Who likes wrinkles and aging skin? No one! One of the main culprits of the speeding up of the aging process is too much sun exposure. Another factor which contributes to this is what kind of food we put into our body.
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) – AGEs form when protein or fat combines with sugar. Over time AGEs tend to build up, attach themselves to the collagen and elastin, damage their structure and lead to wrinkled, sagging skin. Using sunscreen and taking care of your overall diet can help with how our body protects and heals our skin.
So which are these foods that will eventually give you wrinkles and fine lines?
• French Fries – Foods fried in oil at high temperatures release free radicals that can cause cellular damage to the skin. Exposure to free radicals accelerates the aging process. Healthy Alternative – Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
• Sugar – Refined sugar, like white sugar or corn syrup stimulates the production of AGE’s that damage collagen. Healthy Alternative – Try and reduce your sugar consumption to a minimum and use natural options like blueberries, dark chocolate etc.
• Processed Meats – Processed meats like hot dogs, deli meat, bacon, and sausages contain harmful saturated fats, and they are preserved with chemicals called sulfites and nitrates that can have a damaging effect on skin. They also tend to have high amounts of sodium which can all dehydrate the skin and weaken collagen. Healthy Alternative – Opt for uncured meat options when possible.
• Aerated Drinks / Coffee / Tea – Such drinks are high in caffeine which hinder your sleep which is absolutely essential for glowing skin. It also causes dehydration making the skin look dull and dry. Healthy Alternative – Limit yourself to one cup a day and have plenty of water.
• Alcohol – Alcohol can cause redness, puffiness, loss of collagen, and wrinkles. It depletes your body of water and vital nutrients like vitamin A, which are essential for maintaining a healthy glow. Healthy Alternative – Moderate your alcohol intake.
• White Bread – Refined carbs like white bread and white pasta turn into sugar in your bloodstream. Refined carbs often have a high glycemic index which can cause inflammation in the body and hence speed up the aging process. Healthy Alternative – Switch to whole grain bread.
So how to achieve great skin through food?
Consume fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C (Strawberries, Citrus, Bell Peppers) and Vitamin A (Carrots, Sweet Potatoes). These antioxidants help keep your skin healthy and give the collagen and elastin the nutrients they need to prevent wrinkles. Eat the seasonal rainbow of fruits & veggies. Limit your sugar & alcohol intake and increase protein rich whole foods. Your skin will thank you!