If you look back on your highschool yearbook picture, you most likely don’t look exactly the same now as you did then. Your diet could be the key to unlocking a more younger-looking you. A lot of this is because of how your skin appears as it ages. Your skin contains two main proteins known as collagen and elastin. These proteins age over time, which causes your skin to start showing its age.
As time goes by, your body starts to get overwhelmed by damaging free radical molecules which are generated naturally as you age. These free radicals damage both collagen and elastin in the skin, which causes your skin cells to appear different. Plus, being exposed to the sun’s UV rays, having a smoking habit and eating unhealthy foods can also generate more free radical molecules that will cause your skin to look older.
This is where the field of nutricosmetics comes in. Nutricosmetics is an emerging field of dermatology that refers to using nutrition and nutritional supplements for the goal of achieving healthier skin and healthy aging. Research shows that a healthy diet focusing on consuming specific nutrients can help to reduce signs of aging.
This means you don’t have to go under the knife to achieve that youthful glow. Here are a few small changes you can make to your diet to help you maintain that youthful glow
Consume More Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to fight free radicals because of its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, but not only that it helps enzymes in your body make more collagen. Research shows that vitamin C found in foods can help regenerate skin cells, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and help your body fight against damage from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Studies show that eating a diet that is rich in fruits and veggies can help with healthier skin.
In a study conducted on 4000 women, those who consumed a higher linoleic acid content were less likely to experience skin thinning, which causes the wrinkles on the face to become more visible. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid found in the skin. Older women who participated in the study who had lower levels of linoleic acid and vitamin C also had dryer skin.
And since your body can’t naturally produce linoleic acid, you will need to get it from other sources. For example, walnuts, almonds and edamame are good sources of linoleic acid. Eat these along with vitamin C to help maximize the look and feel of your skin.
Eat Less Added Sugar
Many studies confirm what you probably noticed in others and in yourself: that eating a diet that is lower in added sugars and refined carbs can help your skin look more youthful. On the other hand, a diet that is high in sugar can contribute to the damage of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. This causes them to lose their elasticity which can lead to more wrinkles and sagging skin.
Try replacing any sugary snacks and beverages with some more natural desserts like fruits. Watermelon, grapes and cantaloupes are considered mother nature’s candy for a reason. These foods also give you a healthy dose of antioxidants which can help lower levels of aging free radicals in the body.
Eat More Collagen
Collagen is one of the most abundant types of protein found in the body, and it can also be found in animal food products like poultry and meat. When you eat protein your body breaks it down into amino acids. Once it gets absorbed, your body reassembles these amino acids to meet your protein needs. It does this by turning it into specific hormones, enzymes and collagen found in your bones, tendons and skin. Eating a diet that is rich in protein is good for your overall health, including the appearance and health of your skin.
While you might no longer pass as a teenager, you can still use nutricosmetics to your advantage to help you slow down the aging process.