Do you want to slow down aging for as long as possible? Do you wish to keep your skin free of lines? Is there a way that diet could help you do that?
What you eat directly affects your health. What your skin and hair look, the strength in your bones, your metabolism, everything relates to your diet. If you eat healthy foods, there’s a higher chance you will live a healthy life. So, what’s the best way to have a balanced diet and slow down aging?
How Are Diet And Health Are Intertwined?
According to Timothy Harlan, MD, poor-quality foods can cause inflammation. And, as aging is a chronic inflammatory state, the link between diet and aging becomes clear. And they don’t affect the skin only. These foods can be harmful to your overall health. They can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
For example, overeating sugar and processed carbohydrates can damage the skin’s collagen, which will make your skin less springy. That’s why the skin starts to become more wrinkled. Or so says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a policy analyst for Beach Cities Health District.
The skin is the organ that reflects overall health levels the best. The skin goes through two processes of aging. The first one is intrinsic aging, which is chronological and affects the skin like other organs. The second one is extrinsic aging, which results from environmental and other external factors. These might be sun exposure, pollution, UV radiation, smoking, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition.
You can combat extrinsic factors, but mainly through prevention. You can maintain your skin’s youthful appearance by striving to live a balanced lifestyle, have a good diet, exercise, and limit stress factors. Food can help you achieve that because of the chemical composition they have. Vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, and plant extracts have been reported to possess potent antioxidant properties. They are used in the skincare industry to prolong youthful skin appearance.
1. Bell Peppers
Whether red, yellow, orange, or green, bell peppers are filled with antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments that color certain plants yellow, red, or orange, indicating possible anti-inflammatory properties that can protect your skin from sun damage and other environmental factors. The red bell pepper is the richest pigment, thus having the highest amounts of antioxidants.
Additionally, they contain vitamin C, suitable for collagen production because it keeps your skin flexible. It also fights cell damage, boosts the immune system, and is anti-inflammatory. Also, each half-cup accounts for 47% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A.
Blueberries are very popular because they are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. A cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of beneficial carbs.
They are rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from radicals (molecules that can damage cells and cause aging and diseases). They have the highest antioxidant levels of all popular fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries are flavonoids. A study showed that after a few weeks of drinking mixed apple and blueberry juice, oxidative DNA damage was reduced by 20%. Another study showed that obese people noticed a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure after eating two ounces of blueberries daily. This might help prevent heart disease in the long run.
Broccoli has many nutrients, like fiber, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. While it can be served raw or cooked, steaming appears to provide the most health benefits.
Broccoli is very low in calories (31 calories per cup) but high in fiber, promoting gut health. It is relatively high in protein, higher than most whole foods.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K1, Vitamin B9, potassium, manganese, and iron when it comes to vitamins minerals. Vitamin C is essential to promote skin health and boost the immune system. Thus, it can slow down aging. The other nutrients are good for lowering blood pressure, transporting oxygen to cells, bone health, and more. Broccoli contains other nutrients, such as carotenoids and other antioxidants.
The vegetable helps to prevent cancer and improve eyesight, amongst other health benefits.
Spinach is a leafy vegetable rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It is deficient in calories (23 calories per 100 grams) and high in insoluble fiber, which can protect your digestive health.
Similar to broccoli, it’s rich in vitamins and other nutrients. It has high levels of vitamin C, which boosts skin health and slows down aging. Other nutrients, like calcium, promote bone health.
It is filled with plant compounds, like lutein, which improves eye health, and nitrates, which promotes health. It has antioxidants like kaempferol and quercetin, decreasing the risk of chronic diseases and reducing inflammation. These antioxidants also fight oxidative stress and help reduce the damage it does.
Avocado is a unique fruit, as it is high in healthy fats. It is referred to as a superfood because of its many health properties. There are many types of avocadoes, but the most common is the Hass variety. It has 20 different vitamins and minerals.
