The question everybody wants to know. Well this blog is going to look at how your nutrition can help you potentially do just that. Focussing on how your nutrition can improve your skin and complexion and what foods can help you do just that.
Look back at pictures of you in your twenties and then look at yourself in the mirror. What you are about to read is going to explain the differences in those two images and how your diet may help you get closer to the younger version of yourself.
Collagen and elastin
Your skin has two key proteins, collagen and elastin. As you grow older the function and amount of both of these proteins begins to decrease. This causes them to function less than they did when you were in your twenties & thirties. Some refer to as these as the prime years of your life. Over time, your body’s natural antioxidant fighting ability can get dumbfounded by damaging oxygen-containing free radical molecules. These occur naturally in your cells as you age. These free radical molecules damage collagen and elastin, which causes structural and functional alternations in your skin cells. To make matters worse, being exposed to the sun’s UV rays, alcohol, smoking and eating an unhealthy diet create increased free radical molecules that further damage your skin.
The above factors & other things make your skin look more fatigued and dry. Intensifying fine lines and wrinkles on your face. This resulting in that ageing effect but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to carry on in this trajectory. In recent years nutricosmetics has become a popular topic in the dermatology sector. It is simply based around the use of nutrition and supplementation for the skin. There is research that suggests that a healthy diet with specific nutrients can help reduce the signs of aging.
No need for botox or fillers
In other words, you don’t need to go and see that plastic surgeon or get that top of filler and botox to truly achieve the youthful-looking skin that you desire. A real life example of this is Maye Musk, a registered dietician and nutritionist. At 70 years old, she is a supermodel in high demand on runways and magazine covers. Musk puts down her daily sensible plant-based eating plan, similar to that of the Mediterranean diet, for her youthful skin and energy level that’s similar to models half her age.
Here are four scientifically proven ways to change and amend your diet to bring back that youthful glow:
1. Pump up the vitamin C
Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant to fight free radicals. It is also needed to help enzymes make collagen. Vitamin C from your nutrition and specifically food can help regenerate skin cells, reduce wrinkles and fight against ultraviolet aging of your skin when exposed to sunlight. Research shows that diets rich in fruits and veggies, which are the major contributors of vitamin C in foods, are associated with healthier skin among women. What food contains this? Red and green peppers, broccoli, vegetable juice, strawberries, citrus fruit and kiwis are all vitamin C abundant.
2. Eat less sugary foods
Research confirms what you’ve probably noticed in yourself or others: A diet lower in added sugars and refined carbohydrates may help the skin look more youthful. By contrast, “a high-sugar diet can damage collagen and elastin fibres, causing them to lose their elasticity, leading to more wrinkles and sagging skin,” Farris says.
What food contains this: Replace sugary treats and drinks with natural desserts: Watermelon, berries, grapes and pineapples. These foods also serve up antioxidants, which can help diminish those free radicals within the cells.
3. Consider consuming more collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It can be found in animal foods such as poultry and meat. When you eat protein, it is broken & digested down to amino acids. Once absorbed, your body reconstructs these amino acids to meet all of your protein needs, such as by creating specific hormones, enzymes and the collagen in your bones, tendons and skin. So, having a diet full in protein is good for your overall health and most importantly your skin.
Supplements entering the market such as Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides, contain hydrolysed collagen, which is beginning to show vast anti-aging, benefits. Research has shown that this type of hydrolysed collagen is not broken down into amino acids, but rather absorbed intact. In this form, the hydrolysed collagen can trigger cells to specifically generate more collagen and elastin in your skin. This is still very much new research but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on heading into the near future.
What food contains this: While a dietary protein deficiency is less likely in the western diet, you do need adequate protein to maintain good health. Choose lean sources of poultry, meat, fish and if you’re plant based consider beans, buts and pulses to meet your daily needs.
Inflammation has been shown to play a vital role in many of the disadvantageous impacts on the body and skin we attribute to ageing.
My number one tip is to decrease alcohol consumption to reduce any further inflammation. This is largely down to alcohol dehydrating the body, including the skin, which some don’t know is the body’s largest organ. Like refined sugar foods, it promotes premature ageing by causing inflammation in our cells. To further back up the need to decrease alcohol consumption is that after a big weekend not only is your skin dehydrated but your choices around food are often very poor. How often are you lying on the sofa hungover and order a takeaway that is full of processed foods and additives. So your body and skin is presented with a double whammy. You’ll probably notice that in the following week after a big night out that you may experiences break outs in blemishes.
Unfortunately, it’s true that no single food will make your wrinkles disappear or make you feel like you’re 18 again. However, a healthy diet full of anti-aging foods can boost skin quality, improve immunity, and improve energy levels. Stock up with these vitamins and nutrient rich ingredients next time you’re heading out on your weekly food shop.
No matter which nut you choose peanut, cashew, almond they’re all anti-aging heroes thanks to their anti-inflammatory & high protein effects. Aim for 30 to 60 grams each day. Yet to mention they’re great sources of fibre (Great for digestion) and micronutrients.
Sorry, but you’re going to have to skip the milk chocolate, which I know tastes great and select the dark variety if you want to reap the health benefits. Why? Dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols, which are believed to benefit your appearance by increasing blood flow to the skin. Plus the dark variety contains far less sugar, which we know isn’t great for inflammation and your skin.
LEMON AND LIME JUICE
While nearly every mammal can make vitamin C naturally, humans over the years of evolution have lost that ability mainly due to our lifestyle changes. But that doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need it. In-fact it’s a crucial vitamin. Vitamin C plays a critical role in maintaining optimal genetic health; it’s a crucial way to keep your skin looking youthful as your age increases. A simple way to get this into your diet is through citrus fruits. Simply add lemon or juice to your water or put some into your morning smoothie.
These tiny berries pack a mighty punch, as they contain more antioxidants than almost any other fruit. They give you protection against skin-damaging free radicals from sun exposure, stress and pollution if you’re living in a large city.
Just like the omega-3s found in salmon, avocados are stacked with the inflammation-fighting fatty acids that keep the immune system functioning efficiently. They also help both your mind and body age well. So, add some into your salads, top your toast, or use it to make a healthy pudding. Just be careful not to go overboard as its high fat content means it higher on the calorie front.
Olives are an incredible source for anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which have shown to act in similar fashion to ibuprofen. The only thing to look out for is don’t go for pitted olives. The process of pitting actually takes out a large amount of the goodness of the olive.
Looking younger is often high on a lot of people’s agenda. Try and take some of these tips and advice and apply it to your lifestyle. If you’ve found this useful please let me know below and check out my Instagram @aimeevictorialong for more fitness, health & well-being tips.