This article is written by Pip Reed and is taken from the upcoming Great Health Guide (March 2016 – issue 9).
Nutrition: Nutrition Tips for Anti-Aging – written by Pip Reed
While aging is inevitable, it is possible to do so gracefully and good nutrition can play a major role. There’s no doubt that stress, poor sleep, too much sun and an inadequate diet can speed up the effects of aging, however here are eight nutrition tips to help reverse the signs and slow down the process.
1. Eat oily fish
Not only is fish a great source of protein, but it is also packed with essential omega 3 fatty acids that help promote glowing skin. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel also help to reduce inflammation in the body. This is one of the main processes that promote the progression of aging of the brain and mind and is visible on the skin in the form of wrinkles and fine lines. I suggest 3-4 servings per week for results.
2. Check out chia seeds
If you are vegetarian or vegan, chia seeds are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds also contain calcium, which is beneficial for bone health, especially when we age and our bone density is reduced. Chia seeds expand in liquid and can be used either as a substitute for eggs when baking or as a healthy dessert. I like to soak my chia seeds in almond milk overnight with cinnamon and berries, which are packed with antioxidants – another anti-aging trick!
3. Look for green vegetables
Leafy greens and green vegetables are loaded with nutrients, B vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that act as an antidote to inflammation in the body caused by stress, hormone imbalances, illness and excess physical activity etc. Choose leafy greens such as kale, watercress, spinach, alfalfa sprouts as well as the leaves of beetroot. Green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber and green capsicum should also be part of a healthy diet.
4. Limit the sweet stuff
When it comes to sugar, many of us don’t want to know the problems caused by sugar. It is added to all of the processed food that we just love and thus it is commonly the hardest craving to kick. However, all sugar that is taken in excess is a proven inflammatory agent and can promote skin wrinkles which is one of the first tell-tale signs of aging. Sugar also works by inhibiting the production of collagen and elastin, which are the basis for healthy, younger looking skin. And we have not even mentioned weight gain, obesity, diabetes type 2, tooth decay and other diseases related to excess sugar consumption.
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5. Drink lots of water
Water is the number one liquid for hydrating your whole body, which includes the skin. Drinking at least two litres of water a day is essential to helping you achieve supple and soft skin and therefore reducing the appearance of fine lines around your eyes, cheeks, lips and brightening your eyes. Add lemon for extra Vitamin C that can also boost collagen production!
6. Have a high fibre diet
Fibre is unfortunately a missing component of most Western diets and is integral to a healthy body. Fibre acts by adsorbing toxins and improves elimination of waste from the bowel. A possible reason for a sluggish digestive system is a lack of fibre which can cause inflammation, evident with lacklustre skin and vitality. Fibre is promoted to reduce certain types of bowel related cancer. Foods high in fibre include vegetables, lentils, wholegrains and fruit.
7. Reduce your alcohol intake
We can all recall the splitting headache we’re cursed with after a night filled with one too many glasses of wine. Excess alcohol dehydrates the body, causes damage to the liver and alters blood flow to the skin, often leaving an unhealthy, drawn, pallid appearance for days. Choosing not to drink alcohol at parties, refraining from binge drinking, limiting the number of high alcohol content drinks and drinking water in between glasses of alcohol are some of the choices that you can make. Alcohol has a great effect on aggression/emotions, mental stability and rapidly hastens the aging process.
8. Try bone broth
Bone broth contains gelatine which is particularly good for the skin as it promotes collagen formation – an integral part of healthy young skin which protects against fine lines and wrinkles.
You can have all the facials under the sun to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or dry skin, but adopting a diet packed with nutrients will be a much better long term investment. To ensure that you are getting the most from your nutrients ensure that produce is organic, without preservatives or pesticides that can damage the liver and accelerate the aging process.
Author of this article:
Pip Reed is a qualified, certified and registered nutritionist, personal trainer and Yoga-Fit instructor, with over ten years’ experience in the health and fitness industry. Pip specialises in women’s health, weight loss, hormones, endometriosis and healthy aging. Her fresh insights into achieving beauty both inside and out using nutrition as the basis of health and well-being are always realistic and designed to work with people’s lives. Further information is available from her website.
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