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Smart Ageing

5 anti-ageing foods proven by science

Planning to spend time at the beach this summer? It could have an ageing effect on your skin. Here are five foods that are scientifically proven to help your skin fight back against those harmful UV rays

Are you a sun worshipper? Will you be heading straight to the pool now that the heat wave is officially here? Be careful with how much time you spend there – overexposure to the sun is known to have ageing effects on the skin, as well as accelerate wrinkles and pigmentation.

In addition to protecting your skin through sunscreen, medical nutritionist Naomi Beinart recommends consuming certain foods that will help protect the skin against the irreversible damage that can be caused by the sun.

‘It’s scientifically proven that what you eat and drink can also make a big difference to protecting your skin and counteracting the effects of those ageing UV rays,’ Beinart said.

Here are her five nutritionist-approved foods and herbs to protect your skin and help you glow this summer.

1. Green tea

5 foods to keep you young - anti ageing skin - green tea
Drinking green tea can protect the skin and improve its appearance over time.

As a famed antioxidant already known for its anti-ageing benefits, it comes as no surprise that green tea could also help protect your skin from the elements.

In one study, green tea was shown to not only protect skin, but improve the elasticity and appearance of it over time.

‘Women who drank polyphenol-rich green tea for 12 weeks had reduced skin redness in response to UV radiation (simulating sunlight), as well as better skin elasticity and less roughness, scaling and water loss,’ Beinart said.

She recommends sipping on a few cups a day to keep your skin happy.

2. Carrots

5 foods to keep you looking young - anti ageing skin - carrots
Carotenoids that build up in the skin from eating carrots may help block UV rays.

‘They may be cheap and cheerful, but carrots are super-rich in antioxidant carotenoids,’ Beinart said.

In a study, antioxidant carotenoids were found to accumulate in the skin and help protect it against UV damage.

Beinart recommends cooking the carrots, because you’ll absorb the carotenoids better that way. She suggests preparing roast sliced carrots in olive or coconut oil and eating them warm or cold as a side with any meal – or as a snack with hummus or nut butter.

3. Turmeric

5 foods to keep you young - anti ageing skin - turmeric
Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help protect the skin from sun damage.

We all love cooking with turmeric, but who knew it could be the key to glowing skin?

Studies show that thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, curcumin in turmeric may help protect our skin against sun damage.

Turmeric, known as the ‘Golden Goddess’ in India, has been scientifically proven to enhance skin, protect it against premature ageing, and support skin healing and cell renewal. According to Beinart, it also has anti-inflammatory properties to neutralise free radicals within the skin before they damage cells.

‘I’m always looking for ways to incorporate this wonderful spice into my diet. I love the Pukka organic Turmeric Gold, which is a blend of turmeric, lemon and green tea which is delicious to sip throughout the day,’ she said.

4. Aloe vera

5 foods to keep you young - anti ageing skin - aloe
Consuming aloe vera may have great benefits for your overall health and appearance.

Aloe vera is known to soothe the skin and treat sunburns when applied topically, but consuming it may also have great benefits for your appearance and overall health.

‘Taking aloe as a drink or supplement could also have anti-ageing properties,’ Beinart said.

One study of 30 women found improvements in wrinkling and skin elasticity – signs of ageing in response to sunlight – after 90 days of taking an aloe vera supplement.

5. Pomegranates

5 foods to keep you young - anti ageing skin - pomegranate
Eating pomegranate seeds can reduce skin wrinkling as a result of sun exposure.

Throwing a handful of pomegrante seeds on your salad may have lasting effects on your skin.

‘Those delicious red jewels inside the pomegranate are rich in a natural compound called ellagic acid,’ Beinart said.

Studies in mice have found that consuming ellagic acid could help reduce skin wrinkling in response to UVB radiation.

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