3 Ways The Foods You Eat Are Aging You

 
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Anti-aging eye creams and medical spa procedures all go a long way in maintaining healthy, youthful looking skin, but there is an aspect of skincare that often gets overlooked — your diet. You see, what you put in your body can actually have an impact on the quality of your skin. And certain foods may actually contribute to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull complexion. (Yep, you are what you eat!)

But don’t worry — we’ve rounded up three of the biggest food culprits to be wary of when it comes to aging skin.

 

1. Fried Foods

What do French fries, chips, and donuts all have in common? (Besides being delicious?) They’re all loaded with free radicals.

Now, you might not be familiar with free radicals, so stick with us here.

Free radicals are unpaired electrons that are generated from sources such as cigarette smoke, pesticides, UV rays, air pollution, and yes — fried foods. Now, electrons like to be paired. And when they’re not? They’ll scavenge the body looking for other electrons to pair with. This creates a condition called oxidative stress. And oxidative stress is thought to be a major cause of skin aging.

For example, oxidative stress can break down collagen — the protein that keeps skin looking firm and smooth. It can also cause dark spots, sagging skin and contribute to the graying of hair.

  • Eat these instead: The best way to fend off free radicals is by getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet. Antioxidants have the unique ability of neutralizing or combatting the effects of free radicals. Here are some antioxidant rich foods to start incorporating into your anti-aging diet: pomegranates, green tea, blueberries, artichokes, and dark chocolate (hurray!).

 

2. Sugar

There’s nothing wrong with a little ice cream now and then. But indulging in sugary treats too frequently can negatively affect the quality of your skin.

You see, foods that are high in sugar produce molecules in the body known as advanced glycation endproducts — also known as AGE’s. And the more AGE’s you have in your blood, the more you will experience a breakdown of collagen and elastin — the proteins that keep your skin firm and elastic.

AGE’s are also known to play a role in the development of age spots, dull skin, and uneven skin tone.

  • Eat these instead: Certain foods and spices are known to prevent the production of AGE’s. Pick some of these foods up the next time you’re at the store: brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and garlic.

 

3. Alcohol

You might drink 8 glasses of water a day and moisturize religiously — but a few drinks can undo all that hard work.

You see, alcohol dehydrates your body, and your skin is no exception. So if you’re struggling with dry skin and a dull complexion — try cutting back on the number of drinks you have each week.

Alcohol also interferes with the quality of your sleep. And here’s the thing — there really is something to “beauty sleep”! Your skin actually does its deepest and most restorative work while you’re getting some zzzz’s.

  • Drink these instead: When it comes to alcohol, there is an exception. Red wine is stocked with antioxidants, (remember those?) so a glass of pinot now and then might actually help keep you looking young!

Other than that, try replacing any nightcaps with some calm-inducing chamomile tea. And as always, drink plenty of water!

 
John Wheeler