antiageing-tips

This week’s post is about how you can help keep your skin looking young by eating the right foods. First of all though, lets have a quick look at some of the causes of skin ageing.

 

free-radicals-3

Free radicals are one of the main causes of ageing in general, including skin ageing. The unstable nature of free radicals means that they cause damage to surrounding cells and tissues, including those of the skin. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, limiting this damage, which is why they are such a key ally in the fight against ageing.

inflammation-3

Inflammation also plays a role in ageing, as well as other skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and rashes. Inflammation is in fact a vital bodily process, mounted by the immune system in response to injury or infection, to help us heal or get better. However, if it becomes long-term, or out of control it can cause problems. One consequence of inflammation is the activation of enzymes that cause collagen breakdown. Calming inflammation is therefore another important strategy.

age-formation

AGE formation – aptly named AGEs (advanced glycation end products) are formed in the body when glucose (sugar) reacts with body tissues, including collagen and elastin. The result is that cells become stiff, lose elasticity and are prone to damage and premature ageing. AGEs can also be taken in through the diet as they are formed when some foods are cooked. High blood sugar levels have been shown to increase AGE formation.

The above processes are also linked and influence one another; for example oxidative stress increases AGE formation, which promotes inflammation and increases oxidative stress!

Our aim in terms of an anti-ageing diet must therefore be tackling all three processes by providing high doses of antioxidants, reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar to limit AGE formation, and also limiting AGE intake.

Pay attention!

 

smoking

Smoking

Increases oxidative stress, AGEs and inflammation, so avoid at all costs!

sunbathing

UV rays

Thought to be the single largest contributor to skin ageing! Always wear an SPF moisturizer (even in winter) and limit sunbathing.

stress

Stress

Stress accelerates ageing and collagen breakdown, so include stress relieving techniques such as exercise, yoga, meditation or breathing exercises.

 

 

Oily fish

By far the best source of the omega-3s DHA and EPA, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Also act as a natural skin moisturiser, help maintain skin elasticity and prevent dry skin. Deficiencies can lead to premature wrinkles, brittle nails and splitting hair. Also a great source of the mineral selenium.

Target: 2-4 servings per week

Tip: Salmon, sardines & mackerel are good options. Bake or poach and don’t heat above 180°C to retain maximum benefits.

Fruit and Vegetables

Your main source of antioxidants, plus vitamins A, C and E. Also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Target 7-9 portions per day

Tip: eat as many different colours as possible, including: –

• Berries – 1 serving per day

• Dark green veg (broccoli, spinach, watercress, kale) – 1 serving per day

• Red/orange fruit and veg (sweet potato, butternut squash, mango, peppers, carrots, papaya) – 1 serving per day

• Avocados – 2-4 times per week.

Complex Carbohydrates

Help balance blood sugar levels to reduce AGEs and contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins

Target: at least 80% carbs should be complex

Tip: brown rice, sweet potato, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, beans & lentils are best

Nuts and seeds

Contain healthy fats, which moisturise the skin and are anti-inflammatory, plus antioxidants, vitamin E and minerals.

Target: 1-2 servings per day

Tip: Include chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds & Brazil nuts.

Water

Helps reduce wrinkles by keeping skin hydrated and flushes out toxins

Target: 8 to 10 glasses of water per day

Tip: try herbal teas, lemon water and spa waters for variety

Green Tea

One of the best sources of anti-oxidants, also increases metabolism, anti-cancer and protects the brain and memory

Target: 2-4 cups per day

Tip: try caffeine-free green tea to limit caffeine intake, as too much can disrupt blood sugar balance

Soya beans, tofu, beans and lentils

A source of phytoestrogens, natural plant oestrogens, which can help alleviate menopausal symptoms by balancing the hormonal changes taking place. Also rich in antioxidants.

Target: 1 serving per day

Tip: processed soya foods, (yoghurts, soy protein isolate etc.) are not so beneficial, stick to ‘traditional foods’ such as miso, tempeh, tofu and edamame.

 

Sugar

One of the most ageing foods of all! Causes raised blood sugar levels and increased AGE formation. A high sugar diet has also been shown to increase oxidative stress and inflammation.

Target: reduce as much as possible or go sugar free if you can

Tip: the natural sugars found fruit are fine, it is the refined, processed sugars that should be avoided/reduced

 

Red Meat

Promotes inflammation and contains pre-formed AGEs

Target: maximum of 1-2 times per week

Tip: avoid processed meats completely as they increase cancer risk

Refined Carbohydrates

White bread, white flour products (e.g. cakes, biscuits, pastry), white rice, white pasta, rice cakes, white potatoes

These cause blood sugar fluctuations, which increase AGE formation. They also have low nutritional value, providing mainly energy as ‘empty calories’

Target: no more than 20% of carbs, but avoid completely if possible

Tip: your tastes will adjust to wholemeal pasta, rice etc. quite quickly until you end up preferring them!

 

Fried foods, barbequed and overcooked foods

Again these cause inflammation and AGE formation

Target: limit as much as possible – special occasions only

Tip: steaming, poaching, gentle stir-frying and low temperature oven cooking are best. Also include plenty of raw foods such as salads and fruits.

 

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Beauty & Go Skin Revive

Including 1-3 Beauty & Go Skin Revive drinks as part of your daily beauty routine will provide additional protection against skin ageing, by supplying you with many nutrients, and some of them cannot be obtained from eating normal foods.