Foods that fight ageing

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Regardless of your age, no doubt you want to do all you can to slow down the clock. While enetics plays a strong role in determining how well you age, scientific evidence is mounting that diet is important as well. By regularly eating, specific foods and nutrients, you may reduce or even prevent signs of ageing – from wrinkles and dry skin to serious age-related diseases. It’s never too late to start.

Maintain a steady weight. Repeatedly gaining and losing weight permanently weakens the elastic fibres supporting shockedyour skin. Once skin loses its elasticity, it will no longer shrink to fit a trimmer body, but will remain slack and wrinkly. Large and rapid varitions in body weight can prematurely age youe face. Ageing also causes the underlying fat to thin, accentuating existing wrinkles and causing skin to sag, says dermatologist Robert Warner.

No specific food will prevent or ease facial lines but you can slow your rate of wrinkling by eating the right foods to keep the fat layers under your skin sufficiently plump to maintain a smooth complexion. The best diet provides enough calories each day to maintain a normal weight for your body frame.

These calories should come from nutritious foods,. For example, while one baked sweet potato, a glass of orange juice or ten potato chips provide about 100 calories, only the sweet potato and orange juice supply quality calories. The sweet potato is rich in vitamin A, wich helps skin cells shed smoothly; the juice provides vitamin C, which helps form collagen, the supportive substance that gives youthful skin its elstic quality. Good sources of vitamin A include dark green, orange and deep yellow vegetables, and orange-coloured fruits; citus fruits are good source of vitamin C.

Drink plenty of water. Once you’re past your 20s, many of your skin’s natural moisturizers – sweat and oil glands – shut down and the top layer of skin thins out. As a result, skin o longer hols moisture well. Also, if you don’t drink enough water to replace what you lose every day through urination and perspiration, your body pulls what it needs from your cells, resulting in drier, older-looking skin.

To minimize dryness, drink at least eight or ten glasses of water a days. Don’t count drinks such as coffe, tea and cola as a part of your daily intake. They contain caffeine, a diuretic that may increase water loss from the skin, as will alcohol.

Strenghen your defences.
Another symptom of ageing you can offset with diet is lowered resistance to illness. Your immune system defends your body against unfriendly invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Research suggests that in older people, infections linger because tha immune system is weakened. Ageing impairs the function of lymphocytes, white blood cells that help fight disease.

However, vitamin E may strenghthen the immune system. In a study at Tufts University, Simin Nikibin Meydani gave 32 healthy adults over 60 large doses of vitamin E twice a day for a month. As a result, their lymphocyte function was significantly improved. Foods rich in vitamin E include dark green, leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole-grain cereals.

Good eating habits may also help prevent other age related conditions:

* To reduce your risk of heart disease, stick to diet basic: keep aily cholestrol intake under 300 miligrams and get no more than 30 percent of your total calories from fat. Hike your intake of polyunsaturated or monounsturated fats and soluable fibre; they help reduce blood-cholestrol levels.

*Most women know that during the first three decades of life, milk and other high-calcium foods can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis by building strong, dense bones; maintaining a high- calcium diet untill menopause, however, calcium can no longer be absorbed well by the bones but new research shows that boron may slow bone loss in the critical years following menopause. Good sources of boron include apples, nuts, raisins, legumes, grape juice and green vegetables.

FOOD is not quick remedy for ageing but a sound diet- plenty of fibre, water and vitamin-rich, deep-coloured fruits and vegetables – is bound to have a positive effect on your overall health and looks.

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