A Facelift in the Fridge

Foods rich in antioxidants help to combat chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes — and they’re also good for your skin.

In fact, dermatologist and best selling author Dr. Nicholas Perricone says you can actually find a facelift “in the fridge.”

“The right diet certainly decreases your risk of all age-related disease such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, but it can also make a great difference in the skin very rapidly,” he told CNN.

Foods that contain a high amount of antioxidants ease an ongoing bodily process called intracellular inflammation. “Because of the inflammation, the cell doesn’t function correctly. It doesn’t produce enough energy, you can’t expel waste, and you can’t get in nutrients properly,” said Perricone.

The long-term effects of cellular inflammation can be seen in the brain with premature senility and in the arteries with arteriosclerosis. And in the skin, it’s sagging and wrinkling, according to Perricone.

Skin-friendly foods include all types of berries, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and cold-water fish such as wild salmon. Good fats such as olive oil and avocado should also be included in your diet.

The offenders? “Stay away from starches and sugars, because they are pro-inflammatory,” said Perricone. “And substitute green tea for coffee.”

While good nutrition can help to slow down the biological clock, reducing stress is also important.

“We recommend moderate exercise, meditation, tai chi, qigong, prayer, anything you can do decrease that type of daily anxiety we face,” said Perricone. For more skin benefits, quit smoking, drink lots of water, and don’t forget the sunscreen.


Food for thought

‘You are what you eat’ also applies to brain health. According to Dr. Eric Braverman, author of Younger You: Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Brain to Look and Feel 15 Years Younger, eating the right food can go a long way in reversing the brain’s aging.

The brain’s natural preservative is the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, according to Braverman. And this is key to preventing age-related dementias.

“By adjusting the levels of acetylcholine through dietary supplements, natural compounds and a ‘rainbow diet’ of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats,” he says, many people could reverse their brain’s aging by as much as 15 years.

Other ways to boost your brain power:

Hop on the mental treadmill. Engage in mental exercises such as crossword puzzles, reading, and playing musical instruments. Other brain challenges include making such simple changes as learning to eat with utensils using your left hand, if you are right-handed, or vice-versa if you are left-handed.

Think fruits and vegetables. Include a variety of colorful variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Avoid processed foods and saturated fats.

Spice things up. Certain spices improve your brain speed, including basil, black pepper, sage, turmeric and mint.