From Ayam Penyet to Ngor Hiang, food is most certainly one of Singapore’s strong suits. Offering a multitude of eclectic cuisines to cater to Singaporean’s large appetite for delicious meals. So what if you were told that certain foods can actually be the anecdotes to support healthy aging? As the concern over aging continues to grow exponentially, more and more people are desperately trying to determine what may be the most suitable treatment or product to reverse or at least delay aging and the physical changes that come with it. And while that treatment or product has still yet to be discovered or invented, a healthier and more organic method that has been proven to promote healthy aging is by consuming particular foods that contain specific: antioxidants, nutrients, acids and vitamins. Continue reading to distinguish what ingredients you will need to design your very own well-balanced diet, to undergo a smoother transition into the aging process.
A cereal grain, belonging to the grass family, barley is commonly harvested across different parts of Asia and historically, has been used within Chinese diets as a popular herbal remedy. However, barley is also a miracle worker when it comes to its anti-ageing properties. Containing a number of antioxidants, protein and vitamin E, barley helps reduce premature signs of aging by extracting toxins from the body and, when consumed regularly, can help restore radiance to the skin and mitigate other skin defects like acne, swelling and dark spots. A plus side with barley, is that it can be cooked and prepared in a variety of delicious ways, including: salads, grain bowls, stews and even soups. So, consider incorporating barley into your next meal, for low visibility wrinkles and a luminous complexion.
Wolfberries, more colloquially known as goji berries, are popular fruits consumed both in dried and fresh form. Wolfberries are harvested in Asia, more specifically in the northwestern regions of China, and have been historically used within herbal teas and soups. Both dried and fresh forms of wolfberries have numerous healthy skin benefits. For instance, they are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and collagen promoting vitamins— which plays a key role in your skin’s health, and beta carotene, which is an antioxidant micronutrient that is the ultimate skin health booster, which can maintain the skin’s appearance by improving its protection against UV radiation. Dry form wolfberries tend to taste bitter, while fresh form wolfberries are more sour, which make wolfberries highly adaptable for different meals. Açai bowls, for example, are popular meals that include wolfberries, which makes it a perfect on-the-go snack that also offers rejuvenating and hydrating skin health-benefits.
Mungs beans, which are alternatively referred to as the green gram, belong to the legume family, and are harvested across Asia, South America and Africa. Historically, mung beans were used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions like conjunctivitis and edema. More recently, however, mung beans are consumed due to their detoxifying and hydrating properties. Mung beans are filled with various nutrients like magnesium, zinc, several antioxidants and most importantly copper, which is what makes mung beans so effective in the anti-aging process, since it makes the presence of wrinkles less noticeable and restores an even-toned skin complexion. As other items on this list, mung beans are also very versatile and flavorful legumes that are simple to incorporate into your diet, and a bonus – they are very simple to cook, they only need to be boiled for 20-30 minutes. They are commonly found in soups, and salads and due to their partial sweetness, can also be used as a paste or in a healthier, alternative dessert.
A type of Chinese cabbage, bok choy sometimes referred to as pak choi, belongs to the cruciferous family, which includes: kale, brussels, cabbage and more. Bok choy is leafy and cabbage-like, while stalky and bulbous at the bottom. It is harvested across Asia, primarily in China and is celebrated for its nutritional value and innumerous health benefits. The most useful antioxidant that bok choy offers in preserving skin youthfulness is Vitamin C. Which helps in reducing the damage caused to the skin from pollution, or sun exposure and even smoke, and can improve skin texture and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Due to its leafy flavor and texture, bok choy is commonly eaten in salads, soups, stir-fries and can even be used as a filling in dumplings and spring rolls. With a generous amount of seasoning, bok choy can be very flavorful, and is definitely worth incorporating into a diet for a more youthful appearance.
Jujube, otherwise known as red dates, is a plant in the buckthorn family. Jujubes are harvested throughout China, mainly in Xinjiang and are revered for their wound healing properties, and as a result, were historically used in traditional chinese medicine. Similarly to bok choy, jujubes have a high Vitamin C content, which makes them perfect agents for acceleration of collagen production and elastin that enable the skin to maintain its smooth and youthful appearance for a longer period of time. Jujubes are sweet and jam-packed with flavor, tasting quite similar to dates, they are commonly eaten in yogurt, nutritious desserts, fruit salads, and even sprinkled over some granola. Jujubes are the perfect, healthy snacks to nibble on to promote more Vitamin C intake and a healthier aging process.
For centuries, rice has been a core element of Asian cuisine and a deep remnant of culture, which is why rice remains one of the most commonly consumed foods throughout the Eastern and northern hemispheres. It also offers a myriad of health benefits, but what sets regular rice apart from black rice, is the type of antioxidants found in black rice that promote healthy skin aging. Black rice is rich in: Vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, copper and many others. As explored in other food items mentioned above, beta carotene and copper are two elements that contributed largely to maintaining the skin’s health and appearance, while also offering protection against UV radiation. Black rice has a moist and tender texture, and can be steamed, without soaking, making it a simple meal to cook, prepare and consume. Black rice can be paired and eaten with vegetables, meat, poultry or fish, which also makes it a very appetizing, hearty meal.
At the end of the day, skin aging is a natural process of the human body. While societal pressures and stigmatization against aging may prompt you to pursue procedures to delay or “reverse” the process of skin aging, the most effective and organic measure one can take to ensure that one ages healthily and gracefully, is by eating nutritious foods and maintaining a balanced diet. Consuming bok choy or wolfberries, every now and then, will help not only strengthen your skin internally, but also externally. In a world full of trans fat-pumped burgers and greasy french fries, it may be difficult to establish boundaries between what may be healthy to consume or not. What is most important is to always prioritize your skin-care health first. More often than not, when one eats poorly it is usually reflected in how they age, so taking care of your skin health is imperative. And you can too, creating a simple diet plan to follow, can help in regulating your meal plans, so you are aware of what nutrients and vitamins your skin is receiving, that may support a path towards a reduction of visible wrinkle lines/discoloration and an overall more youthful complexion. While Ayam Penyet and Ngor Hiang may sound delicious, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the future of your skin? The choice is yours!
Written by Lynn Robchinsky