Ageing is a natural process that cannot be curbed but can be delayed. Nowadays, we see more nutritious and healthy foods infused into beauty products rather than eaten directly for good health! Our strawberries, soy, avocados and pomegranates find their use in face wash, cleansers, serums and body butters but don’t find any place in our meal plates. Nutrition plays a key role in fighting off our wrinkles and aging process. We are the sum product of what we eat. Searching for anti-ageing solutions externally is going to do nothing much and rather, it would be beneficial if we introduce something that reaches our internal body organs. No solution for anti-aging can be contained within a small bottle. The only solution to stay fit and appear young is to eat right, stick to portions and choose the right type of foods.
It is possible to look way beyond your age when you eat foods rich in all the wrong nutrients! Eating foods rich in trans fat can cause inflammation, consuming too much of sugary foods and processed carbohydrates can damage your skin’s collagen.
Collagen is vital for keeping the skin tight without wrinkles. It is the most-abundant protein found all through the body, but in more quantities in the skin, bones and connective tissue. Women experience a great reduction in collagen synthesis after menopause whose quantity further declines after the age of 60. Many skin and beauty products contain collagen and are advertised that using these products increases collagen levels in the body. But practically this is impossible as these collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Eating a well-balanced diet containing certain key foods that aid in controlling skin sagging, wrinkles, pigmentation and dark spots is the key to staying bold, beautiful, confident and above all, healthy during senior years.
As we age we might not feel like eating and drinking as before due to absence of thirst or taste or in fact, don’t feel like cooking at all due to tiredness. All these might prevent you from eating nutritious foods and your body starts reciprocating to these actions. Maybe it is time to meet a nutritionist/dietitian with the help of whom you can rollback things and start eating well. You can meet reputed RDNs at www.firsteatright.com who can help you with a nutritious diet plan and simple healthy tips. Some of the tips given here can help any elderly person get into the groove of fighting against aging and postpone it!
Plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy proteins, some portions of low-fat dairy, health fats and less sugary and salty foods are the basics of any healthy diet. Certain specific foods prove to be especially useful for elderly people who love to defy aging:
Water: “Water? Are you crazy? First of all, it’s not a food!” Might be your typical response after reading this. But, assume water to be a part of your daily food intake. As we grow older we don’t drink sufficient water as we don’t feel thirsty as before when we were young. Elderly people who often complain of fatigue, dehydration and constipation lack sufficient quantities of water.
Blueberries: One of the popular berries, blueberries are delicious and rich in antioxidants. Basically, any antioxidant-rich food can help to keep your cells healthy as they protect the skin against the skin-damaging free radicals due to sunlight exposure or stress. Eating half a cup of blueberries daily can prevent fine lines and wrinkles. All berries, including mulberry, strawberry and cranberry, contain loads of antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamins and probiotics. Eating a portion of any of these berries can induce cell regeneration for new skin.
Tomatoes: Any food rich in lycopene, a natural chemical that protects your skin from UV damage, protects your body against prostate and lung cancer. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C that help to build collagen and make your skin look firm and tight. Any vitamin C-rich food helps to reduce wrinkles and minimize dry skin due to collagen production as vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Including oranges, yellow bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, red peppers, kale, melons and any other citrus fruits can work wonders on your skin and give it a glow.
Yogurt: This low-fat dairy product contains the highest concentration of living probiotics. Kefir is another milk product similar to yogurt but containing three-times more probiotics than yogurt. Certain studies show that probiotics are effective for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Eating yogurt and kefir can improve conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis and acne.
Fatty fish: Fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herrings and lake trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may protect against skin damage and strengthen skin membrane. This is a must-add for people with dry skin as these fish types help to moisture the skin inside out.
Colorful produce: Here again, the yellow, red and orange pigments found in fruits and veggies are carotenoids, anti-oxidants that destroy free radicals. All of us are familiar with beta-carotenoid found commonly in carrots which help to increase production of collagen. Lycopene is another carotenoid that again helps to protect our skin. Eat more of cooked tomatoes, orange-colored produce such as carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, orange squashes and sweet potatoes, dark-colored vegetables such as kale, chard and collard greens and herbs such as rosemary, coriander, parsley and sage. Avocados too are rich in good fats and glutathione, a substance involved in tissue building, repair, making chemicals and proteins and flushing toxins out of the system. There is even a study which found that incorporating vegetable salads with avocados increases the absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein.
Olive oil: These oils too contain good fats that contain heart-healthy omega-3s. An antioxidant, it prevents the process of oxidation (this process produces free radicals). Consume not more than one tablespoon of olive oil daily which can improve circulation and leave the skin smooth. Many people use olive oil as a moisturizing agent and apply it to avoid premature aging.
Nuts, green tea, whole grains and lean proteins can also be consumed to stay healthy and nutritious along with the foods given above. Eat a healthy diet, do regular physical activity and live stress-free (you look much more aged when you are stressed) to lead a healthy and happy life. It is possible to stay healthy at any age and just because you are in your 60s or 70s it doesn’t mean that you are bound to look aged with wrinkles and fine lines around your face.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.