While many of us are conscious to some extent of what we put into our bodies, we don’t always realise that we can not only prevent certain health problems by avoiding certain foods; but also assist in supporting some of the natural, positive, processes.
This may come as a surprise to some, and while eating certain foods doesn’t automatically mean that you will turn into Hebe, Goddess of Youth, but adding nutrient-dense foods into your diet does in fact promote healthier ageing. As a general guideline, we can rely on foods which are healthy sources of protein, healthy fats, as well as foods that are rich in antioxidants.
It may only be one aspect in the anti-ageing process, but why not incorporate it when it’s this simple?
Below, we’ve listed 8 of the foods that you can easily and enjoyably add to your daily diet, that are great for supporting healthy ageing.
- Avocados: Not only is this fruit incredibly versatile and delicious, but avocado contains a high content of monounsaturated fat which helps promote healthy skin. Furthermore, the high content of antioxidants assists in fighting against free radicals that ages skin.
- Vegetables: This probably seems obvious, and perhaps not a favourite for some, but fear not! For the most part there are at least one or two types of vegetables that we enjoy, and the good news is, most veggies are actually nutrient-dense and low in calories. So, no need to worry if they’re not all for you – it’s almost guaranteed that whichever vegetable you enjoy will contain nutrients that your body will thank you for! In this case, vegetables which are great for anti-ageing include: carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato. These vegetables are high in carotenoids, like beta carotene. According to healthline.com, research suggests that a diet high in carotenoids may protect the skin against the sun’s UV rays, which as we know, are the main cause of premature skin ageing.
- Fatty Fish: This is a dietary addition with many benefits! For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on anti-ageing properties. Fatty fish are high in omega-3s, which are linked to a strong skin barrier and may help decrease inflammation that damages the skin. Fish like salmon contain additional nutrients which promote healthy skin, including astaxanthin (responsible for its colour) and protein, important for skin elasticity, strength and wound healing. If that’s still not enough to convince you, fatty fish also contain a mineral (and antioxidant) called selenium. Selenium plays an active role in DNA synthesis and repair, and helps prevent skin damage from UV light, aka. the sun.
If fish isn’t your thing, why not add a supplement instead? Don’t miss out on these
benefits, and try Solal Omega-3 Krill Oil capsules, Solal Omega 3 Omega-All capsules,
(containing all three sources combining fish, flax and krill), or Nativa Omega-
3 Complex capsules. (All available at Health Central Online).
- Dark Chocolate: Well, what do we have here? Dark chocolate contains flavanols which act as antioxidants and help to slow skin ageing. It is important to note that the higher the coca content, the higher the flavanol content. In other words, choose a variety with at least 70% cocoa, and of course, little added sugar. Although some research suggests it may improve skin health, more research is needed to confirm this. For now though, we’re happy to give it a go!
- Collagen peptides: Don’t be thrown off by the name; collagen in layman’s terms, is the body’s most abundant protein. Found primarily in the body’s skin and joints, protein from collagen is actually used wherever the body needs it, and so it is essential that we replenish as far as possible. Good news is, this is easy! Maintaining a protein-rich diet is all it takes, and a couple of the best examples include: chicken, eggs, fish, and tofu. If you want to take it a step further, simply add a collagen supplement and boost your intake! Better news? There are many varieties available! We suggest Youthful Living Collagen Effervescent, Solal Collagen Plus capsules, or the plant-based powder option, Phyto Pro Collagen Booster, available in a range of flavours. (All available at Health Central Online).
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: According to healthline.com extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils on earth. It’s rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused free radicals. Like avocados, extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats making up about 73% of olive oil! Because of this, olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against severe skin ageing. Side note: Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is even higher in antioxidants and is less processed than oils that are extracted using other methods.
- Green Tea: This is a great way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet! Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols. The polyphenols found in green tea may help reduce external skin ageing — as a result of environmental stressors such as the sun and pollution, or habits such as smoking. In fact, green tea has become popular too in skincare regimes, using products which contain green tea extracts.
There you have it! Just a few simple ways to enhance a healthy ageing experience! It’s always important to note that while eating a certain diet can absolutely affect the health of your skin and various other natural processes, ageing is inevitable and nothing to be afraid of! What should be considered however, is being safe and kind with your body’s largest organ. Along with eating a nutritious diet (in particular, foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants), consider protecting your skin with other clean habits such as wearing sunscreen, avoiding smoking, staying physically active, and using appropriate skin care products.