Restaurant designers know that choosing corals and pinks for dining room décor and subtle indirect lighting is flattering to guests who not only want their food to look good, they want to look fabulous, too. No one likes squinting into the glare of bright lights that scream “Where were you on the night of……?” emphasizing every wrinkle from crow’s feet to laugh lines. Choosing where to eat based on how young and attractive we feel is a vote for better atmosphere, an important part of enjoying the dining out experience. What the chef’s cooking up in the kitchen can keep you looking younger, too. So while you’re feeling sleek in the sexy interiors of Maxim Prime Steakhouse at the Glenn Hotel, you can nibble on Chef Daniel Zoby’s salad of organic greens accessorized with dried cherries and cashews followed by grilled wild salmon and asparagus to add some youth enhancing nutrients to the night.
Stop the Clock Cooking
Contemporary nutrition research not only identifies foods that can keep us slim and healthy, scientists have pinpointed nutrients associated with anti-aging benefits. These vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants fight Father Time by warding off the production of cell damaging free radicals that not only age the skin they contribute to memory loss and increased risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
The star players in the anti-aging game are fruits and vegetables because they’re excellent sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and hundreds of other antioxidant compounds. Dairy products (preferably non fat) from a glass of milk or a container of yogurt are youth-enhancing too because they support long term bone health. Healthy fats play a role as well in keeping cells healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseed and walnuts and the mono-unsaturated oils found in olive oil, canola oil, avocados and nut butters are heart healthy and help keep skin moisturized from the inside out. Both mono-unsaturated fats and vitamin C work together to build and repair elastin and collagen in the skin. Registered dietitian, Cheryl Forberg, author of Positively Ageless (Rodale 2008) says, “We’re finding that some foods that seem quite ordinary have extraordinary health benefits.” She suggests adding a cup of tea-black or green- hot or iced to your dining out habits for even more antioxidant bang, “Tea, dark chocolate, red wine and dried fruits especially prunes are concentrated sources of potent antioxidants called flavonoids believed to fight against age-related mental decline and the inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.”
So, the Fountain of Youth really can be found if you know where to look on the menu.
Skin Friendly Food Tips
· Avoid excess alcohol and caffeine which can dry and dehydrate your skin, robbing the cells of needed water, and causing fine lines to be more visible.
· Beauty on the half shell. Oysters are a great source of the mineral zinc which is involved in wound healing and the formation of new collagen. Rather have sushi? The mineral selenium found in tuna and crab may help delay aging by reducing sun damage and protecting skin’s elasticity.
· Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, which is a spongy network of fibers that keeps skin plump and wrinkle-free. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries and kiwi fruit.
· If you’re a fan of dining al fresco at outdoor cafes and sunny terraces don’t forget your sunscreen. Dermatologists remind us you don’t have to be at the beach to suffer sun damage.