• Dr. Naureen Akhtar General Practitioner MBBS,MRCGP,DRCOG
anti-aging foods

Most beauty concerns can be resolved by simply taking the smart approach in your diet. Eating well doesn’t only do wonders on your shape, it can also boost your immune system and provide anti-aging benefits such as shiny hair, smooth skin and strong nails.

Your diet plays an important role in your day-to-day appearance, and affects how well you age. Your wrong choices of food causes inflammation deep into your cells. While you cannot see or feel this inflammation, it results directly to sagging, wrinkling and premature aging. The best approach is to make a plan that includes certain nutrients, fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants that support the building blocks for healthy skin and hair. Below are the top 5 beauty-boosting foods you should stack in your pantry.

Strawberries
One cup of strawberries already provides 150% of the recommended amount of Vitamin C daily. Eating Vitamin C-rich foods can help ward off wrinkles. It can also help heal age-related skin dryness. Vitamin C found in strawberries allows the body to repair and grow as it promotes collagen production, an important natural protein necessary for wound healing.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the carotenoid that gives its red hue. In a 2008 research published by European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, it has been found that individuals who had high concentrations of lycopene in their skin had smoother skin. It was found that taking more lycopene may help protect the skin from UV rays. In another study, participants who were exposed to ultraviolet radiation had nearly 50% less skin reddening after they consumed 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste for 10 to 12 weeks (in addition to their usual diet). Lycopene can also be found in carrots, grapefruits, guava and watermelon.

Tuna
Omega-3 rich fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon can help keep your skin look healthy and young. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the Omega-3 fatty acids has been found to preserve collagen, a fibrous protein that can help in wound healing and keep skin firm. EPA, along with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), another type of Omega-3 can help prevent skin cancer by warding off inflammatory compounds that can trigger tumour growth. Eat at least two servings of Omega-3 rich fish every week. They are not only good for your skin, but for your heart too.

Watermelon
Consuming watermelon or sipping watermelon shake has been found to have anti-inflammatory effect. Watermelon is high in flavonoids, beta-carotene, carotenoids and other phytonutrients such as triterpenoids and these nutrients have been found to fight inflammation, which is the root cause of premature aging. To enhance the health benefits of watermelon, allow it to fully ripen and turn completely red before juicing or eating them.

Blueberries
Bolster your radiance by popping some little blueberries. These little plump treats provide Vitamin C and E, the two antioxidants that perfectly works together to brighten up your skin, fight off free radicals and even out skin tone. It also contains arubtin, which is a natural derivative of the skin lightener hydroquinone.