For many of us, healthy eating is about keeping our bodies strong and feeling good – especially as we age. What’s more, enjoying a balanced diet can actually help us look and feel younger, too.

Whether by giving us the energy we need to get out and about, or by keeping our skin in tip-top condition, a healthy diet packed full of nutrient-rich ingredients can help keep us young – inside and out. Even making small changes to your day-to-day diet can give your health and energy levels a boost, and help take care of your appearance.

Take a look at the science behind key ingredients to include in your diet – and to look out for in your ready meals – to find out about the wellness and beauty benefits they can bring.

Water

Water is essential for just about everything the body does, from digesting food to helping circulate nutrients. Many people also claim that drinking plenty of fluids gives your complexion a healthy glow. This is because skin cells, like every other type of cell in the body, are made up of water – and if this isn’t replenished each day, skin can become dry, flaky and more likely to develop wrinkles.

For an extra refreshing drink, try adding lemon and mint to water, giving it a zesty twist. Lemon is bursting with Vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, a connective protein that keeps our skin soft and supple. Vitamin C also helps wounds heal.

Spices

Your circulatory system keeps cells throughout your body supplied with all the essential nutrients from the food we eat – and certain spices can help keep it in good condition. For instance, cayenne pepper and turmeric are especially good at stimulating the lymph gland, which is responsible for removing toxins from the body so the blood can circulate more efficiently.

Why not try our Foods of the World range of ready meals for a simple way to add some spice to your diet? Or, for a light and healthy lunch, you could sprinkle some spice over salads and soups.

Find out more about the amazing health benefits behind herbs and spices here.

Anti-oxidants

These natural chemicals are found in a whole host of foods, and can slow down age-related damage to our cells. For example, they can help our skin fight the harmful effects of UV light. Eating a good variety of colourful fruits, vegetables and berries is an excellent way to get a range of anti-oxidants, including vitamins C, E and carotene.

Try our Roasted Vegetable Lasagne or Shanghai Beef, followed by an indulgent Blackberry & Apple Crumble. You could also replace the occasional cup of tea with a green one. Green tea leaves are rich in anti-oxidants and B vitamins.

Good fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for all our organs – from keeping our hearts and brains healthy to our skin hydrated and younger looking. Oily fish, eggs, avocados and nuts are packed full of good fats, and are also the basis of some tasty dishes. Have a look at our choice of fish dishes.

Iron and protein

These two nutrients are important for helping us feel younger, by giving us the energy to keep on doing the things we love. Iron helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body and help raise our energy levels. Meat and beans are a rich source of iron and also protein, which can help older adults maintain muscle mass and stay fit and active.

Try our Vegetable Tikka which contains iron-rich spinach, while meat lovers can enjoy our Steak and Mushroom Pie.

A huge part of staying young at heart is to keep on trying new things – whether that’s taking up a hobby or exploring different types of food. Why not browse through our full range of home delivered ready meals and discover some exciting new flavours?