Daily sunscreen, hi-tech moisturisers and cleansing are all great for your skin, but your skin's biggest beauty BFF is actually the food you eat
. Here are few recipes that pack an anti-ageing punch.
Whole-grain pancakes with honeyed blueberries & strawberries
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that help maintain your skin's elasticity, as do strawberries, which also contain loads of vitamin C, an important building block of collagen. Oats help to reduce inflammation, a major cause of ageing in the body.
1 cup honey
1 star anise
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup wholewheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg white
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
Place the honey and the star anise in a small pot and heat until simmering (but don't allow to boil). Remove from heat and stir in the blueberries and strawberries. Allow to cool. Remove the star anise.
Meanwhile, combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, egg white, butter, and lemon peel. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the oat mixture, stirring until just moistened. Coat a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Spoon four 1/4 cupfuls of batter into the pan and cook until the tops begin to bubble, about 2 minutes. Turn the flapjacks and cook for 1 minute longer, or until. Keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Divide the flapjacks between plates and top with the honey, blueberries and strawberries.
Spinach with raisins and almonds
Spinach helps fight inflammation and free-radical damage – precursors to fine lines and wrinkles – while almonds contain beta carotene (vitamin A), which is essential for healthy, strong nails. They are also high in an amino acid called arginine, which can increase lean muscle and burn fat, giving you a sleeker physique.
1/2 onion, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1kg Swiss chard, centre ribs removed and leaves chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup whole raw almonds, roughly chopped
Cook onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in 2 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard in batches, stirring until wilted, then add raisins and water. Cook, covered, until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt.
Cook almonds in remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in a small heavy frying pan over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over chard and serve.
Beef fillet with chocolate-chilli sauce
Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and a potential mood elevator (and we all know that feeling good is a great way to get glowing skin). Opt for chocolate with 80% cocoa solids or more to get an extra dose of antioxidants and avoid excess sugar. Lean red meat is an excellent source of iron, which is essential for healthy skin and hair.
400g beef fillet
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
For the sauce:
125ml beef stock
65ml red wine
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
70g good quality dark chocolate
40ml reduced fat cream
15ml rosemary, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the fillet on a board and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place a large frying pan over a high heat for about 2 minutes, then add the fillet and brown on all sides, turning frequently.
Transfer to a roasting pan, cover with foil and place in oven for 10 minutes (for medium-rare) or until desired doneness. Wrap fillet in foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
To make the sauce, place the stock, wine and chilli in a saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the cream and rosemary. Season to taste.
Cut fillet into thick slices and serve with the sauce.