Healthy Diet Fights Skin Aging
I’m Dr Teo Wan Lin, a Board-Certified Dermatologist. I’ll be sharing with you in a series of mini masterclasses how your diet can affect the process of skin ageing. First of all, what causes your skin to age? it is important to understand that the skin is just like any other organ in your body which undergoes cellular degeneration with increasing age as well as environmental exposures.
The key here of course is that the skin being an external organ is readily visible and hence this has led us to observe skin ageing in a really obvious way, as compared to how the other organ systems age. Specifically, we are taking about a classification system known as the Glogau Photoaging Scale which helps us determine as dermatologist, the stage of skin ageing in an objective manner. Simply put, the textural changes of skin as one ages can include enlarged pores, bumps known as age spots or liver spots medically known as seborrheic warts as well as pigmentary disturbances in the form of hyperpigmentation also known as sun spots.
Important factors that determine how rapidly your skin ages include environmental exposures such as accumulated ultraviolet exposure, pollutants in the environment. Lifestyle factors such as chronic sleep deprivation as well as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, these are factors that can negatively impact the state of aged skin.
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What is a superfood? Essentially, this term was introduced basically to enhance marketing of traditional foods which are plant-based that have been demonstrated by scientific research to have a potent amount of micronutrients essential to the functioning of our body’s physiological processes.
The easiest way to identify a superfood is actually by its colour. The brighter, more vibrant or intense the colouring is in a fruit or vegetable, the higher the chance that it contains higher levels of micronutrients and phytochemicals.
I’ll like to zoom in on one superfood category in particular, that would be the family of Brassica Oleracea. Now, that is the scientific term for the group of plants that fall under the brassica genus. We have cauliflower, broccoli as well as other related brassicas such as kale. It has been demonstrated in oncology research, which is the study of cancer, that brassica related plants have the ability to inhibit the formation of cancer cells. When applied in the field of skincare and dermatology, this has very relevant implications for photo-protection which is protection from ultraviolet rays that damage the skin surface as well as anti-ageing processes via the antioxidant pathway.