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Armed with the facts, you can make reasoned, well-informed decisions about things you can do to fight the visible signs of ageing. It may surprise you to know that you’ll be making many of those decisions in the supermarket, not at your doctor’s office.
Today we’re exploring the connection between skin health and proper diet…
Beneath the Skin: Cellular & Molecular Ageing
A group of biochemists and microbiologists in Spain identified 9 “hallmarks of ageing” that are the same across all mammals. These hallmarks can first be observed as breakdowns that occur on the body’s cellular and molecular levels. From there, they spread to your muscles, joints, bones, tissues, and organs.
The hallmarks are real tongue-twisters to pronounce, but not too difficult to understand:
- Changes in Intercellular Communication – age-damaged cells are unable to communicate effectively.
- Cellular Senescence – cells stop growing and dividing.
- Deregulated Nutrient Sensing – a natural tendency of ageing cells to take in fewer nutrients.
- Epigenetic Changes – an ageing impact on DNA that prevents new cells from being generated.
- Genomic Instability – an accumulation of genetic damage over the course of a lifetime.
- Loss of Proteostasis – an inability to process proteins effectively due to age.
- Shortened Telomeres – protective pieces of DNA material get shorter as we age.
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction – ageing mitochondria cannot provide sufficient energy, causing cells to die.
- Stem Cell Exhaustion – ageing stem cells can no longer make blood cells and new tissue.
Nutrients: What to Eat for Cellular Health
All the cells in your body, including your skin cells, need these six essential nutrients. An essential nutrient is a nutrient the body either cannot synthesise on its own or cannot synthetise an adequate amount of. It must be provided by your diet from
- Carbohydrates – for energy
- Fat – for energy and vitamin absorption
- Minerals – like vitamins, a range of minerals are essential to body function
- Protein – for building and repairing body tissue
- Vitamins – a wide range of vitamins protect against a variety of problems
- Water – literally the fluid of life as it brings nourishment to the cells
Your body is an amazing, self-healing machine. It’s resilient and efficient, but only if you give it the fuel it needs to function.
Our 6 Favourite Foods that Fight Ageing
The following foods are rich in antioxidants and help keep your cells rosy and robust:
- Berries – Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all high in antioxidants, and they are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body create collagen which keeps your skin plump and healthy.
- Fish – Stay away from greasy, deep fried (though delicious) fish and concentrate on salmon, tuna, and other fish and seafood. Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which science has shown has strong anti-inflammatory properties. If you don’t like fish, consider an Omega-3 supplement to get the nutrition you need.
- Nuts – Almonds and walnuts are known to be rich in cell-supporting minerals such as zinc and selenium, as well as antioxidants. Macadamias, Brazil nuts, and even peanuts also do the trick.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is a great source of low-calorie healthy protein that your body needs. Just as importantly, it’s rich in probiotics. Probiotics promote the absorption of nutrients and protect gut health. Make sure you buy a yoghurt (we like Chobani plain greek style) that doesn’t have any sweeteners in it.
- Kelp/seaweed – Like seafood, these sea plants are rich in antioxidants. They are also rich in iodine, a nutrient that is important to healthy thyroid function.
- Broccoli – Among its other benefits, broccoli produces a substance known as DMI (diindolylmethane). DMI boosts the immune system and also helps with the balance of oestrogen and testosterone which can impact your ability to process nutrients.
5 Diet Secrets for Skin Health
You really can eat yourself to good skin health and good general health. In addition to the specific foods above, load up your diet with these healthy ingredients:
- Magnesium – seaweed, sun-dried tomatoes, chard, tempeh, quinoa
- Beta carotene – sweet potatoes, carrots
- Vitamin A – peas, spinach
- Dietary fibre – from a variety of raw/cooked fruits and vegetables
- Quercetin – dill, buckwheat, cacao powder, red onions, spring onions
Here’s another secret: Fruits and vegetables are excellent antioxidant sources, but surprisingly, herbs and spices pack the most punch. For example, turmeric, a spice often found in Indian cuisine, is one of the best. It fights skin inflammation and protects your joints, too. Oh, and did we mention it tastes amazing!
Remember, when you feed your face, you’re feeding your skin. That’s why at Team Costhetics, we make sure to get a full rasher of skin-healthy foods each and every day, along with our treat food. Try our good-skin eating plan for two weeks. The results will be obvious to your eyes and to your fingertips.