10 FOODS YOU MUST EAT TO FIGHT WRINKLES
LOTIONS AND POTIONS MAY HELP YOUR SKIN LOOK BETTER FROM THE OUTSIDE, BUT THE BEST WAY TO FIGHT AGEING IS FROM FROM THE INSIDE - WITH WHAT YOU EAT. SO HERE'S OUR GUIDE TO THE TOP 10 ANTI-AGEING FOODS (..AND ONE OF THEM IS CHOCOLATE!)
By Helen Foster
FOR skin that looks 38 per cent younger in just a few weeks, add dark green leafy veg such as spinach, cabbage and kale to your diet every day.
BAKED, kidney or butter, all of these help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance called hyaluronic acid. Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day - broad or butter beans make a great substitute for mashed potatoes if you mix them with a little Greek yoghurt.
3 GOJI BERRIES
SKIN-guru Dr Howard Murad swears by the anti-ageing power of these red berries, claiming they're the most "nutritionally dense food on the planet".
Fact is, they have nearly 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges - and vitamin C helps you make the collagen that keeps skin firm.
THIS white meat contains a vital skin-friendly protein called carnosine that slows down a process in the skin called cross-linking. When this happens, fibres grow into the collagen of the skin making it stiff and inelastic. This then stops it snapping back when you do things like smile, laugh or frown - and this is what causes smile lines or crows feet. If you want to reduce your risk of these, don't save turkey for Christmas, eat it two to three times a week.
OIL YOU can gulp this oil down by the spoonful, mix it into smoothies or add it to balsamic vinegar and use it as a salad dressing, but whatever you choose, have a tablespoon each day.
ONE of the biggest causes of skin ageing is attack by substances called free radicals, that break down healthy skin tissues. Nutrients called antioxidants help neutralise these free radicals before they can do any damage - and prunes are the fruit containing the absolute highest level of antioxidants. Blueberries are a close second. Eat five to six prunes, or a small punnet of blueberries, daily to get a great health boost.
THIS is the top choice of independent nutritionist Carrie Ruxton: "It's not only a great source of antioxidants, all purple foods contain pigments called anthocyanins that help support collagen production in the skin," she says. The obvious way to use beetroot is to slice it up in salads, but you can now also buy beetroot juice in supermarkets.
AUSTRALIAN researchers recently discovered the more olive oil people had, the less wrinkled their skin looked.
"The oleic acid found in olives and virgin olive oil can make the difference between a complexion that looks and feels like old shoe leather - and one that looks like a rose petal," To build more olive products into your day use olive oil for cooking, add olives to pasta sauce and salads - or nibble on them whole as a healthy snack.
Chocolate really is good for your skin. In studies in Germany, it was found that after drinking a cocoa-packed drink, blood flow to the skin was boosted (meaning it gets higher levels of nutrients and moisture). It also seemed to be more protected against UV damage - the number-one skin ager.
Only dark chocolate contains enough antioxidants to have effects, though.
10 RED PEPPERS..
SWEET potatoes, carrots and more - it's not just chocolate that protects skin against sun damage. Research from Dr Ronald Watson at the University of Arizona has found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating extra UV protection. "The effect is so strong that eating six portions a day for about two months will build a natural barrier equivalent to a factor four sunscreen," says Dr Watson.