As you move ahead in life, you eventually face the painful realisation that skin problems are not limited to just the teenage years. If acne is no longer a concern for you now then there’s still the danger of an uneven complexion, wrinkles, dry patches, dullness and pigmentation creeping in as you age. However, anti-ageing creams and other cosmetic treatments can only offer a temporary solution in your quest to maintain a youthful appearance.
In reality, the issues that need to be tackled are more than skin-deep. Instead of investing in an over-priced and cleverly marketed anti-ageing potion, all you need to do is just make a few important changes in your diet. Here are the top five dietary changes recommended by nutritionists that will help you knock off five years in the looks department.
Say no to sugar
Sugar will not only fatten you up but it can also cause damage to your skin no matter what fancy skin product you use. Indulging your sweet tooth can give you pimples and even age your skin prematurely, warns Dr. Marilyn Glenville. “Glycation is the bonding between sugar and protein in the body, making proteins like collagen and elastin become less effective. This can result in loss of elasticity of the skin, encouraging the formation of wrinkles,' she explains.
Fats can make you look fabulous
Fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are necessary for maintaining the structure and appearance of the skin. These healthy fats fortify the skin’s barrier function and help prevent moisture loss, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “They are also thought to have a role in the dermis – the lower layer of skin – by controlling inflammation and minimising collagen damage from UV rays,” she adds. Ms. Barns recommends eating a good serving of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines three times a week.
Antioxidants are awesome
It won’t be wrong to dub antioxidants as the ‘elixir of youth’ as they limit the production of free radicals, which are known to be responsible for ageing the skin, reveals Ms. Barns. Not having antioxidants can leave you with a dull complexion, fine lines and damaged collagen. So make sure you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals to keep your antioxidant levels up.
Zinc is ‘ze best’
One of the ways in which zinc deficiency can show up is when your skin condition goes for a toss. “Zinc is required for normal cell growth and for this reason is hailed as one of the most important nutrients for beauty,” says Ms. Barns. “A lot of people find zinc useful in the case of acne and other skin conditions,” she insists. So, keep your zinc levels up by having diet oats, pumpkin seeds, eggs, oysters, and peas, she advises, according to the Daily Mail.
Get pretty with proteins
You need to have proteins so that dead skin cells are swiftly replaced. Hence it isn’t surprising when experts say that a woman needs 1g of protein per kilo body weight per day. Make sure you have meat or fish on a regular basis to look naturally young. In case you’re a vegetarian, protein powder shakes mixed with almond milk will also suffice, says Ms. Barns....