Go look at yourself in the mirror right now. Do you see any signs of aging on your skin? Wrinkles? Eye bags? Dark circles around your eyes? If you do not see any of these, congratulations, you are probably still at the prime of your youth. If you do see them, don’t feel too bad, because everyone ages. Yes, even those of you at the prime of your youth. Aging is inevitable. What matters is how quickly one ages. After all, no one wants to look 60 when they’re 30, right?
Aging is caused by many things, and in the case of skin aging, the causes range from the sun to facial expressions, and even gravity. But did you know that the food you eat can also determine how your skin ages?
The sun’s Ultra Violet Radiation causes our bodies to produce free radicals that slowly destroys our skin. But even without the sun’s help, our bodies are continually producing these free radicals. Antioxidants keep our skin firm by protecting collagen and elastin from being worn down by free radicals, and in fact our bodies’ greatest defense against free radicals is when we are between the ages of 0 to 27. But as we grow older, the natural production of antioxidants in our body begins to decline, and the damage done by free radicals increase over time because of it. Sure, our bodies are still capable of repairing the damage done, but the eventual wear and tear would eventually show through, and thus aging happens.
So what can you do to slow down the wear and tear of the damaging free radicals? Well for one, it has been shown that people who maintain a diet of foods rich in antioxidants age slower than people who don’t. People who adhere to an antioxidant rich diet also live healthier and more active lives than those who do not. Typically, fruits and vegetables that are colorful are rich in antioxidants and make excellent selection as healthier alternatives food-wise. Being rich in antioxidants, they help our body neutralize free radicals and impede the aging process. Blueberries, cranberries, pinto beans, and artichokes are just some of the fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants.
Another thing to take note is the fact that as we age, our bodies’ ability to digest and absorb food begins to decline because of the declining volume of digestive enzymes. As such, in addition to the antioxidant-rich foods you might already be consuming, supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, hydrocotyl, alpha-lipoic acid, and even green tea can boost the body’s intake of antioxidants.
Stay away from foods with refined sugar and wheat, because they can cause hyperglycemia that leads to inflammation and encourages skin aging. Upon conversion to sugar, both sugar and carbohydrates have a negative effect on collagen, and causes a loss of elasticity in skin. The end result is deep wrinkles and sagging skin. In fact almost 50% of all aging skin damage was brought about by sugar-induced hyperglycemia.