The old adage “We are what we eat” still holds true and is more important than the beauty products we slather onto our skin. Nourishing our skin from the inside out can help to slow down the aging process. Here are a list of 7 foods that can speed up our skin’s aging process, contributing to wrinkles and sagging.
1. Refined Sugar
A diet high in sugar activates enzymes that damages collagen and elastin through a process known as glycation (sugar in your bloodstream attached itself to proteins to form Advanced Glycation End products or AGEs which are toxic molecules). Once damaged, the springy collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Excess sugar also weakens the immune system and promotes inflammation throughout the body. A diet high in sugar, especially fructose (e.g. maple syrup, cane sugar & high fructose corn syrup present in many processed foods) can speed up the aging process as it is 10 times more likely to glycate than glucose. To satisfy a sweet tooth, grab a fruit instead. Since natural sugars are more complex, your body processes them slowly, thus avoiding the sugar overload that ages your skin.
2. Fried, grilled & broiled foods
Fats and proteins combined with high and dry heat will produce AGEs. AGEs are also present in many processed foods that have been exposed to high temperatures to increase their shelf life. Basically, any charred parts of meat, seared marks of grilled steak and crispy bits of fried chicken are all evidences of AGEs.
Salt dehydrates your body and when you don’t drink enough water, you’ll end up looking tired and fatigued. Salt can also cause puffiness in the eye area. Excess salt can also contributes to high blood pressure and kidney diseases. Salt is already present in the food we consume outside and it is not necessary to add more. A healthier way to enhance the flavour of food is to use herbs.
Caffeinated products also dehydrate your skin, making them look tired and worn out. Drink green tea instead as it is less dehydrating due to its lower caffeine content and it is also an excellent source of antioxidant.
6. Trans Fats
Excess trans fats is not only bad for the heart, it also make the skin look stiff and inflexible. Trans fats found in processed foods such as fast foods and margarine, can clog arteries. However, not all fats are bad for you.
7. Red Meat
Studies suggests that eating red meat more than once a week is associated with wrinkling of skin, as well as some other health risks. According to the research, a high level of carnitine, a compound abundant in animal protein, can harden blood vessel walls, causing skin to wrinkle prematurely. However, red meat can be a good source of vitamin B12, which is crucial for red blood cells and brain function. If you are a red meat lover, it is advisable to indulge in them occasionally.
By eating healthily and exercising regularly, we can all age gracefully and lead a happier and fulfilling life.
Please feel free to leave your comments below if you like to share tips on eating healthier, etc. 🙂