Nutrition expert busts the myths: Which anti-ageing ingredients actually work?

Oct 03, 2019
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Research proves some vegetables and fruits could potentially play a vital role in fighting ageing. Source: Getty

Ageing gracefully with an agile body, a sharp mind and skin looking smooth and wrinkle-free for as long as possible requires healthy habits: ideally eight hours of nightly sleep, regular movement, and a diligent skincare routine.

Most importantly though, the right diet. By choosing nourishing foods, you set the right tone for your body and mind to flourish and thrive for years to come.

Research has shown that eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies is the best way to keep the brain on fire, the body fit and the skin supple. Here are five key anti-ageing ingredients that help fuel your body and mind:

Omega 3

A 2018 study by the BMJ suggests that higher serum levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with healthy ageing. In fact, the likelihood of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and lung disease may be minimised too.

We live in challenging times, when lifespans are increasing but healthy lifespans are not. A long life with good physical and mental function is becoming the focus of attention. You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish, algae, and several high-fat plant foods.

Salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Besides high-quality protein and a variety of nutrients, including large amounts of vitamin D, selenium, and B vitamins, it is an excellent source of omega-3. Meanwhile, Flaxseeds are by far the richest whole-food source of omega-3 (ALA) fat. They have a great omega-6 to omega-3 ratio compared to most oily plant seeds.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidants as it protects cell membranes and prevents the damage of enzymes. It also helps to inactivate free radicals, making them less likely to cause harm to the body. Natural sources of vitamin E include grains, oats and nuts. Avocados are another excellent provider of this important nutrient. 100g of avocado contain 2.07mg of vitamin E.

Astaxanthin

The anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin have been shown to improve lifestyle-related diseases and managing health. Additionally, astaxanthin has a strong protective effect on the human brain. Due to its unique chemical structure it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier making the brain one of the most important target organs of this antioxidant. Natural sources of astaxanthin are algae, yeast, salmon, crayfish or shrimp.

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for the bright red, yellow, and orange colours in fruits and vegetables. They contain a variety of anti-inflammatory properties. Carotenoids are phytonutrients and also have an important antioxidant function of combating free radicals. Additionally, Carotenoids act as antioxidants in the human body.

They contain cancer-fighting properties and may help prevent cardiovascular disease. This antioxidant can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers and oranges.

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are micronutrients that can be found in fruits, vegetables and seasonings. They are loaded with antioxidants and thought to improve digestion issues, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenol-rich foods may also prevent the spread of free radicals, provoked by pollution and sun damage. Cloves have some of the highest amounts of polyphenols. Peppermint and star anise are strong contenders too.

A number of different types of berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, are rich in polyphenols. Vegetables with high numbers of polyphenols include artichokes, with 260 mg polyphenols and chicory. Polyphenols can also be found as an active ingredient in many anti-ageing cosmetic products.

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.

Do you eat these foods every day? Do you like to eat healthy, or do you eat whatever you feel like?

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