Ageing is a natural process, though we do not want to age and stay youthful with the glowing skin. There are certain lifestyle changes that we overlook that can help slow down the process of ageing. The two major reasons of pre mature ageing are sun exposure and junk food or advanced glycation end (AGEs) products which basically means it’s combination of protein or fat with sugar. In this blog we will discuss how to control these and help heal our body and protect it from early ageing.
Managing our diet is easier if planned well. Taking simple steps can help us maintain a healthy body and glowing skin. Studies have shown that there are certain food items that increase collagen breakdown and damage skin. There are food items that can slow down the healing process as well. These can be replaced with other alternatives which will reduce collagen breakdown and fasten healing process thus slowing down the ageing process. Let’s have a look at these food items:
French fries to sweet potato fries
Food items fried in oil at high temperature release free radicals. Free radicals in cells can increase cellular damage leading to collagen breakdown and elastin breakdown. It weakens elastin and dehydrates skin by consuming more water from the skin. Dehydration can further make skin more prone to wrinkles. Swap french fries for baked sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are rich in anti ageing copper which helps in collagen production and slow down ageing process.
White bread to sprouted bread
White bread is integration of refined carbohydrates and proteins which have direct effect on ageing process. White bread and other food items that have high glycemic index can lead to inflammation and slow down healing process in body. Instead we can opt for grain bread that has no added sugar content and is proven to be beneficial to skin.
White sugar to honey or fruit
Sugar has always been a popular culprit for multiple skin concerns like acne, collagen damage, pigmentation and fine lines. Elevated refined sugar levels in blood can fasten the ageing process. Replacing refined sugar with fruit or dark chocolate will prevent the damage of refined sugar. Honey can also be added to food items for sweetness. Fruits like blueberries when added to diet can help prevent loss of collagen.
Butter to olive oil or avocados
Butter is rich in hydrogenated fat which does a lot of damage to skin causing wrinkles and fine lines. Trans fatty acids can make skin more vulnerable to UV rays and can lead to sun damage. Swapping butter with olive oil or smear of avocados can help prevent collagen breakdown as these are rich in anti ageing antioxidants.
Processed meat to poultry
Avoid processed meat options like pepperoni, sausage, bacon and hot dogs as they can be harmful to skin. Processed meats are rich in saturated fats; sodium and sulphite which are used to preserve them for longer which if consumed can dehydrate skin and can cause inflammation leading to collagen breakdown. Opt for eggs or beans instead of processed meat. Or you can relish leaner meat like chicken which are packed with protein and amino acids that helps in formation of collagen.
Chuck out dairy
Recently a lot of skin concerns like acne have been related to increase dairy consumption. Dairy products have shown increase in inflammation in body, thus elevating the oxidative stress which is one of the main causes of premature ageing. Diet with low dairy intake has shown reduced sun damage and signs of ageing. Ditch dairy and opt for almond milk and other calcium rich sources like figs, beans, green leafy vegetables and almonds.
Soda and caffeine
We are all aware about the harmful effects of soda and coffee on our skin but still we cannot control our taste buds. Coffee and soda are rich in caffeine and hamper the sleep patterns. And poor sleep patterns have been linked to dark circles, collagen breakdown and signs of ageing.
Alcohol is a known cause for skin concerns like elevated redness, loss of collagen, wrinkles, puffiness etc. Alcohol depletes the levels of vitamin A, hydration level and many major nutrients which are required for maintaining skin health. Vitamin A is important for new cell growth and collagen production, ensuring slowing down of ageing process.
Prevent cooking in high heat
Not only food items but cooking certain ingredients at high flame can destroy the essence of ingredients and can be harmful for skin. Many polyunsaturated oils rich in omega-6-fatty-acid like corn oil can produce free radicals and can elevate inflammation level. Frying these oils at high heat everyday can add up to the damage. This doesn’t mean all oil is harmful. Replace them with monosaturated fats that help keep skin hydrated like olive oil which is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin E.
Unhealthy snacks like chips or rice cakes can be very tasty but not beneficial for skin. These can spike up blood sugar level as they are high glycemic index foods. Increased blood sugar levels can increase collagen damage and hence fasten ageing process. Choose healthy snacks like bell peppers with humus or chick peas which are skin healthy food items rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
So, healthy food items can help build collagen and slow down ageing process. A dermatologist can help with the right skincare and diet that can be beneficial for maintaining healthy and glowing skin. Always seek advice from and expert to maintain the skin health.
Keep Healthy! Keep Glowing!