The Anti-Ageing Cookbook was one of the first cookbooks I wrote about 15 years ago. I've always been fascinated with ageing and skin health, which stemmed from my years of growing up as a beach lover and my mother and great Polish aunt being stringent on my time spent in the sun.
Yes, it’s true that genetics plays a vital roll in how we look and age, but so does healthy living. We cannot stop the ageing process, but it is now a well known fact that the foods we eat and what we drink plays a significant role on how well we age. Just as you fill your car with premium fuel to maximise performance, we should also choose the best possible foods for our body. The right nutritional choices along with a healthy lifestyle can keep you youthful at any age.
I've seen changes in my body, in how it looks and behaves, especially after 40. The skin is a little dryer, your ideal weight and muscle density needs that bit of extra attention and extra effort.
My great Polish grandmother taught me about the value of good food and the benefits to your body which will show through your skin, hair and overall health. Her anti-ageing nutrition plan was simple....it includes healthy fats from olive oil, avocado and fish, antioxidants from fresh vegetables, and fruit from her home garden, a healthy lifestyle that was very active, plenty of sleep and a wonderful 80/20 approach to diet that included a little red wine and chocolate.
For me health and wellness comes from the food you eat as well as your lifestyle. A nutrition plan from wholefoods give strength and structure to your skin, help bones stay strong, reduces symptoms of menopause and keep your weight in check.
AT ANY AGE: CHOOSE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Foods can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory foods promote wrinkles and accelerate ageing and storage of body fat. Pro-inflammatory foods include refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed cereals, processed meats, white flour and trans fats.
I believe that food is most healing when it is close to its original state and has the properties to heal and nourish, which is why I choose lots of vibrant, anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. These include ginger and turmeric, which I use in my healthy risotto, soups and stocks. Studies have linked ginger to lowered joint pain caused by the chronic inflammatory conditions osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, turmeric and curcumin have shown potential to prevent DNA damage and help DNA repair. That’s good news for preventing disease and slowing down the ageing process.
Anti-inflammatory foods I enjoy on a daily basis include dark leafy greens, Healthy Chef Matcha Green Tea, Healthy Chef Turmeric Latte, extra virgin olive oil and berries.
IN YOUR 20's and 30s: A NOURISHING WHOLEFOODS DIET
A nourishing, unprocessed diet is key for boosting your intake of essential nutrients and antioxidants, keeping a healthy weight and reducing your intake of empty calories. This is the time where you really need to focus about the foods you are putting into your body and whether they are making a positive or negative effect to your health.
Avoid excess alcohol consumption as it dehydrates the skin and makes you prone to more lines and wrinkles. An occasional glass of red wine has some good health benefits - but remember moderation is key.
I love including greens such as Organic Cold Pressed Wheatgrass Juice and Organic Green Smoothie into my daily routine as it gives me a convenient source of alkalising antioxidants in a quick and convenient drink.
Matcha is also wonderful if you need that little caffeine kick in the mornings with energy that lasts all day long.The rich concentrations of chlorophyll found in Matcha work to alkalise the body, helping your skin look clearer more radiant.
IN YOUR 40s & 50s: A DIET RICH IN PROTEIN, HEALTHY FATS + ANTIOXIDANTS
Keeping my own weight in check is a little harder these days and I have to work extra hard not only on my diet, but on my levels of stress and getting quality sleep. Foods that are most helpful during peri-menopause and menopause are omega-3 rich foods such as oily fish, chia seed and flax seeds. A study published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition showed that a diet rich in omega 3's helped to reduce the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women.
I also strive to include more protein into my diet which helps to maintain lean muscle, support a healthy weight as well as nourish my firmer healthier skin.
Weight gain is also a very common complaint after the age of 40. Studies show that having more muscle mass, not only increases your metabolic rate, it also protects the body against insulin sensitivity and weight gain. Making sure you include adequate protein at every meal meal will assist in maintaining lean toned, muscles. I also aim to do thirty minutes of weight bearing exercise most days as it helps counter the effect of bone loss and it increases my overall strength.
I also sip on Matcha and Green tea most days as it naturally has metabolism boosting and thermogenic affects in the body, meaning it gently supports weight loss.You can read more about matcha in my post, The Secret to Anti-Ageing.
Some of my favourite anti ageing foods include salmon, sardines, chia seeds, melons, beetroot, matcha, Healthy Chef Protein, asparagus, berries, pumpkin seeds, avocado and extra virgin olive oil.
I also make sure to get a good night's sleep most weekdays as lack of sleep has a profound negative effect on my immune system and how my skin looks. Good quality sleep rebuilds energy stores, regenerates the body and makes you feel amazing!