In our quest for eternal youth, it’s easy to get sucked in by news reports documenting “scientific discoveries” about how this fruit or that type of tea is packed with miracle, age-fighting ingredients. But which foods can really help in our battle against aging, and which are simply wishful thinking? Nuts The pitch : They say that nuts are rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, which especially beneficial for our skin. As antioxidants combat free radicals, which are harmful substances that enter our bodies from sources such as heat, pollution and deep-fried foods, and are the direct cause of anti-aging, eating nuts will help to encourage healthier skin. The truth : Although it is true that vitamin E is good for the skin, dietitian Celcona Leung advises that eating nuts in excess will actually promote the growth of acne. Therefore she suggests that only a handful a day should do the trick. Red wine The pitch : Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably will have heard that a moderate amount of alcohol is actually good for you. Wine has been found to prevent inflammation of arteries and prevent blood clots, and grapes have a high concentration of antioxidants. The truth : Obviously, too much alcohol is bad for you, and swigging back the whole bottle will cancel out any health benefits. Leung suggests consuming around 100ml every other day. Tea The pitch : Green tea is flush with antioxidants and is said to speed up metabolism too. Rose tea is a less well-known beauty fix, and is supposedly good for women looking to get rid of yellow or brown pigment patches on their skin. The truth : While green tea is rich in detoxifying polyphenols, too much of it can cause stomach upsets if you have a sensitive digestive system. While delicious, too much rose tea can be bad for you. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner Julianna Chau suggest using only four to five buds, as too much can cause diarrhea. And don’t count on it lightening your skin either. Although rose tea may help slightly lighten pigment patches, it’s no miracle cure. Avocado The pitch : A popular option in salads and sandwiches, the avocado is packed with vitamins, potassium and “good fats”, all antioxidants to keep those pesky free radicals from wreaking havoc on your face. The truth : They might make you look younger, but stuffing down avocados is no good for your waistline. Leung warns that avocados are high in calories, and that people should stick to eating a quarter of the fruit at a time. Chicken feet and pig knuckles The pitch : According to traditional Chinese thinking, these foods are good for your skin because they contain collagen, which helps to maintain skin elasticity. The truth : While collagen does improve the quality of our skin, Leung stresses that people should not eat these so-called “collagen rich” foods, since they contain a high amount of saturated fats, which is found in animal skin. She also advises against using collagen supplements and collagen creams, because these are unnatural compounds that our bodies find hard to absorb. A good alternative is sea cucumber, which is high in collagen but has no saturated fats. Bird’s nest soup The pitch : Tai tais usually go crazy for this expensive yet popular dish, thanks to the traditional belief that it has wondrous healing benefits for your skin. This Chinese delicacy is full of amino acids and essential nutrients, which can promote general health and boost your immune system. The truth : Yes, it’s healthy, but bird’s nest is far from being some miracle cure, guaranteed to keep you youthful. In fact, people with eczema and other skin problems should beware, as Chau warns that it can exacerbate allergies. Otherwise, there’s no harm in trying it, but it is a costly method, which once again, in no way guarantees immediate visible youthful effects for everyone.