The most abundant nutrients are vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. For every 100 grams, you get 160 calories, two grams of protein, and 15 grams of healthy fats. It is a low-carb and vegan-friendly food.
They are higher in potassium than bananas, and a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure. It lowers the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. It is high in oleic acid, which reduces inflammation and benefits genes linked to cancer. Eating avocado has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Avocado is associated with many health benefits in that it will reflect on your skin and help keep it youthful.
While the first five foods on the list were all whole, vegan foods, this won’t be the best choice for everyone. But, if you don’t have any restrictions or allergies, you should incorporate dairy items into your diet.
Dairy is a crucial ingredient for strong bones. It is high in calcium, higher than any other food. Dairy is the best to ensure your bones are in top shape and you can move around quickly. Try incorporating milk, yogurt, and cheese into your eating habits. The intake of calcium reduces the risk of bone fractures.
You shouldn’t swap dairy with non-dairy alternatives, like almond milk, as those items don’t have calcium. Instead, you should get dairy items that are low in fat to encourage healthy eating.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is less processed than other teas, but it has higher antioxidants. The antioxidants are polyphenols, which prevent chronic conditions. It also has flavonoids, a plant-based nutrient, that can be used as an anti-inflammatory.
The compounds in green tea can fight radicals, thus preventing cellular damage. It can significantly lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can help with weight loss and lower BMI.
Finally, green tea promotes hydration, which can make your skin glow. It can also guard against UV damage, which can slow down aging.
8. Dark Chocolate
Everyone loves sweets, so the fact that dark chocolate can help to slow down aging is just a bonus. It can be enjoyed alone or with nuts to boost the health benefits (nuts can also prevent aging and many other benefits). And, for the people who want vegan foods, there are dairy-free alternatives to dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate increases blood flow and circulation, which helps with moisture in the skin. Moisturized skin reduces the likelihood of wrinkles being formed. Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants, reducing inflammation and slowing aging.
It is nutritious and promotes healthy skin. Along with most fatty fish, it has omega-3 fats that create a strong skin barrier and have anti-inflammatory qualities.
Salmon contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. A study was conducted on people with sun-damaged skin. For 12 weeks, they consumed high amounts of astaxanthin and collagen. After those weeks, they experienced improvements in skin elasticity and hydration.
Salmon and other fatty fish are high in protein, essential for collagen and elastin production. These molecules encourage skin elasticity, strength, and plumpness. It is also high in selenium, which can help reduce and prevent UV damage.
Probably everyone’s favorite morning drink, coffee doesn’t just wake you up. It can help with skin aspects and other health conditions.
Coffee decreases vasodilatation and is an immunosuppressant. Because of these qualities, it can soothe rosacea, a skin inflammation. Interestingly enough, only caffeine intake from coffee decreases the risk of rosacea. Caffeine from other beverages, like tea, soda, and chocolate, doesn’t have the same effect.
Additionally, caffeine is associated with reducing the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. A coffee per day reduces the risk by about 10%. And, the more coffee people drank, the lower the risk became. Of course, decaf coffee won’t do the trick. This results in a better skin condition that makes you look younger.
Everyone wants to slow down the aging process. But that can be difficult. Sometimes, people even rely on medical interventions to make themselves look youthful. But there are better ways to maintain your looks without getting cosmetic surgeries.
Diet is a great way to care for your health, especially your skin health. The skin is the organ that shows signs of aging, so the more you take care of it, the younger you will look. Having a balanced diet can also boost your immunity and prevent diseases.
Whether you want vegan foods, whole foods, or you would eat whatever, some items will make you look younger in every category. Vegan people can get vitamins and antioxidants that lower inflammation and boost elasticity from bell peppers, spinach, avocado, and more. And, the people who don’t follow any restrictions can dabble in some dairy foods and maybe some fatty fish. No matter what items from this list you incorporate into your diet, you will slow down aging and enjoy a balanced life.