ANTI-AGEING WITH ANTIOXIDANTS
When you wake up in the morning what do you want to see in the mirror? A clear, glowing, radiant skin or a saggy face with spots and blemishes. Am sure all want to see the former. Skin changes are the first signs of aging. We all get wrinkles but no one wants them prematurely.
We all want to grow in all spheres of life like emotionally, financially, spiritually etc but no one wants to age. Wish you could have some magic wand to stop the ageing process but unfortunately that does not happen so they opt for cosmetic treatments to hide their aged skin. But instead of spending a fortune on expensive procedures, it’s better to eat foods rich in antioxidants which prevent wrinkling and sagging of the skin.
Antioxidants are substances which can counteract the damaging effects of the normal process of oxidation in the body. They are nutrients like vitamins and minerals which play an important role in preventing chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts.
Free radicals are produced within our body due to normal processes like metabolism, respiration, pollution, sunlight, smoking, alcohol and strenuous exercise but it poses stress on the body when excessive free radicals are produced beyond the body’s capacity to fight against it. Free radicals are unstable molecules and attack various cells in our body in order to become stable thereby damaging our organs. Antioxidants stabilize these free radicals without undergoing damage and hence protecting us from health problems.
Sources and requirement of antioxidant nutrients
· Vitamin E also known as anti-aging vitamin found in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whole grains, vegetable oils etc. An adult needs minimum 15mg and maximum 1070mg of natural vitamin E.
· Vitamin C improves immunity and works in combination with vitamin E. It is found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, amla, guava, tomatoes etc. An adult needs minimum 90mg and maximum 2000mg.
· Beta-carotene (form on vitamin A) helps to protect vision and skin texture. It is found in red, orange vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, bell peppers, green leafy-vegetables, pumpkin etc. There are no specific requirements for beta-carotene.
· Selenium is a trace mineral found in wheat, corn, rice, nuts, and soybeans etc. An adult needs minimum 55mg and maximum 400mg of selenium.
A word on proteins:
Every cell in your body from your organs to your nails and hair are made up of protein. Proteins are required for wear and tear of the body, that means discard the old skin cells and form new fresh ones. If your diet lacks in protein, premature aging is definite. Make sure you consume some form of protein in every meal be it dal, tofu, sprouts etc. this will keep your skin tight, gorgeous and young.
A word on collagen:
Collagen is a cementing substance in the body which binds cells together. That is why your skin needs collagen to bind and prevent wrinkles. Soya, spinach, methi leaves, papaya, beet, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sweet
potatoes etc are all rich in collagen.
- Eat 2-3 servings of fruits and nuts daily.
- Hydrating the skin with water is of utmost importance as it flushes toxins from the skin, improves blood flow, nutrient and oxygen supply to every underlying cell thereby maintaining its functionality to the maximum. Keep sipping water throughout the day.
- Omega -3 from flax-seeds, walnuts, chia seeds lubricates the skin and gives a bright, shiny and younger looking YOU.
- Avoid direct sunlight in the afternoon
- Say NO to smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption as it causes bloating, puffiness and dehydration which the skin dislikes.
Exercise for anti-aging:
If you do not use a car for a long time, its engine and battery may breakdown. Similarly if you do not use your body, the muscles may breakdown causing premature aging. Few tips:
· Go for a brisk walk. The blood flow will just do well to your skin.
· Play any sport of your choice like badminton, squash, tennis etc. the adrenaline and
endorphin rush will bring a glow to your face.
· Do yoga and breathing exercises to ease out stress which is the major cause of aging.
· Facial exercises are a great way of keeping your face wrinkle free as they improve blood circulation and flow of oxygen and nutrients to all the active muscles. Here are some exercises which if done daily can help you to get that glowing younger looking skin.
· Neck and jaws exercises:
a) Sit straight and look at the ceiling, keep your lips closed and start a chewing movement. Repeat 20 times.
b) Sit straight and look at the ceiling, bring your lips together as if you are kissing the ceiling. Stretch the kiss for 10 counts and repeat 5 times.
· Lips and cheeks exercises:
a) Bring your lips together as in a kiss and then when relaxing the kiss, keep your lips closed and curl your lips inside your mouth across your teeth. Repeat 10 times.
b) Smile as wide as possible with your lips closed and try touching the corners of your mouth to your ears. Wrinkle your nose and feel your cheeks moving upwards and hold for 5 counts. Repeat 10 times.
· Eyes and forehead exercises:
a) Sit facing forward and move your eyeballs right, left, up and down with head still. Repeat 10 times.
b) Frown as much as possible pulling your eyebrows towards one another and then lift your eyebrows as much as possible while opening your eyes wide.
Repeat 10 times.
Aging starts right from the very moment we are born. We grow a year older every 365 days of our life and step from infancy, into childhood, into adolescence, finally into adulthood. The aging process is inevitable but the rate at which it occurs differs from individual to individual. Today, due to stress, pollution, poor eating habits and lack of physical activity, aging become visible in people as young as 25. Taking care of your skin from your teenage years helps prolong the appearance of wrinkles in your later days. We cannot stop aging but can retard it provided we follow good nutritious balanced diet and an active lifestyle. After all, it is all about aging gracefully.