A well thought out skincare routine is a good start but unfortunately not enough to get you that desirable, youthful, lit-from-within looking skin. One piece of the puzzle that can help you to get there is having the right diet which includes anti-ageing foods, among other things.
To find out more, Beauty Daily by Clarins consulted with two leading nutritionists on how to eat your way to healthy-looking skin and asked for their recommendations on the best anti-ageing foods to keep in mind, and tips and recipes for a more youthful diet.
So what food group qualify as anti-ageing?
Although there isn’t one ‘fix all’ food group that holds the secret to anti-ageing, The British Dietetic Association (BDA) says the best and most proven way to fight against skin ageing is by eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
“Unfortunately, whilst it isn’t possible to stop the ageing process in its tracks, we can be more aware of our diet to make sure we are doing what we can to help us age well,” says Jemma Joel, Registered Nutritionist and NHS Health Coach.
Joel suggests including a range of nutrients in the diet, not just those that are high in antioxidants. “Always choose whole foods where possible, as well as high sources of protein and healthy fats.”
She also advises: “Be mindful of your intake of processed and high sugar food, as sugar can impact breakouts because of the blood sugar spikes increasing inflammation and sebum production.”
Research has shown that one of the adverse effects of eating too much sugar is premature ageing. This is because sugar can damage your skin through a process called glycation, which damages collagen, and elastin (which are the proteins which are responsible for skin’s plumpness.)
There is good news though – to make these changes to your diet, it doesn’t have to be scary and it’s not necessary to make them all at once. You can begin by making better choices when loading your plate to ensure that you are swapping out more processed foods for healthier options where possible. Think about these changes as an investment in your health, rather than a restriction.
5 Anti-Ageing Foods That Are Approved By Nutritionists
Nishtha Patel a Clinical Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner shares her top 5 anti-ageing food recommendations.
“Eat the rainbow of different coloured plant-based foods daily and rotate your food. This creates diversity in your gut microbiome and a healthy gut is a key to good health. They are also loaded with different antioxidants and other compounds which are crucial for hair, skin, eyes, nails, brain, heart health and of course ageing,” Patel recommends.
Evidence shows that blueberries are great at supporting the skin’s ability to fight inflammation which related to skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and premature ageing. When out shopping, try and but wild blueberries where possible as they contain approimately 33% more brain-healthy anthocyanins than ordinary blueberries.
“Although wild blueberries are harder to get your hands on, they are richer in anthocyanin (more so than ordinary blueberries) which are the chemicals which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wild blueberries are fantastic for the brain, heart and skin, but if you’re unable to get the wild ones, try other organic berries as they help work towards the same results. Patel explains.
Avocados are a hugely rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds because they are packed with fibre, healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate, which all play a significant part in promoting healthy skin.
It’s no surprise that avocados are such a popular ingredient in diets as not only do they present a myriad of health benefits but they are delicious for both sweet and savoury recipes, so there are plenty of dishes for you to get your teeth into.
3. Oily fish
Fish is anti-inflammatory which is an excellent source of essential fatty acids and omega 3, both of which are vital for healthy skin and hair, as well as your heart and brain.
Patel says: “Wild Alaskan salmon is considered the best but you can of course eat any oily fish in order for your skin to benefit. An easy to remember acronym is S.M.A.S.H.: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sandine, Herring. This can remind you of the best choices to make when it comes to oily fish.”
4. Sweet Potato
When you are looking to reduce signs of ageing on your skin, sweet potato is one of the best foods to start with as it’s full of beta-carotene, which helps to prevent early ageing.
A study published by the American Journal of Public Health found that people who eat more fruit and vegetables have healthier, glowing skin and that is due to carotenoids, which are the orange/red pigments found in certain fruits and vegetables.
Carotenoids are pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange colours in many fruits and vegetables so load up on them if you want radiant skin.
“The orange colour comes from beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A and is important for healthy elasticity for the skin and for cell turnover, as that is what helps to keep you looking young,” says Patel.
Many studies report that beetroot, especially when in the form of a juice supplement, protects against oxidative damage to DNA, lipid and protein structures. It is great for the blood, heart, and brain too.
Pro tip: “Whenever I cook, I try to add as many vegetables and spices into my meals as possible,” Patel says.
She adds: “Herbs and spices account for plant-based ingredients in your diet. The more plants and plant-based food you eat, the more you feed your gut microbes.
These are the tiny bacteria in the gut that produce prebiotics which are fuel for the healthy bacteria (probiotics) living in the digestive tract. Furthermore, vegetables are high in fibre, so they also act as a giant brush gently sweeping out the colon.”
Nutrition coach Joel says her favourite nutrient-dense, delicious recipe recommendation would be “a balanced colourful bowl of goodness.”
“When making one of my bowls I like to add avocado, diced sweet potato, edamame beans, shredded radish, and a couple of tablespoons of plain hummus. The beauty of making these bowls is that they are so versatile, and you can amend them to fit in with your preferences.”
With your anti-ageing diet sorted, read next about how to incorporate The Natural Anti-Ageing Skincare Ingredients into your beauty regimen.