Anti-ageing. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as immortality. We may not want to live for ever, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could preserve our 20 – something baby faces and age gracefully, without the development of fine lines, wrinkles and (dare we say it), sagging skin?
The term anti-ageing has become a buzz word of the 21st century, as anti-ageing products begin to play a huge part in influencing the future of the beauty industry. Yet while technology and scientific skincare is on the rise, it seems another phenomenon has emerged, proving to help prevent ageing before it’s even begun – a healthy diet.
Though we may not reach immortality in this era, experts suggest there are simple ways we can slow down the ageing process, and consuming the right foods will hugely impact the way in which our bodies respond to the inevitable.
So, as the beauty industry equips us with the tools we need to combat the appearance of ageing, here are a few foods to avoid that can help put a pause on the future
We know it’s almost impossible to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely. But here’s something that may have you retracting next time you find yourself reaching for that donut. Sugar clings to the protein in the body and creates harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products – their appropriate acronym; AGEs. Simply put, the more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop.
The production of AGEs damage the proteins in the skin such as collagen and elastin that would otherwise bring about a youthful, radiant-looking complexion. When AGEs take charge, these fibres become weak and less supple causing the skin to furrow and droop.
Although we’d like to believe that drinking a glass of wine every day will keep the doctor away, sadly the same cannot be said for skincare. Notoriously dehydrating, alcohol not only dries out the skin by limiting water absorption, it also inhibits the skin’s ability to retain vitamins and minerals that are essential for resisting inflammation caused by free radical damage. The result? Weakened skin with uneven tone, broken capillaries and, you guessed it – wrinkles.
Similarly to alcohol, excessive consumption of salt dehydrates the body and so it reacts by retaining water, to ensure continued functionality. This can lead to the appearance of bags under the eyes and over time, the skin becomes dry and flaky which can be mistaken for fatigue, or worse – miscalculated age beyond your years.
Processed foods that contain saturated fats such as vegetable oil, cause chronic inflammation and free radical damage in the body which promotes ageing by damaging the cell membranes. Good fats on the other hand, such as omega-3 fatty acids help to keep the cells strong. Making sure your diet consists of fresh produce with an abundance of vitamins and minerals will help the body in its production of collagen while also protecting it against free radicals. Think foods high in antioxidants (berries, herbs, kidney beans), green vegetables, turmeric, garlic and salmon.
While we’re on the topic of healthy…
OK, so it’s not a food, but stress plays a huge factor on our visual aesthetic. As more and more studies suggest there’s an intrinsic connection between mind and gut, it pays to keep calm in order to avoid getting old, quick.
When we’re stressed, the hormones that are produced make it harder for the body to sufficiently digest foods, meaning we cannot fully absorb the nutrients we would otherwise be able to, if we were in a relaxed state. Things such as regular exercise and sleep can literally help to turn back the clock by allowing the body to adequately rest, repair and regenerate – all of which are imperative to reduce inflammation in the body, lower blood pressure, improve brain and organ functionality and ultimately subdue stress levels.
When we’re stressed, the body is the first one to know and unfortunately for us, the rest of the world comes immediate second when they see the visual signs on our face. Dark circles, flushed skin, deep lines – remember, in order to appear healthy on the outside, feeling healthy on the inside is just as important.
…Perhaps a holiday is calling?