Lee Holmes shares the secrets to achieving a youthful, healthier body through foods with powerful benefits. Eat your way to a vibrant new you.
Food has the power to prevent illness – but did you know it can also slow the ageing process and the appearance of wrinkles?
The key is to eat foods that fight inflammation, are rich in antioxidants and are easy to digest – foods which nutrition guru Lee Holmes calls “supercharged” in her book, Supercharged Food (Murdoch Books).
“Foods that are full of antioxidants, like vegetables, prevent inflammation and cellular damage by destroying free radicals in the body,” Holmes says.
Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules produced by such things as stress, pesticides and sun. In skin cells, they cause collagen breakdown, which leads to wrinkles.
Inflammation is the body’s response to free radicals, says Holmes. Long-term inflammation in the body is associated with poor immune systems and a higher risk of cancers and chronic diseases.
Holmes began researching food’s healing and anti-ageing benefits in 2006, when she was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease. After overhauling her diet, she completely recovered and is now healthier than ever.
Foods to avoid
Wheat, cow’s milk and soy products: These are difficult for many people to digest and are not recommended for people with poor immune systems. Raw organic butter, however, is digested better than other dairy foods and is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh and tamari are okay in moderation.
Processed food: Consumption of artificial ingredients and additives wreaks havoc on the immune system.
Sugar: This is linked to a range of illnesses, including heart disease, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Sugar in all forms should be limited as much as possible, including fruit – stick to one or two pieces a day. Use the natural alternative stevia instead when cooking.
Salt: All salt contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease, so use sparingly. Opt for sea salt, as table salt contains anti-caking agents.
Man-made fats: Trans fats, found in packaged foods and fried fast food, increase the risk of heart disease. The best fats to eat are cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, seed and nut oils, and moderate amounts of coconut oil.