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15 Foods that Make Your Skin Age Fast (And How to Replace Them)
There are several factors that affect how quickly we age, including genetics, smoking, and sun exposure. What you probably didn’t know is that our diets also play a huge role in developing wrinkles and how we feel as the years go by. It’s impossible to stop aging, but we can delay the inevitable. We can take charge of how we appear in the mirror by monitoring what we eat. Some foods can cause the premature of wrinkles or dry skin. To look as young as you feel, avoid eating these 15 foods by replacing them with healthy alternatives.
Eating excessive amounts of sugar will trigger a process which affects skin collagen (the protein which keeps skin tight and young) production. Sugar is hard to eliminate from your diet, so try the 80/20 method (80% of your diet consists of healthy foods and a maximum of 20% for sweets).
Alcohol limits your liver’s functionality that could lead to a buildup of toxic substances. If the liver cannot expel them appropriately, your skin will develop more acne and wrinkles. You can either avoid consuming alcohol altogether or drink infrequently and in moderation.
Black char marks on barbecued meats are filled with inflammatory-inducing hydrocarbons which can damage skin collagen. It’s not completely necessary to avoid backyard barbecues, but be sure to scrape off any residual charring and wipe the grill grates clean when you’re done.
Although you might not cook with salt, this doesn’t mean you have a low sodium intake. Salt is used to prevent canned food from spoiling. Excessive sodium intake causes your body to retain water, giving your skin a puffy look. Replace salt with aromatic herbs for a delightful savory taste.
All processed meats – including deli meats and bacon (NO!) – are filled with sulfites, salt, and other preservatives which inflame the skin. The resulting inflammation accelerates your skin’s aging speed. Substitute processed protein with self-prepared meats using natural ingredients. Intermittent abstaining from meats can also lead to healthier-looking skin.
Trans fats should be avoided because they can accelerate the appearance of aging and damage your heart valves. This fat causes your skin to become more easily damaged by UV rays. Avoid consuming products with hydrogenated oils and margarine, and instead, cook using low trans fat-ingredients like olive oil.
Fat-filled red meats produce free radicals, unstable molecules which decrease natural collagen production in your skin. As we grow older, we should avoid excessive red meat intake while we increase fruit and vegetable intake. Lean meats like skinless chicken and turkey are also excellent substitutes.
Spicy foods can trigger rosacea which is a skin condition that causes red, pus-filled bumps on the face. The condition can be further exacerbated for women during menopause. Abstaining from spicy foods and condiments can also prevent spider veins. Consume chilies in moderation or avoid it altogether.
Not only can these drinkable shots of temporary energy be filled with sugar, but the caffeine content can be bad for you. Caffeine, a diuretic, causes your body to excrete more fluid, giving your skin a drier appearance if not balanced with an increased intake of fluids.
We take supplements to compensate for the lack of nutrients in our diets. However, cheap supplements are packed with non-whole food sources. In addition, too much vitamin A and zinc can dehydrate your skin. Either spend more money on high-quality supplements or include more nutrient-rich foods into your diet.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat and grains, is a staple of the American diet, but many people suffer from some level of gluten intolerance. Sensitivity to gluten shows up as red blotches on the skin which can cause permanent damage. Replace gluten-producing ingredients with xanthan gum for gluten-free dishes.
High Glycemic Index Carbohydrates
The pasta lovers out there may need to consider switching to vegetable-rich pasta alternatives. Foods like bagels, pretzels, and pasta can cause acne breakouts and rosacea. Even “healthy” whole-grain cereals can be packed with wrinkle-causing glucose. Eliminate your intake of these high GI carbs, and instead consume more leafy greens.
Shellfish like lobsters, shrimps, and crabs contain high levels of iodine which can potentially lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. A healthy alternative to shellfish is fish rich in omega fatty acids which serve to keep the skin moist and looking young.
Farmers often inject lactation-inducing hormones into dairy cows to for year-long milking. Unfortunately, consuming dairy products from these cows brings those hormones right back to us, and they are a leading cause of acne and increased estrogen production. You should decrease dairy consumption or purchase hormone-free dairy products.
Agave may sound like a healthier sweetening agent for baking and smoothies, but it is packed with fructose syrup. Once agave is processed in the liver, it is turned into fat and disrupts natural collagen production. Substitute agave with raw honey or puréed banana for a natural sweetness.