Health: Eat your way to youthful beauty


From ageing and pollution to stress and fatigue, the effects of our lifestyles can display themselves on our faces before we even start to feel them. Luckily, there is no need to opt for surgery just yet. Here are our top five foods for a natural facelift.

SPINACH


Spinach, like many other dark green leafy vegetables, is rich in an antioxidant called lutein. Not only is this great for healthy eyes, but research shows it is also good for preventing wrinkles by helping to retain the skin's moisture and elasticity, increasing lipid levels and preventing damage caused by free radicals.

The benefits of spinach do not stop there, however, as the leafy vegetable also has the power to reduce dark circles under the eyes because of its high levels of vitamins K and C. Although there are many causes of dark circles - tiredness and hereditary, among others - poor circulation is also a factor. In cases where this is a problem, increasing your intake of vitamins K and C can alleviate them by helping to boost circulation and strengthening capillary walls.

OYSTERS


Besides being a well-known aphrodisiac, oysters can also enhance your beauty. If you are suffering from pale, sallow skin or dark circles under your eyes, this may be because of vitamin B12 or iron deficiencies, both of which can cause anaemia. To beat pasty skin, try boosting your intake of these essential nutrients by stocking up on oysters, which have high levels of both. Other good sources include clams and mussels.

GARLIC


It may not be the most fragrant of foods, but garlic is a superfood that can have great skin benefits. As a natural antibiotic with blood-cleansing, immune-boosting, antibacterial properties, garlic is an effective, cheap and healthy way to help treat acne naturally. Although there are many reasons people suffer from spots, garlic - particularly when eaten raw and crushed - can help reduce future breakouts, while its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the swelling and inflammation of acne.

AVOCADOS


Avocados often get bad press because of their high levels of fats, but the healthy fats in an avocado can do wonders for your skin. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, avocados can help moisturise your skin from the inside and increase collagen production, helping to prevent wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory properties of avocado are also good for helping to reduce acne and psoriasis and the high levels of vitamin E will help to keep your skin supple and prevent premature ageing.

BANANAS


Many people know fluid retention is the primary cause of bloating, but it can also be responsible for a puffy face and bags under the eyes. Fortunately, this can be treated by redressing the body's sodium/potassium balance. As these two minerals work against each other to balance water in the body, too little potassium - or too much salt - is one of the most common causes of water retention. Redress this by increasing your intake of potassium through foods such as bananas. Other potassium-rich foods include strawberries, melon and paw paw.

For more lifestyle news see www.realbuzz.com

- Hamilton News

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