Friday 21 October 2016

Rosanna Davison explains how berries can keep you looking young

As part of her new superfood series, Rosanna Davison explains how nature's candy can keep you looking young

All types of berries are packed full of nutrition, but blueberries are my pick of the bunch for their powerful anti-ageing properties. They're just like nature's candy, in a nutritionally perfect package.

You see, blueberries are a rich source of flavonoids, which are a group of antioxidant compounds found primarily in plants. Science has discovered over 5,000 kinds of flavonoids, often with hundreds of different types present in one item of food, and each with different properties, which often contribute to the food's bright colour.

They prevent inflammation throughout your body, enhance the power of vitamin C in foods and prevent blood vessels from rupturing. Vitamin C is important for supporting immune system health, but it's also a crucial nutrient for helping to produce the collagen in your skin which keeps it looking plump and youthful.

Picking up colds and infections regularly could be a sign that you need to eat more flavonoid foods.

In terms of your skin's health and beauty, flavonoids are delivered via your bloodstream to your skin, where they have the ability to protect your cells from oxidative damage, absorb ultraviolet light and protect your skin from sun damage.

But what are antioxidants? Antioxidants are a type of molecule that have the ability to inhibit the oxidation of another molecule. Antioxidants basically mop up the free radicals circulating your system, helping to lessen the cellular damage that they can cause. They donate their own electrons and are nature's very own defence mechanism against attack.

Free radicals are a normal compound produced in your body from regular metabolic reactions and are a natural response to external factors including cigarette smoke, environmental pollution, sunlight and chemicals, plus inflammation within the body. Even rigorous exercise triggers free radical production, which is why I recommend eating blueberries post-workout as they're so high in antioxidants!

Dietary antioxidants are incredibly important for your health and are even being acknowledged by Western medicine as playing a crucial role. Some are made in your body, but many are not, and production begins to decline with advancing age.

spoon with yogurt and wild berries
spoon with yogurt and wild berries

They may significantly slow down the speed at which you age, meaning that a regular supply in your diet is of optimal importance for your skin's health.

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