The 7 habits of wrin­kle-free women

Glamour (South Africa) - - Beauty Anti-ageing -

Spice up your food

What do spices have to do with age­ing, you ask? The an­swer in­volves a lit­tle ex­pla­na­tion of how age­ing oc­curs: in­flam­ma­tion is the cul­prit. When in­flam­ma­tion hap­pens in your body, free rad­i­cals are pro­duced. Th­ese free rad­i­cals break down col­la­gen in your skin, re­sult­ing in fine lines and skin thin­ning. Spices like tumeric, cayenne and sage have bril­liant anti-in­flam­ma­tory com­pounds.

Nat­u­ral health ex­pert Dr Joseph Mer­cola says a tea­spoon of herbs and spices a day can have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on your health. “Basil, for ex­am­ple, is in many Ital­ian spices and is loaded with an­tiox­i­dants.”

Get mov­ing

Ex­er­cise sounds like a cliché, but it re­ally is the best medicine for anti-age­ing. It helps re­duce stress (an­other fac­tor in mak­ing you look older) and it im­proves your cir­cu­la­tion, which will give you a gor­geous and healthy glow.

Sleep well

Sadly, this isn’t good news if you’re an in­som­niac: when you don’t get enough sleep, your body pro­duces cor­ti­sol – a hor­mone that, in ex­cess amounts, breaks down your skin’s col­la­gen. Sleep also helps pro­duce hu­man growth hor­mone (HGH), which gives your skin its elas­tic­ity and thick­ness.

Add fat

We’re talk­ing the healthy kind, like mo­noun­sat­u­rated and omega-3 rich fats which can be found in fish oil, olive oil, wal­nuts and pump­kin seeds. All of th­ese fats also help fight that age­ing in­flam­ma­tion.

Eat pro­tein

Pro­tein con­trib­utes to the col­la­gen and elastin (the build­ing blocks) of your skin. The rec­om­mended min­i­mum amount of pro­tein a day is about three ta­ble­spoons worth in size for an av­er­age sized women who doesn’t ex­er­cise. If you ex­er­cise or are re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury, you need much more pro­tein a day.

Avoid sugar and car­bo­hy­drates

Sure, your waist­line will thank you, but th­ese foods also greatly con­trib­ute to age­ing. When you eat sugar, it at­taches it­self to the proteins in your blood­stream to form harm­ful new mol­e­cules called ad­vanced gly­ca­tion end prod­ucts (called AGES for short). “As AGES ac­cu­mu­late, they dam­age ad­ja­cent proteins in a domino-like fash­ion,” ex­plains der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Fredric Brandt in his book 10 Min­utes/10 Years (Si­mon & Schuster, R403).

Col­la­gen is the most preva­lent pro­tein in your body, which makes it most sus­cep­ti­ble to AGES dam­age. In­stead, re­place sugar and re­fined car­bo­hy­drates with brightly coloured veg­eta­bles like pep­pers, kale, spinach, cab­bage and broc­coli. And re­mem­ber to check your la­bels for hid­den sug­ars in your foods.

Stay out of the sun

It’s start­ing to sound like that an­noy­ing buzz in your ear, but here are the sta­tis­tics to sup­port it. Der­ma­tol­o­gists tested the ef­fects of UV light on 298 women in 2013. They dis­cov­ered that the sun is re­spon­si­ble for 80.3% of skin age­ing. Those aren’t fig­ures to mess with! So ap­ply your SPF and make sure to in­clude your hands and your neck.

They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so we’ve found tricks and tips that are easy to do. The added bonus? They won’t cost you a thing!

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