Its really simple….our body breaks down the food we eat into tools, these tools help repair daily damage, detoxify, and turn on and off genes that influence the way we age. The food we eat becomes us, molecule by molecule. The food you eat influences our hormonal balance (so tied to beauty throughout our lives, from skin health to weight, mood and energy), digestive health (so important for clear, and supple skin), the quality of our sleep, and our mood and mental health.
Each decade presents itself with its own unique challenges that we can deal with, with good nutrition and few carefully selected supplements.
The 20s are full of late nights, studying, working, partying….Bad food choices, overindulgence in alcohol, hormonal acne….the list really can go on. Although the signs of ageing have yet to be seen, forming good habits now lays the groundwork for healthier-looking skin, hair and nails into your 30s, 40s and beyond.
- Aim to eat a low inflammatory diet – inflammation causes hormonal upsets, poor collagen production, digestive issues as well as a multitude of health conditions – reduce refined sugar, refined carbohydrates like white bread, biscuits, cakes and cookies, reduce seed oils such canola and sunflower as these are also highly inflammatory.
- Mitigate the damage done by drinking alcohol by looking after your liver. Bitter greens such as rocket and dandelion are super liver cleansing, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts contain liver cleansing compounds and green tea also detoxifies.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, supporting hydration is the best thing you can do for your beauty and health.
Looking good and staying healthy in your 30’s usually presents you with new challenges. Women are often starting families, managing careers, settling down, possibly breastfeeding…What to do?
- Stress is linked to chronic immune dysfunction, increased production of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage—all of which contribute to skin ageing. B vitamins can help mitigate your stress response, good B supplements can go a long way. Vitamin C helps lower cortisol levels ( cortisol is a primary stress hormone) and can be found in abundance in berries, citrus, broccoli and capsicum
- Keep taming that inflammation – supplements can play a part. Turmeric can protect skin from free radicals and tame inflammation.According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, turmeric not only has anti-inflammatory and photo-protective qualities but it can also increase sebum production for overall skin hydration and health. Turmeric can also help with detoxification and even depression.
- While Vitamin D is very important for immunity and general health and spending 20 minutes in the sun every day is a great idea, You don’t want skin damage.Carrots are a great way to protect your skin from the sun.They contain carotenoids, which reduce your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays—and also decrease redness. So you can get a gorgeous glow from the inside out.
Your 40’s is a time of change again. Hormones are changing, collagen is declining, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep…What can you do?
- Magnesium is fantastic for sleep and relaxation. It is also important for nervous system function and can help with PMS due to hormonal fluctuations.
- Collagen levels are declining as we age but don’t fear we can increase collagen levels by drinking bone broth. It’s is full of bioavailable collagen.
- Zinc is another mineral crucial for healthy hormones as well as collagen synthesis and even mental health. Zinc can be found in wild salmon, oysters and many nuts and seeds
Most of all, embrace ageing. Be tender and nurturing with yourself—and appreciate these changes for all of the experiences and knowledge they represent.
Gabriella Ratner is a clinical nutritionist, certified health coach and owner of Intuitive Health Hub in Bondi Junction, Sydney. Specialising in mental, digestive and female reproductive health, she likes to do things a little differently. She doesn’t treat problems and symptoms, she treats people. Inspired by her own personal health journey, she believes in addressing the underlying causes of her patient’s health issues, not the signs.
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