Ageing well: don’t smoke, use sunscreen, eat nuts to keep wrinkles at bay and your skin looking young
- Gravity tugs our skin downward each decade after the age of 35 or so, but there are ways to slow the decline – by not smoking and by using sunscreen
- The best way to slow the signs of ageing is from the inside out, by eating whole foods such as almonds that contain protective nutrients
I didn’t like being called “freckle face” when I was a kid. So when my mum took me to the paediatrician for a routine check-up, I asked him if he could make my freckles go away.
He kindly told me he could, “but you will never be able to go out in the sun again or your freckles will come back”. So I got used to being “freckle face”.
Freckles may be the least of our skin worries as we grow older. Like it or not, gravity tugs our skin downward each decade after the age of 35 or so. And there is really no such thing as anti-ageing.
Smoking, for example, puts a tremendous amount of oxidative stress on the skin. The result: a face that ages rapidly.
Photo-ageing is the damage to our skin caused by sun exposure. It shows up in the form of wrinkles, dark spots and leathery skin.
Almonds are a good example. They offer a good source of dietary fibre (fibre feeds the good bacteria in our gut which can promote healthy skin, believe it or not) and vitamin E, which helps protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun. One recent clinical trial found that older men and women had slower wrinkle development after eating a handful of almonds every day for four months.
Other whole foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, kiwifruit and broccoli.
No, there is no magic formula that will stop our skin from its downward sag. But each time we put on sunscreen, consume healthful foods or choose not to smoke, we help slow down the ageing process.
Now is the time to start, says Sivamani. Our choices over time can really help us put our best faces forward.
Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in the US state of California.
Tribune News Service