There are plenty of creams and lotions on the market promising incredible anti-aging benefits, but it’s not just beauty products that can roll back the years. There are loads of superfoods and supplements that also offer amazing benefits to your hair, skin and body, keeping you looking and feeling your best.
Phytoceramides are the new kid on the beauty block. Unlike ceramides, which derive from animal sources, phytoceramides are extracted from sweet potato, rice and wheat, making them entirely vegan. Boasting some impressive science-backed benefits, these superfood supplements lock in water, keeping your skin looking younger, plumper and wrinkle-free. Plus, unlike most skin products, they can be taken orally as they’re absorbed straight into the bloodstream, protecting your skin from the inside out.
Meaning the “the strength of the horse” in Sanskrit, ashwagandha certainly lives up to its name. As an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha helps lower cortisol levels, thus reducing the damaging effects stress can have on the body. It’s these stress-busting credentials that make ashwagandha the ultimate anti-aging supplement. In one randomized study, adults were given an extract of the adaptogen. The results showed a reduction in serum cortisol levels as well as an improvement in stress levels among participants, suggesting that ashwagandha may well help reduce the aging effects of stress on the body and mind.
Tea isn’t just a comforting drink – it’s packed full of anti-aging antioxidants too. Matcha green tea, oolong, rooibos and white tea all contain antioxidants called polyphenols that protect cells from free radicals. Formed in part by environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and fumes, these potentially harmful chemicals can take a toll on the body, leading to a greater risk of diseases including Alzheimer’s and cancer. That’s why it’s so important to help the body combat free radical damage with antioxidants.
To prove the power of antioxidants, one Chinese study investigated the correlation between tea drinking and health. Researchers found that the cells of the men who drank green or oolong tea showed around five fewer years of wear and tear compared to those who drank little tea.
Spinach might not give you muscles like Popeye’s, but it can keep you looking youthful. Spinach, alongside kale, Swiss chard, and beet greens provide essential nutrients to boost bone health, eye health and even potentially prevent cancer. However, for the full superfood experience, turn to spirulina. This single-celled algae might not sound too appetizing, but it provides an incredible amount of antioxidants including polyphenols – a powerhouse weapon against premature aging.
When it comes to anti-aging, vitamin E reigns supreme. Experts consider this skin-friendly vitamin to be one of the most important antioxidants because it protects cell membranes and prevents damage to enzymes associated with them. In addition, vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties, a factor that’s essential for skin regeneration and cell turnover. The result? Healthier cells and more radiant skin. Just make sure you take your vitamin E in supplement form rather than as a cream, as studies suggest that antioxidants applied directly to the skin aren’t always well absorbed.
Avocado has taken the world by storm with its creamy texture, delicious taste and impressive nutritional credentials. And it’s not just your internal health that gets a boost by this superfood – your skin will thank you for it too. Rich in fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, avocados have been shown to improve skin from the inside out. One randomized study looked at the effect of avocado oil on collagen metabolism in the skin. The laboratory rats that were fed unrefined avocado oil extracted from the fruit showed significant increases in soluble collagen, suggesting that this tasty fruit may well help you roll back the years.