We are evermore on the quest to improve our beauty and slow down the signs of aging. Whether it’s by dressing younger, wearing hair extensions, wearing makeup, exercising, spa treatments, taking vitamins, expensive anti-aging creams, or more extremely opting for plastic surgery, the quest for youth and beauty is an old age one and a long lasting one.
Here in Lagos, things aren’t much different. But trying to improve one’s beauty and slow down ageing in Lagos can sometimes be, like running against the wind. Why? Stress and pollution. Stress impairs our body’s ability to perform at optimal and that can include an impaired repairing and restoration process leaving us looking tired. It can also damage our cells and cause us to eat unhealthily which in turn can cause our to response to stress to be more negative (sounds stressful, right?) and also lead to more cellular damage. Pollution, on the other hand can accelerate ageing, as it damages our skin cells, it can also cause our skin tone to be uneven and increase the number of wrinkles we have and that doesn’t sound too pretty.
So how does food come into this? Many of us don’t realise the powerful connections between food and our physical appearance. A wholesome unprocessed diet will provide us with nutrients, micronutrients and antioxidants that can help to protect us from toxins and chemicals that damage our cells, therefore speeding up the rate of ageing, reducing stress and anxiety, and also optimising our cells and tissues to improve our natural beauty.
If you want to be more beautiful (brighter eyes, glowing skin, healthier hair and nails) and look years younger, here is what you can do:
- Visit a Vegetable Market – We have such a vast variety of fruits and vegetables that are really quite affordable, and these are where the majority of antioxidants come from. All those vibrant colours indicate different types of antioxidants that will help protect our cells from free radicals to slow down ageing, help to remove harmful toxins from our systems and boost our natural beauty by providing minerals and vitamins that help boost the radiance of our skin as well as boost the health of our hair and nails.
- Try Raw – Raw foods are a great way to dose up on nutrients, because most of them haven’t been destroyed in the cooking process (although not all foods lose nutrients when cooked). So try a salad, a cold-pressed juice, fruits, nuts, seeds, nut mylks and raw snacks to boost your nutrient uptake.
- Go the Whole Way – If it’s white its probably not right. Eating wholegrains will not only provide essential nutrients to your body, some of which can help reduce stress and anxiety, it will also protect your body from the damage that eating processed foods tend to incur. So put down the white rice, and opt for ofada rice, which is better for you, or try other grains that we grow here like millet. If you aren’t a grain person there’s sweet potatoes, plantains, yams and more which aren’t processed and also have beneficial nutrients for our bodies.
- Say No To Processed Foods – All the sugar, added salt, chemicals and preservatives are only going to make worse the effects of stress and pollution not to talk about the damage they to our bodies all by their own. So cutting these out is a sure way to slow down ageing, boost natural beauty and reduce stress, as our bodies are less able to cope with stress when eating junk food.
- Add Some Superfoods – Superfoods do exactly what they sound like they can do, take everything to a whole other level. They will grow your hair, skin and nails, they will brighten your eyes, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase your energy levels. Superfoods have a high level of antioxidants and micronutrients that will boost your beauty and ant-ageing regime if taken regularly. They can also help to detox heavy metals and toxins from your system, which is always an added bonus. Click here to see our article on Nigerian Superfoods.
- Hydrate – If you want to keep your cells looking plump and radiant, then you need to drink enough water. Don’t forget it’s hot here and some days can induce enough stress to grow mini molehills into mountains overnight and this can leave us dehydrated. Water also helps to detox our body, as those toxins need a medium to pass out in. Drink water regularly to keep yourself hydrated, and to keep the toxins flowing out, this will result in clearer and fresher looking skin.