While, some call them badges of honour, others just want to get rid of them. We are talking about wrinkles, the bane of any sun worshipper’s life. So, while UV rays are responsible for sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles, certain foods, such as, tomatoes have been found to slow down the effects of the aging process. So, if a combination of certain foods can reverse the ageing process, then the Ayurvedic saying that we are what we eat is true!
Women, who wish to get rid of their fine lines and wrinkles need to understand how they are caused. Free radicals are molecules that lead to the degeneration of collagen and are to be found in the UV radiation in sunlight, smoking and air pollution. Further, there is a protein in the skin that helps keep it elastic and healthy-looking. Hormone changes in the body, such as, decreased estrogen production at the time of menopause, can affect the skin’s elasticity causing fine lines and wrinkles. Using our muscles for frowning and smiling, also leads to wrinkles while the effects of gravity loosen the skin and cause it to sag.
It has been found that foods that are high in antioxidants can help counteract a decrease in collagen, elasticity and firmness in aging skin. Tomatoes, have been found to be excellent wrinkle preventers, since they contain lycopene, a substance that also decreases the risk of cancer. Similarly, red peppers loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin E, including bioflavonoids, which moisturize and heal the skin, beets and carrots (and other red and dark orange vegetables) are also great foods that combat and prevent wrinkles from criss-crossing our face. Iron and Vitamin A rich Kale helps bring oxygen to the skin and vitamin warding off premature aging. Blueberries, an excellent source of antioxidants, including Salmon (omega-3 fatty acids) helps reduce inflammation and lubricate the skin, while drinking four to six glasses of water a day keeps the skin looking young and wrinkle free.
But, research shows that adding just five tablespoons of tomato paste to our daily diet improves the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays. The antioxidant lycopene found at its highest concentration when the fruit has been cooked, is also know to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer. It protects against sunburn and higher levels of a molecule called pro-collagen give the skin structure and keep it firm.
The darling of the skin care industries, tomatoes are popular for use in skin and hair care, with more and more products showing up every day on the market, with ingredients derived from tomatoes. Tomatoes help to fight off fight off free radical that suck the moisture from our skin. No wonder, everyone is gorging on tomatoes if not applying tomato products to their skin and hair! Anyone for a snack on tomatoes!