Diet, nutrition to aid in ageing well

Donovan GRANT

Monday, January 14, 2019

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DEAR DONOVAN,
I am approaching my 40th birthday and want to take better care of my skin so that I age well. Right now my skin is clear and wrinkle free for the most part, but I have some blotchiness and discolouration that I am sure can get better with a good diet. I also have a double chin and some facial fat, as well as bags under my eyes. Can you suggest foods that I need to include in my diet to ensure that I age well, and which can get rid of these conditions? Or can you suggest any herbs or plants that I can apply to my skin to exfoliate and to look younger? I know about drinking lots of water, but what else can I do? I weigh 150 pounds and am 5ft 9. My diet is pretty balanced, but my weaknesses are sodas and sweets.

It is a known fact that what we eat is important to our health. However, it is also becoming increasingly clear that what we eat can also impact the health and ageing of our skin.

I totally agree with you that the blotchiness and discolouration that you have could get better with a good diet. Certain foods can trigger an uneven complexion — for example sugar may speed up the development of wrinkles and age spots.

If you would like an even and healthy skin tone, it is very important to reduce or avoid alcohol, spicy foods, foods high in refined sugar, as well as processed and greasy foods. I am concerned about your soda and sweets habit, and you need to make some changes with those.

There are certain foods that you can incorporate in your diet that will make you age well and get rid of the problems you're experiencing. These foods include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring. These are rich sources of Omega-3 fats which are important in keeping the skin supple and moisturised. In fact, the deficiency of Omega-3 fats in the diet can cause dry skin. In addition, Omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation.

Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and which helps to protect the skin against free radicals. Another food that is good for the skin is the avocado pear. This is high in healthy fats which helps maintain collagen. Avocado is also a rich source of vitamin E, and it also contains compounds which protect the skin against the ultraviolet rays which cause increased wrinkles.

Nuts and seeds are also good for the skin. Sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrients including Vitamin E. Foods with beta carotene, example carrots and sweet potatoes, are also excellent for the skin. Beta carotene acts as a natural sunblock, and prevents cell death and general skin dryness.

Broccoli and tomatoes are also good for the skin. Broccoli is rich in Vitamins A and C which are important for skin health, and tomatoes are a great source of carotenoids which help to keep the skin wrinkle free.

Studies have also shown that soy products are able to reduce fine wrinkles and improve the elasticity of the skin. Green tea has also been shown to protect the skin from sun damage, and also reduce the ageing process.

There are also a number of herbs and natural substances that you can also apply to the skin to improve it. Applying lemon juice to the skin will help to remove spots and blemishes. Witch hazel and rose hip, as well as aloe vera, help with inflammation and exfoliation.

Remember that the skin is the largest excretory organ of the body. Keeping the body alkaline and reducing the toxin load will improve the skin. It is also good to periodically do a detox programme.

Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.


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