10 Antioxidant rich foods that can help prevent ageing
As we get older, our skin begins to lose its elasticity and it becomes thinner, and there is nothing we can do to stop the ageing process altogether. What we can do, however, is to slow the process by making some healthy eating choices. A major contributor to premature ageing is the damage that is caused to skin by free radicals, which we come into to contact with every day in pollution, through what we eat and even via the rays of the sun. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of foods that we can eat, which will provide us with antioxidants that fight free radicals and will stop them causing lines and wrinkles in the skin. Here are ten foods that are rich in these antioxidants that can help prevent the signs of ageing.
1. Green tea
Green tea is one of the superheroes of antioxidant rich foods and a regular cup of green tea can do wonders for your body and your skin. The secret of green tea’s potency is its high content of antioxidants called catechins, which can repair cell damage and reduce the visibility of wrinkles. It is only green tea that has this very high concentration of catechins, though; black tea contains five times less.
Blueberries are a fruit that definitely deserves their reputation for being a super-food and blueberries are quite probably one of the healthiest, antioxidant rich foods that you can eat. During a research study conducted by Cornell University, scientists found that the antioxidants found in blueberries protected and repaired cells better than the antioxidants found in most other fruits. It is preferable to buy blueberries organic, as they are often heavily sprayed.
3. Olive oil
People have known for a long time that the monounsaturated fats that are found in olive oil are good for the skin and that they also help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. It was only quite recently, though, that scientists discovered that olive oil also contains high levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help prevent the onset of the signs of ageing.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and oranges, and other citrus fruits contain Vitamin C in abundance. Vitamin C is well known for its ability to fight colds, but it also works in two ways to help prevent the signs of ageing. It helps to increase the production of collagen in the skin and it works as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals.
Surprisingly, eggs pack a pretty powerful antioxidant punch too. Raw eggs are the best, but either way, egg yolk contains tyrosine and tryptophan, both of which have powerful antioxidant properties that can help prevent cancer and heart disease and fight the free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.
Easily added to sandwiches and salads, watercress will provide you with a good source of the antioxidants, lutein and zexanthin. These are two of the antioxidants that are particularly noted for their ability to prevent age related macular degeneration, as well as for their ability to ward off the signs of ageing.
Salmon also deserves a place in our list of antioxidant rich foods. While omega-3 fatty acids might not rank as a super-antioxidant, they do have antioxidant properties that can help to neutralise free radicals. It is also believed that omega-3 fatty acids help to increase the effectiveness of other antioxidants in the body. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids is fish, such as salmon, but they can also be found in nuts and seeds as well.
Grapes, especially the darker skinned varieties, are also a part of antioxidant rich foods; they contain Vitamin C and the phytochemicals, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin, which fight free radicals and can help to protect you against heart disease and cancer. They also provide your immune system with a boost too.
Nuts are also great, antioxidant rich foods. Each nut has its own special blend of healthy fats, antioxidants and other nutrients, so a handful of mixed nuts will provide you with a balanced amount of all different types of anti-ageing ingredients. It’s easy to get more nuts into your diet. You can add them to your cooking, sprinkle them over salads and they make a great, on the go, snack too.
10. Dark green vegetables
Any dark, leafy, green vegetable will provide you with a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but spinach, broccoli and kale, are worthy of a special mention. As well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals, dark green veggies also contain antioxidant phytochemicals, which fight free radicals. Green vegetables are not only super-nutritious, they also contain a lot of fibre that will fill you up, so they are great for helping you to lose weight too.
What are your favourite antioxidant rich foods?