WANT to turn back the body clock? It could be as easy as clearing out your fridge and stocking up on fish.
Cutting down on cheese and other fatty foods could prevent hair loss, research revealed this week.
But that’s not the only sign of ageing that could be prevented by a simple change of diet.
So forget expensive cosmetics, a gruelling fitness schedule or even the surgeon’s knife – food could be your key to looking youthful.
Here, Emily Fairbairn reveals some of the secrets to eating yourself young.
Our eyes are the windows to our soul – and when that soul gets older, so do they.
Vision worsens over the years, with muscles weakening and the pupils getting smaller as their ability to expand and contract slows down.
Eggs provide vitamin A, which may help protect against dry eyes and promote eye function.
Also, try tasty nuts such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts for their vitamin E, which boosts eye health.
Fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges and berries, will reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Kale, spinach and other leafy greens are packed with important plant pigments that can also help slow deterioration in your peepers.
It will happen to us all eventually – but before you reach for the hair dye, you can slow down the grey streaks with some healthy foods.
Tangerines are a great source of vitamin C, which helps develop collagen and produces new hair.
Fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut provide probiotics – a deficiency of which can result in changes to hair colour and strength.
And the best news is that dark chocolate is a good source of both iron and copper – two nutrients that help stop grey hair. Your hair will thank you for a square of sweet indulgence.
Aches and pains
Many of our aches and pains are caused by localised inflammation, so steer clear of tea and coffee as caffeine can exacerbate it, especially with sweeteners.
So-called nightshade veg, such as tomatoes, potatoes and aubergine, can also contribute.
For arthritis, dietitians recommend eating oily fish such as mackerel and salmon – and look out for omega-3 enriched foods such as eggs. Ginger is a brilliant anti-inflammatory, while blue- berries and strawberries can also have a soothing effect.
And don’t forget herbs, which are antioxidant, alkalising and anti-inflammatory. They will strengthen cells, joints, muscles, veins and organs, so chuck in handfuls of parsley, coriander or dill to your recipes.
Thinning hair can be incredibly ageing – and while it might be genetic, there are some easy ways to slow the process.
Ditch cheese and meat. Scientists in Tokyo found that these accelerated hair thinning by depleting the hair follicle stem cells that replenish the mature cells that grow hair.
Instead, stock up on fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel and herring, which provide protein and B vitamins, and eggs, which contain biotin – important for skin, hair and nail health.
The Mediterranean diet is a good option – and no, that doesn’t mean loading up on pizza and pasta. It’s more about the vegetables.
Look for foods that contain beta- carotene as that helps protect against dry and dull hair, too.
The clue is in the name, so look for orange fruit and veg like sweet potatoes, mango and apricots.
You’ll also find it in greens such as kale.
They call it middle-aged spread for a reason – and carrying too much weight around your tummy will make you look and feel older.
One of the simplest ways to drop the pounds is to cut out processed foods, with their refined or hidden sugar, salt and “bad” fats. Almost everything out of a packet counts as processed food.
Instead, try to eat about 40 per cent of your food raw, whether it’s a salad for lunch, a green juice for breakfast or a salsa during the day. This means more fruit and veg – without the oils and flavourings – which are naturally low in calories.
And try to eat any sweet foods and heavy carbs before 4pm to ensure your body has time to digest them.
Finally, a rejuvenating night’s sleep also helps weight loss.
Dull skin and wrinkles
Keeping your skin in good nick will take more than smothering it with expensive lotions and potions.
Diet is one of the best ways to avoid wrinkles. Hydration is key so make sure you drink plenty of water and take on board fatty acids omega-3, 6 and 9. Salmon is the go-to, of course, but also walnuts, coconut oil and avocado.
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale will also keep your skin hydrated.
Ensure you get enough amino acids too, to help repair the skin. You can find them in meat, fish, some grains and nuts.
Cut down on processed meat, alcohol and foods cooked in high temperature oil such as chips.
They can all cause dehydration, which accelerates wrinkles.
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