While the growing number of anti-ageing creams and serums on the market can be effective in minimising the signs of ageing, one of the most effective ways to ensure you age well is to make a few simple tweaks to your diet. Nutritional therapist Erin McCann from Unbeelieveable Health has shared her top anti-ageing diet secrets that will not only help keep you looking your best, but feeling it too.
MORE: See the latest healthy eating features
Increase Your Antioxidants
Antioxidants play an important role in anti-ageing. They reduce inflammation, repair damaged cells and restore balance throughout the body. These actions aid in helping prevent chronic disease and also aid in helping reduce the signs of ageing by repairing damage to the skin from sun and pollutants and improving skin elasticity. Increase antioxidants by:
• Eating more fruits, like berries and citrus fruit, and vegetables, like leafy greens and squashes.
• Take a quality, natural supplement containing antioxidant rich plant extracts, like Bee Prepared Immune Support Daily Defence or Max Strength.
STORY: 10 ways to sneak more fruit into your diet
Maintain a balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
The balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty acids is important for anti-ageing by reducing inflammation in the body, supporting cognitive function and for maintaining cellular. Ideally the ratio should be between 1/5 to 1/2 (Omega 3/Omega 6). When consuming the typical "Western Diet" this ratio can be 1/16. This balance can be maintained by:
• Reducing processed, refined foods and takeaways in your diet.
• Eating fresh oily fish like wild salmon, mackerel, haddock and sardines 3 or more times a week.
• Cooking with coconut oil as an alternative to butter, margarine and other oils.
Support immune function
As you age, your immune system may not work as efficiently. A well-functioning immune system will aid your body's natural defences against infection, chronic illnesses and other ailments which can take their toll on your body and ultimately be very ageing. Part of your anti-ageing arsenal should be to support your immune system. Ways to support immunity are:
• Get adequate sleep and rest.
• Find ways to manage stress. Stress hormones have natural immunosuppressive actions.
• Eat immune supporting nutrient rich foods containing zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C and flavoioids.
• Ensure Vitamin D levels are adequate.
• Take natural, plant extract immune support supplements like Bee Prepared Immune Formulas (contains beneficial ingredients not usually found in a regular diet), which will balance and support immune function without over stimulating it.
STORY: Sarah Wilson shares her top tips for going sugar free
Eat balanced meals and snacks regularly & avoid sugar
Research has found that excess insulin can speed the ageing process and create inflammation in your body. You can balance insulin and blood sugar levels by:
• Eating meals with a combination of complex carbohydrates, quality vegetarian or lean animal proteins, and antioxidant rich vegetables.
• Having quality snacks between meals, such as houmous with vegetables or oatcakes, to maintain energy and balance insulin levels.
• Reduce stimulants like coffee which can increase insulin production.
• Avoid sugar. Try honey instead!
Exercise not only aids in weight management but it supports your body with improving energy production, immune function and bone density and is great for anti-ageing. Increase your exercise throughout the day by:
• Taking a brisk 20-minute walk each day.
• Opt to use the stairs or walking to destinations when you can.
• Incorporate resistance training into your regime such as yoga, Pilates or weights.
See the latest health and fitness news here.