How to get your daily antioxidant boost!
One of the essential elements to healthy ageing is protecting your cells with antioxidants.
The free radical theory of ageing says that free radicals attack healthy cells and change their composition by attaching to proteins and other essential molecules, making them unable to function. This causes the premature death of the attacked cells, also known as premature ageing. Antioxidants provide protection against free radicals and help to repair damaged cells.
Free radicals come from UVA and UVB rays from the sun, pollution, stress, smoking, alcohol, fatty foods and even repetitive exercise.
By increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich food and using antioxidant skincare products you can slow this process.
The top antioxidant-rich foods are dark chocolate, pecans, blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, kale, red cabbage, beans, beetroot and spinach.
But the easiest way to increase antioxidants is green tea! With around 75% less caffeine than coffee, green tea in the morning is a healthy start to your day.
And the benefits go far beyond drinking it!
When applied to your skin, green tea reduces inflammation, removing bacteria and excess oil. And green tea contains high levels of oligomeric proanthocyanidins – OPCs – some of the most potent antioxidants known to science.
These antioxidants help ward off premature ageing by fighting free radicals and healing damaged cells. OPCs also inhibit the enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which are essential for the skin’s strength and suppleness.
Your skin isn’t a priority for your body when it comes to antioxidants. So adding them from the outside is the best way to give your skin an antioxidant boost.
Here are some of my favourite DIY ways to give my skin a boost.
Anti-ageing face mask
Combine 3 tablespoons of full-fat yoghurt (vegan option: coconut yoghurt) with 1 tablespoon of ground green tea leaves. Apply on the face for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Green tea helps to soothe your body and clear your mind, making it perfect for a pre-bedtime ritual.
Put some green tea leaves in a coffee filter, gather the top, and tie it with a string (or use five teabags!). Drop it into your warm bath water and relax!
Green tea contains Vitamin K, which helps to ease tired, puffy eyes and fade dark circles.
Chill used green tea bags in the fridge and put them on your closed eyelids. Sit back and relax with your feet raised above your head for 10-15 minutes.
Chill a pot of green tea in the fridge. Soak a soft cloth and use as a cold compress to soothe your skin.