Dehydration and lack of nutrients are two of our greatest enemies in the war against ageing. Let’s first take a look at what nutrients we need to win the battle.
So what nutrients do we really need to fight ageing?
Vitamin A is described as an antioxidant that protects the skin against photo aging, premature aging of the skin due to chronic exposure of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light, predominantly from the sun. Photo aging damage ranges from wrinkled, discoloured skin through to precancerous lesions. Vitamin A can reduce this damage if taken internally and used externally. Vitamin A also acts as a humectant, drawing water to the surface of the skin which helps improve fine wrinkles and dry skin. Be careful thought too much Vitamin A can be toxic so try to get as much as you can from your food source.
How much do I need: 5,000iu’s a day
The best food sources: Salmon, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe melon, mango, liver, fish oils ( must be free of heavy metals) cooked kale and broccoli.
Topical sources: Carrot oil
This vitamin is critical for strong, healthy skin because of its role in helping the body manufacture collagen, a protein that keeps the skin supple and tight. Even a slight deficiency can compromise the production of collagen.
How much do I need: 500- 1000mg a day
What destroys your vitamin C source: Smoking, excessive alcohol, stress, refined white sugar, caffeine, nitrates, nitrites and air pollution.
The best food sources: Berries, mangos, peppers, guava, kiwi, papaya, cabbage, cauliflower, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tomatoes, thyme (dried) and Rosehip tea.
Topical: Rosehip oil
Vitamin E is thought to help in the fight against free radicals, The free radical theory of ageing holds that the damage that these free radicals do to our cells is why our bodies age. When we’re young, our cells have a defense system that reins in these free radicals, but as we get older, this system doesn’t work so well which leaves the free radicals to have their way with our cells, and when the damage gets to be too much, the cells die. Free radicals have also been implicated in a number of diseases and conditions that become more common as we age, including dementia, cancer and heart disease.
How much do I need: 600iu’s a day
The best food sources: Paprika, nuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, broccoli, squash, pumpkin, oregano ( dried), blackberries, butter, dried apricots, pine nuts, carrots peppers.
Topical: Avocado oil, Sunflower oil, apricot oil.
Zinc is essential for the proper formation of protein. This will help offset the trend of wear and tear anywhere in the body. Normal epidermal cell growth is reliant on this mineral.
How much do I need per day: 8-10 mgs
The best food sources: Pumpkinseeds, garlic, ginger, oysters, beef, eggs, wheat germ, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, chickpeas, cashews
Topical: Avocado oil
MSM crucial for collagen production. Sagging skin and wrinkles, as well as dry, cracked skin are all developed through a loss of collagen. MSM works together with Vitamin C to build new, healthy tissues. MSM can normalize collagen formation and radically improve skin health.
How much do I need per day: 1000mg a day ( you really can’t have too much)
The best food sources: Swiss chard, beer, alfalfa sprouts, apples, raspberries, whole grains and legumes, tomatoes, tea, beef and eggs.
Proper collagen formation is essential for maintaining tight, wrinkle-free skin, so silica can also be beneficial for slowing down the signs of skin aging.
It’s best to get silica from natural sources.
The best food sources: leeks, green beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb, chickpeas.
EFA’s help reduce inflammation, one of the major causes of disease. Inflammation also attributes to collagen breakdown and a lack of EFA’s cause dry lack lustre skin.
How much do I need and where do I get them: Daily 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil, flaxseed oil, sesame or walnut oil – put into smoothies, juices or added into foods. Or 1 Tbsp. of a seed mix of flaxseed, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seed that are ground to a powder (you must grind them to access the good oils inside).
Look out for the next part of this article War Against Ageing – Dehydration
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