oil has also been shown to fight and prevent acne and promote healing.
• Nuts: These have many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They improve your digestive system and are conducive for good health of your skin. According to author Mahayana Isabelle Dugast, PhD, of Anti-aging Secrets, “nuts are super-nutritious and their gift to you is an impressive portfolio of vitamins and minerals.”
• Strawberries: High content of vitamin C in strawberries helps to fight free radicals that are responsible for ageing. It also filters out the toxins from your body. Thomas Gist reinforces in his book, You Too, Can Have, The Fruits of Life! that “strawberries contain high amounts of anti-aging (or antioxidant) chemicals, which are a combination of vitamin A, C, E and other substances that keep our cells youthful”.
• Guava: It is a rich source of iron and has great digestive properties. As it is very effective in flushing toxins from your body, the condition of the skin naturally improves. Gist says that guava is loaded with vitamin C, which helps in relieving stress, fighting infections, bad bacteria and viruses, developing strong bones and healing wounds as well as burns faster.
Tips for Better Results
According to author, Deborah Mitchell, of the book Foods that Combat Aging, “The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are greatly diminished or eliminated if the produce isn’t selected or stored properly or if it is prepared in unhealthy ways”. She lists a few guidelines for “purchasing, handling, and eating” the produce.
• Wash all the vegetables and fruits that you buy from the market, whether conventionally or organically grown, just before cooking or serving, not before storing them. “Cool water is all that’s necessary; commercial produce washes offer little or no advantages over plain water”.
• Make sure you check the PLU stickers on the produce. Edibles that are conventionally grown have a four-digit number and those that are organically grown have five digits prefaced by the number nine. Genetically modified products have five digits prefaced by the number 8.
• Use a produce brush to clean produces that are firm such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, etc.
• Let go of the outer layer of leady vegetables because the residues of the pesticide are likely to accumulate here.
• Wash fruits and vegetables that you peel before eating such as pineapple, oranges, melons, etc because when you cut the fruit to peel it, contaminants from the peel slip into the pulp.
• If after cutting a fruit or vegetable, you have no plan of eating it right away, refrigerate immediately. This is because cut fruits and vegetables attract bacteria faster than uncut ones.
• When shopping for produce, make sure that you do not buy moldy, shrivelled or badly bruised fruit as these are likely to be high in bacteria and contaminants. Blemishes of minor nature are safe; in fact, you will find that organic produce has minor blemishes as it is “not coloured, waxed, or has not undergone attempts to make it look “perfect”.”
• Make sure not to store veggies and fruits together as fruits give away ethylene gas, which triggers the decay of veggies.
• Remember to always cool vegetables that are dehydrated thoroughly, as they are likely to be contaminated by microorganisms and may cause food-borne illnesses.
• Steam blanch the vegetables before freezing them as the process of blanching makes sure that the enzymes break down the nutrients present in the vegetables. First cool the veggies and then store blanched vegetables after putting them in a freezer bad or a container.
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