There is a certain tendency to think that the skin ageing process is simply a consequence of the natural laws of life. But the real cause of a wrinkled and firmless skin is the excessive release of free radicals due to bad eating habits, too much physical exercise, excessive sunlight exposure, alcohol consumption, smoking, pollution …
FREE RADICALS AND THE AGING PROCESS
A small amount of free radicals is formed through the normal bodily processes of breathing, eating and physical movement. But when people are constantly exposed to pollution, UV-light, chemical food additives, smoking and medicines, large amounts of free radicals are released, causing serious damage to our body. They do not only contribute to skin aging but also are involved in the onset of diseases. For this reason, fighting free radicals is one of the main objectives of every antiaging treatment, an aim that is pursued by supplying vitamins, trace elements and minerals in order to hinder their activity.
WHAT MAKES US AGEING
- Overweight. The risk of disease is bigger because an excessive weight involves a functional and cell overloading that triggers ageing.
- Stress. Emotional imbalance and excessive mental tension end up affecting our body, causing physiological or metabolic disorders. It can lead to disease and organic disorders.
- Sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical exercise increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and disorders of the locomotor system which favours ageing.
- Inadequate diets. The Hippocrates saying “we are what we eat” represents very well the philosophy of antiaging medicine. It is basic to cut down on sugar and fats and eat fresh, natural foods, free of additives.
- Too much sun. Over-exposure to ultraviolet light speeds up skin aging and increases the risk of melanoma.
- Inactive mind. If brain cells are not used, they end up dying; mental capacities like memory and rational thinking can get affected.
THE KEY: A MORE ANTIOXIDANT DIET
It would be fantastic to find a magical secret to remain young forever and do not suffer the permanent “siege” of ageing.
Unfortunately, this remedy does not exist. Nevertheless we can make use of substances that help postpone or make less visible the effects of getting older:
Beta-carotene, vitamin A, C and E protect our body against countless diseases and pathogenic agents like pollution, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and sunlight. They are a group of special substances that look after your skin and keep it healthy. Vitamin C is fundamental for a healthy skin, activate its defences and increases resistance to environmental aggressions, which are particularly intense in summer. Vitamin C takes part in collagen synthesis, the protein that gives skin its structural support. Vitamin E is the most powerful antioxidant vitamin. It protects tissues, fights ageing, improves blood circulation and represents a determining factor in maintaining a healthy skin.
Skin has a very active polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism. Essential fatty acids make skin elastic and smooth, are part of cell structure and take part in numerous metabolic processes. They also fight dry skin, in some cases by improving moisturization and in others by facilitating the exchanges taking place in epidermal cells. In relation to minerals and trace elements, iron is essential for the formation of haemoglobin, thanks to which skin has a healthy colour. Zinc is very important for skin health too. It takes part with vitamin A in regenerating skin tissue, in collagen and elastin synthesis, structural constituents of skin responsible for its tone and elasticity. Magnesium helps counter the symptoms of stress and fatigue. Which affect the balance of our skin.
Ranking of antioxidant foods
There is no better food than fruits and vegetables when it comes to providing so many antioxidants capable of turning your cells into fortresses against free radicals. For this reason, we should take at least 5 pieces of fruit, vegetables or juice every day. The 10 most antioxidant ones are :
2. Berries (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry …).
4. All types of cabbages.
6. Citrus fruits.
7. Grapes, containing up to 20 antioxidants.
8. Onions, specially purple ones.