Oxidation within the body produces free radicals, which cause cell damage and attack proteins such as collagen; responsible for your skin’s plumpness and elasticity.
Antioxidants are extremely helpful molecules because they can combat free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Some antioxidants with anti-ageing capabilities include, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, glutathione, carotenoids, and polyphenols.
Many of the following vitamins and nutrients are part of the antioxidant family:
1. VITAMIN C
It’s well-known for fighting the common cold, but vitamin C can do a whole lot more. It fights signs of ageing by helping your body build collagen, a protein which gives your skin its elasticity and prevents it from sagging.
Foods high in vitamin C: Yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, tomato
Lycopene is a carotenoid often found in red fruits and vegetables, which helps keep skin smooth by protecting it from sun damage. It is also known to improve the vascular system.
Foods high in lycopene: Tomato, pink grapefruit, papaya, guava, carrots, watermelon, red peppers
Isoflavones are a type of polyphenol and help prevent the breakdown of collagen. They have also even been known to reverse sun damage.
Foods high in isoflavones: Edamame, tofu, soy milk and soy products
The EPA in Omega-3 helps preserve collagen, while both the EPA and DHA help to reduce inflammation.
Foods high in Omega-3: Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, walnuts
5. MONOUNSATURATED FAT
Healthy fats such as this one help the skin to stay hydrated. They also assist the body in the absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins.
Foods high in monounsaturated fat: Olive oil, pecan nuts, avocado
Protein is crucial for the construction of new tissue, including skin. When protein is consumed, the body breaks it down into amino acids, which also play a role in collagen production.
Foods high in protein: Fish, lean beef, kangaroo, pork, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils
7. COENZYME Q10
Coenzyme Q10 functions like an antioxidant in the sense that its main role is fighting free radicals and preventing cell damage. The human body can create Q10, but it is also found in certain foods, as well as an ingredient in some NIVEA anti-ageing face creams.
Foods high in coenzyme Q10: Liver, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, beef, sardines
Glutathione is an antioxidant, which prevents cell damage and fights free radicals. It also rids the body of toxins and helps metabolise iron.
Foods high in glutathione: Asparagus, garlic, avocado, zucchini, squash, peaches
These friendly bacteria are famous for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Found in most fermented foods, probiotics are also great for the digestive system.
Foods high in probiotics: Natural yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, miso soup
These molecules play an important role in keeping the skin hydrated and giving it a youthful glow. Ceramides function by holding cells together and retaining water, which keeps skin moisturised from within.
Foods high in ceramides: Beetroot, spinach, kale, brown rice, wheat germ
Zinc is important for the renewal and repair of skin. It is a crucial ingredient in cell production and can even be helpful for treating acne.
Foods high in zinc: Oysters, prawns, lamb, beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts
Potassium regulates the transfer of nutrients to skin cells. It also plays a role in the hydration of skin, as it regulates water balance within the body.
Foods high in potassium: Bananas, apricots, dark leafy greens, squash, mushrooms