Ageing gracefully: Myth or Reality?
You surely cannot find the fountain of youth but that does not mean you will be unable to take remedial steps to slow down the process of ageing and even if you have no problem with ageing, won’t you like to age gracefully?
You can do that by including foods rich in antioxidants in your diet as they slow down the process of ageing. But what exactly are Antioxidants? Antioxidants are compounds found in food that help to combat cell damage by removing radicals which are nothing but waste products from the cells.
They are found in a variety of foods that you can consume daily without batting an eyelid.
How do Antioxidants help in aging gracefully?
Scientific studies over time have shown that consumption of fruits and vegetables represents the most healthy and safest method when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet to maintain youthful appearing skin. Research done by the University of Colorado showed that “older adults” who consume antioxidants that specifically target the mitochondria, daily as a part of their diet see age-related changes in blood vessels reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 within six weeks.
Eating food rich in antioxidants helps the body to look and feel more alive, starting from your skin, to your eyes, even to your liver, and promotes an overall healthy ageing experience for the whole body. Although there are plenty of skincare products out in the market which boast of being rich in antioxidants, the best way to infuse antioxidants into your body is through eating foods that are rich in antioxidants.
Foods that are the best natural antioxidants:
Even though you know that some foods are there that are rich in antioxidants, chances are you do not know which foods are particularly. So here is a list of ten antioxidant-rich foods that promote ageing gracefully.
Watercress is probably the healthiest thing out there you can consume and the benefits of watercress don’t disappoint. This hydrating green is full of calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, K, B-1, and B-2.
It acts as an internal skin antiseptic that increases the circulation and delivery of minerals to the cells which helps to increase the oxygenation process of the skin. The antioxidants present in watercress are rich in vitamin A and C help to neutralize harmful free radicals that help to keep fine lines and wrinkles away.
You can consume watercress by adding this leafy green to your salad for healthy, glowing skin and improved health. It also aids in digestion and boosts immunity and provides additional thyroid support because of its iodine content.
Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants which are a crucial element when it comes to preventing the ageing of your skin. They have a very high Vitamin C content which aids in the production of collagen. They are also rich in powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, which are plant pigments responsible for the bright red, yellow, and orange colors of fruits and vegetables.
They also have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect the skin from sun damage, pollution, and environmental toxins. Add bell peppers to your daily diet by slicing and dipping them in hummus as snacks. You can also add them to your daily salad or by cooking them as a part of a stir-fry.
Papaya can easily be considered as a superfood that is rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which are instrumental in improving skin elasticity and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Papaya contains various vitamins like vitamin A, C, K, E, B and minerals like Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus.
The antioxidants present in papaya will help you to fight radical damage to the cells, thereby delaying the signs of ageing. It also contains an enzyme called papain which provides additional anti-ageing benefits by working as one of the best anti-inflammatory agents that are found in nature. It also aids in exfoliation if you use it as a part of your face mask. Try eating papaya daily, in small amounts by drizzling lime juice over it as a part of your breakfast.
Blueberries are rich in various vitamins, such as Vitamin A and C as well as an antioxidant called anthocyanin which has been termed as “age-defying” and which gives the blueberries their color.
The antioxidant which is very powerful in nature helps to protect the skin from the damage caused by the sun, stress, pollution by moderating the inflammatory response and by working as a resistant to oxidative damage and preventing the loss of collagen. Consume this delicious, low-sugar fruit by either making a morning smoothie or a fruit bowl with other berries which are also very rich in antioxidants.
Broccoli which is anti-inflammatory in nature is famously referred to as an “anti-ageing powerhouse” that is packed with vitamin C, K, and varieties of antioxidants, fibers, folates, lutein, and calcium. Your body needs vitamin C for the production of collagen which is the protein that gives the skin its strength and elasticity.
The nutrient “Lutein” has been associated with the preservation of the brain’s memory function as well as Vitamin K and Calcium, essential for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. You can eat broccoli raw or you can eat it by steaming.
Spinach is super hydrating and it is packed with antioxidants which help to oxygenate and replenish the entire body. Spinach is rich in vitamins like Vitamin A, C, E and minerals like magnesium and plant-based heme iron and lutein.
The vitamin C content of this leafy green plays a crucial role in the enhancement of collagen production which helps to keep the skin smooth and firm. Vitamin A, present in spinach helps in maintaining strong and shiny hair and the vitamin K present in it has been associated with the reduction of inflammation in cells. Consume it as a smoothie or sauté it or maybe add it to your salad.
Various nuts, such as almonds are an amazing source of Vitamin E which plays a big role when it comes to the repair of skin tissues, retaining skin moisture, and protecting the skin from damaging UV rays.
Nuts like walnuts even contain anti-inflammatory elements like omega-3 which are fatty acids that help to strengthen the skin cell membrane and protect the skin against sun damage and preserve the natural oil barrier of the skin which in turn gives a beautiful glow to the skin.
Consumption of walnuts and pistachios show a reduced risk for heart diseases and type 2 diabetes respectively. They also work potentially to air in the prevention of cognitive decline in older adults. Top your salad with various chopped nuts or eat a handful as a snack. Do not remove the skin as 50% of the entire antioxidant content is present in the skin itself.
Avocados are high in fatty acids which help to fight off inflammation and thereby promote smooth, supple skin. They also contain various vitamins like K, C, E, A, and B and minerals like potassium that play a key role when it comes to stopping the negative effects of ageing.
The high content of vitamin A present in avocados help in the shedding of dead skin cells which make way for gorgeous, glowing skin. The carotenoid content of them helps in assisting in blocking toxins and damage to the skin from the sun’s rays and also helps to reduce the risks of skin cancer.
Throw in some avocadoes to make avocado toast, a salad, or a smoothie. You can also eat it directly by scooping it with a spoon. You can also use it as an ingredient of a face mask which can help you to fight inflammation, reduce redness and also help to prevent wrinkles.
The color of the sweet potatoes comes from antioxidants which are called beta-carotene which is then converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in the restoration of the elasticity of the skin and in the promotion of skin cell turnover that ultimately contributes to soft, youthful-looking skin.
This root vegetable is delicious in taste and is at the same time a great source of vitamin C and E that helps to ultimately protects the skin from harmful free radicals and thereby keeps the complexion radiant. You can toast them and eat them as a breakfast dish or as a snack.
Pomegranates, throughout the centuries, have been used as a healing medicinal fruit that is high in vitamin C and some potent antioxidants. This fruit plays a key role when it comes to protecting the body from free radical damage and will reduce the level of inflammation in your system.
This fruit is also home to a compound called “Punicalagins” which helps in the preservation of collagen in the skin and thereby slows down the signs of ageing. Pomegranate also contains a compound called Urolithin A which when it interacts with the gut bacteria rejuvenates the mitochondria thereby reversing muscle ageing.