Can all fruits and vegetables be considered anti ageing foods?
Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of fibre, vitamins and minerals and form an important staple in a healthy diet. By following a balanced diet with lots of variety in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day, we can benefit from the anti ageing and immunity boosting properties they contain. It’s like a giant jigsaw. We need to pick different pieces every day and can’t rely on eating the same two or three fruits or vegetables served in the same way each time.
Versatility is key to a creating a healthier diet
Versatility in what we choose to eat and how we eat it, is key to creating an easy to follow healthy diet. Raw fruits and vegetables are great as part of a salad or smoothie. Steamed, stir fried or roasted are also great options to prepare your favourite vegetables. Boiling vegetables is a far less efficient way to cook as many essential nutrients are lost in the cooking water. Using the vegetable water to make a sauce or as a base for a soup is a great way to make the most of the goodness. (Except for potato water which should always be discarded). Let’s bring some colour to our plates at every meal. Eat the rainbow!
Green Cruciferous Vegetables – Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Cavalo Nero….
These vital veggies are packed with healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients to help protect us from sun damage to our skin. Spinach, for example, is rich in lutein and beta-carotene. These two nutrients help enhance our skin’s elasticity and texture.
Remember that variety is key when you’re picking your daily greens. Rotate round your greens every day, choosing from spinach, kale, Collard greens, Swiss Chard, cavalo nero, broccoli, peas, beans etc. Greens make ideal anti ageing foods to incorporate into your daily diet.
Pomegranate is the ideal skin softener
Pomegranate is a Mediterranean fruit packed full of vitamin C, polyphenols and antioxidants which help protect you against the wrinkling effects of sun damage, potentially increasing your body’s ability to preserve collagen which keeps your skin looking plump and smooth. To maximise the benefits which pomegranate has to offer, eat pomegranate seeds at least once a week, don’t just drink the juice which lacks fibre and has a higher sugar content than when eating as a fruit.
Blueberries Help To Smooth Fine Lines And Improve Skin Texture
Blueberries contain a high level of antioxidants which give your skin added protection against damage from free radicals caused by environmental toxins, emotional stress, excessive sun exposure and overexercising, in particular from running.
Adding half a cup of blueberries to your daily diet will help to prevent damage to the cell structure which can lead to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and lack of firmness to your skin.
Green Tea Helps Reduce Brown Spots and Excessive Pigmentation
Green tea contains high levels of catechins which are one of the most effective ingredients to prevent sun damage such as hyperpigmentation. In addition, green tea contains other polyphenols, a type of antioxidant combating free-radical damage which can help to reverse the effects of ageing. By drinking at least one cup of green tea per day, positive results are visible within a month.
Which fruits and vegetables are best to eat?
Try to include in your diet as many fresh fruits and vegetables with a high water content as possible. Good choices are berries and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, oranges, apples, watermelon, melon, pears, and vegetables like cucumber, courgette, celery, and lettuce.
Eating Watermelon Regularly Gives You Fresh And Dewy Skin
Watermelon is a great fruit to eat on a regular basis as it contains high levels of the ultimate antioxidant, vitamin C, as well as lycopene and potassium. Both help to regulate the balance of water and nutrients in the cells inside our bodies. Eating water melon also helps reduce your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Cold Water Fish Has The Most Anti Ageing Benefits Including Reducing Skin Redness and Irritation
Cold water wild fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen skin-cell membranes, helping to keep moisture inside the cells. Eating two portions of fresh cold water fish per week, in addition to a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can help to reduce chronic skin inflammations, such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Stick to a maximum of two portions of fish per week as excessive consumption of fish can lead to high levels of heavy metals such as mercury inside the body.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Ideal To Help Achieve A Healthy Glow On Your Skin
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in healthy fats including omega 3s which have excellent anti ageing properties and are highly beneficial for our skin and joints. In addition, olive oil has heart healthy benefits by improving our blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and stabilising our blood sugar levels. A tablespoon per day of extra virgin olive oil can be used for cooking, in salads or you can add a dash of olive oil to a veggie smoothie or soup to add flavour and extra goodness.
Carrots are really versatile to eat and full of beta carotene
Carrots are best known for being orange in colour but in fact can come in a variety of colours and sizes. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a pigment and carotenoid giving carrots their characteristic orange colour.
Our bodies are unable to produce vitamin A independently but they can convert beta carotene into vitamin A which is needed to maintain a series of bodily functions including keeping high immune function and sustaining our sight as we age to avoid age-related macular degeneration. For this reason, it is vital to include enough beta carotene and vitamin A in our diet to protect the cells in our bodies from ageing damage caused by free radicals.
Some varieties of carrots such as white carrots, for example, don’t contain the orange pigment beta-carotene, but all carrots contain falcarinol, a nutrient which potentially protects against cancer.
Eating raw carrots protects all the key nutrients inside. When cooking carrots it is best to steam or roast them whole rather than chopping carrots into small pieces or slices as they lose key nutrients when cooked in small sizes. This is because when you chop carrots up you increase the surface area so a larger amount of nutrients escapes into the cooking water. By leaving carrots whole you lock in the flavour and nutrients.
Citrus fruits have several protective effects against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases
Citrus fruits are a popular choice to eat as they are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorous and other vitamins and minerals. They’re full of fibre and easy to carry with you as a snack when you’re out and about. Most citrus fruits are widely available to buy all year round with lots of kinds to choose from. There are over 30 varieties of citrus fruits, the most popular being oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, uglis and pomelos to name but a few.
Health benefits from eating citrus fruits regularly include boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation in the body and protecting you against cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases.