Your anti-aging routine should involve more than just wearing sunscreen! What if you could rescue your skin with the food you eat? No plastic surgery needed. There may not be a fountain of youth, but the food we eat can prevent or even reverse aging. You body needs the right nutrients to fight off damage and aging. Your skin is no different. Processed foods, stress, toxins and low-nutrient diets will accelerate aging.
Aging is inevitable. There is only so much we can do about it, but we might as well do what we can. Hormones cause the body to age, during adolescence and menopause especially, and throughout our lives. Cellular aging happens as well. A cell can replicate about 50 times before genetic material is not viable. We have constant cell turnover in our body, especially in our skin. If your skin turns over quickly, you are lucky enough to have youthful looking skin. Metabolic aging occurs due to the reduction in number of mitochondria, the ability to produce energy. This is why when we age, we feel slower and have less energy. As we age, our body naturally produces fewer mitochondria, making us have less energy. However, by increasing your energy level, you can increase the number of mitochondria. For example, long distance runners do this and are able to produce mitochondria in cells. So, exercise helps!
Toxic aging occurs due to build-up of toxins in the body from air, water and food. This starts as soon as we are born. Our body doesn’t eliminate toxins forever. This is why detoxing is beneficial, because toxic build-up damages the body. Fasting can allow our bodies to stop having to constantly fight toxins. Detoxing is recommended for the body to focus on energy production, whether one day per week or a few every other month.
Eating organic foods can help as well, as they contain fewer toxins. Also, you can have a greener home or work environment by using non-toxic cleaning products and owning a plant. So, do consider having more greens around your house. A plant in your home or by your desk at work acts as an air filter.
Fats, proteins and carbohydrates are all necessary to support your body’s basic health. Vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients should be the focus for anti- aging. Drinking water is key. Even with a small amount of dehydration, your body functions in a less optimal way. The instant the skin is dehydrated, your skin will take a toll and look dull, flakey, saggy and/or loose. Seeds contain many nutrients and essential fatty acids that help the skin look younger.
Antioxidants are the best resources your body has to fight disease and aging. Nutrients help the cells replicate and have more energy. Damage to the body equals aging. Inflammation is the number one leading cause of disease, as well as wrinkle formation. The body needs nutrients to work properly and maintain a healthy glow.
Free-radicals form in our bodies and cause major damage to our cell structures. Antioxidants neutralize them. Different free-radicals are neutralized by various antioxidants. It is important to have a variety of antioxidants, not merely a particular vitamin. To ensure variation, try to have a “rainbow on your plate” and take multivitamins.
Some of the best antioxidant foods include:
- Green tea
- Acai berries
- Goji berries
Reducing damage and inflammation is key to anti-aging. Inflammation is the body’s reaction to damage or invasion. Inflammation can be caused by anything the body interprets as foreign, such as the wrong cosmetic or genetically modified foods. They cause damage to surrounding structures including other cells and DNA.
We can fight inflammation through the foods we eat. Purple grapes have a compound called proanthocyanidins, which is an antioxidant that prevents damage to cells that leads to aging and cancer. Hence why a glass of red wine is actually good for us. Reducing inflammation leads to less puffy skin, and instead making it smoother and have less redness as well as lowering the risk of disease (heart and arthritis).
A diet rich in vitamin C can lead to fewer wrinkles. Researchers have found that skin exposed to vitamin C for long periods of time can produce up to eight times more collagen! Also, people who have fish oil in their body have less acne and fewer wrinkles, though it is important to know the source of the fish oil, as farm factory produced supplements will have considerably higher levels of toxins in them.
Chocolate is also rich in antioxidants. It fights free radicals, thereby stopping damage and inflammation. The higher the cocoa percentage in the chocolate you consume the better for you. Also try to find chocolate with as little dairy and sugar as possible, and both reduce the health benefits of the chocolate.
It is also very important to eat organic whenever possible, as toxins can build up in non-organically produced foods.
Remember, what you eat is what you end up looking like!