Did you know that how you age can be dependent upon the foods you consume? Your diet can directly factor into how slowly or quickly your body begins to age and look and feel older, so it's a good idea to examine the contents of what you're eating in order to determine what to cut so you can prevent early signs of aging. Conversely, there are also foods that can contribute anti-aging effects and help extend your youthfulness.
Here are several foods that can cause you to exhibit premature signs of age.
1. Sweet, Sugary Foods
Foods that are laced with sugar are always delicious, yet they often contribute to many undesirable consequences, like tooth decay—possibly leading to tooth loss, a telltale sign that you're getting old or are simply neglecting the health of your smile. In addition, too much sugar in your diet can mix with proteins and produce advanced glycation end products (called AGEs), which may harm your skin's collagen and cause you to look older than you are, according to Dr. Ariel Olstad of the American Academy of Dermatology
2. Charbroiled Meat
Meats that have been grilled or cooked to the point where they become charred or blackened have typically undergone glycation, which may create pro-inflammatory heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbones (PAHs), which have been shown to cause cancer in lab rats, according to the National Cancer Institute
. Marinating your meat or cooking at lower temperatures may help reduce the amount of HCA and PAH that are produced, therefore lowering your risk of acquiring cancer and seeing early signs of aging.
3. Processed Foods
Foods that have been processed and are packaged often contain excess salt and nitrates, which can contribute to bloating, inflammation
and drying out your skin. This primes your skin for acne
, rosacea, age spots and other skin blemishes that can be avoided by substituting fresh foods for unhealthy, processed foods.
Drinking too much alcohol has a direct impact on your liver, an organ that helps remove toxins from your body. Alcohol can also cause bloating, weight gain, and disturbances in your sleep patterns—something that can prevent you from receiving sufficient rest and looking refreshed and vibrant.
On the other hand, there are several foods that can encourage anti-aging effects and help you to look and feel youthful and healthy.
With an abundance of antioxidants
and vitamin C
, blueberries can aid with fighting free radical damage, preventing oxidative stress and even improving the appearance of your skin for youthful radiance.
Cheese is loaded with calcium
, a powerful bone-supporting vitamin that can keep your joints and bones in tip-top shape. Diets lacking in calcium can contribute to osteoporosis, a disease that breaks down bones, making them thin and weak. Stronger bones help to fortify your body's overall foundation, encouraging optimal health in all other facets, so maintaining them is important in the fight against aging.
With a hefty dose of lycopene
, tomatoes can help you by providing antioxidant support and defense against free radicals, cell damage and even some forms of cancer. In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center states
that lycopene may help protect against age-related eye diseases, like macular degeneration and cataracts, and it may also supply powerful preventative protection from heart attacks.
A diet rich in oats can help lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol, therefore contributing to the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Oats also contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium
and folate. Omega-3s can help lower blood fats that can cause heart disease, reduce joint pain and many even protect against dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Potassium is necessary for regulating electrolytes, healthy nerve function and muscle control. B vitamins, including folate, are great at supporting the health of your liver
, hair, skin and eyes—all of which can be affected by the aging process.
While you may feel like getting older is out of your hands, there are things you can do to slow the aging process and extend your youth. Food is just one contributor to the way and rate at which your body ages, along with daily habits, environment and other factors. Therefore, it's essential to take care of each of the factors that could impact your health and keep you feeling and looking your best for as long as possible.
Check back tomorrow at eVitamins for more healthy living tips, and have a great day!