The foods you eat directly contribute to the aging process. Is your diet making you look older than your age? Are you frustrated by the older image that you see staring back in the mirror? Are you beginning to feel the effects of your years creeping up on you?
While getting older is a natural process, the reality is that what you eat directly affects this process. Some foods may actually speed the process up, and others slow it down and help you look and feel more youthful and vibrant for a longer period of time. A closer look will help you determine if a dietary adjustment would benefit you.
How Your Diet Affects Health and Aging
Your skin is a direct reflection of your inner health. This means that your diet contributes to your total body health and to your youthful appearance. Some foods nourish the whole body including the skin, and others should be avoided.
Specifically, your diet affects how hydrated and nourished your cells are. Some foods result in inflammation, blood vessel dilation and more. Below is a list of some of the leading foods to stay away from if you want to avoid looking older prematurely.
Whether you are addicted to your morning cup of coffee or you enjoy a soda in the afternoon as a pick-me-up, be aware that caffeine is a diuretic. It pulls moisture out of the cells, and the result is dull skin that has more visible crevices and wrinkles.
An excessive amount of caffeine can also impact your ability to sleep peacefully at night. This further creates cellular damage and results in puffy or baggy eyes. Now may be the right time to find a new way to energize your body when you are feeling sluggish.
Acidic Foods and Beverages
Foods that are highly acidic, such as lemonade and other citrus juices, are often combined with sugar to make them more palatable. You may also consume grapefruit and other whole citrus fruits with sugar. Even white wine is rather acidic and has substantial sugar content. The acid in these foods and beverages strips enamel from your teeth, and this can eventually lead to significant oral damage. In addition, the consumption of sugar in any form can have a negative effect on your skin.
If you have a sweet tooth, you are in good company. In addition to potentially causing cavities and tooth decay, sugar consumption leads to glycation. At the cellular level, this can lead to collagen damage. As a result, your skin may begin to sag and appear to be aged much sooner than it otherwise would. Sugar also plays a role in acne and other skin conditions. When you crave something sweet, reach for whole fruits, and sweeten foods with raw honey rather than sugar.
While it is not necessary to avoid red meat entirely, it may be best to avoid consuming it on a daily basis. Fattier red meat results in the creation of free radicals, which are responsible for damaging healthy cells. One of the many effects is a reduced ability for your skin to make essential collagen.
Likewise, stay away from chargrilled and processed meats. Both of these can lead to inflammation, which can deteriorate existing collagen. Choose poultry or fish as alternatives.
Alcohol is processed through your liver, and heavy or prolonged alcohol consumption ultimately can impair liver function. Your liver is tasked with the important job of removing toxins that the skin releases. When your liver is not functioning well, wrinkles, skin discoloration, acne and more can develop. In addition, alcohol can result in poor sleep quality and dehydration, which also impacts total body health and skin health.
Things to Keep in Mind
While it may seem as though you need to make substantial and challenging dietary adjustments to promote total body health and to retain a healthy, young look, you may actually only need to make a few adjustments. For example, you can limit alcohol consumption, and you can avoid drinking it in combination with sugary or caffeinated mixers. You can bake your meats rather than grill them, and you can plan your meals so that you limit sugar intake. A few minor adjustments like these can have a major impact on your health and appearance.