Diet plays a major role when it comes to the prevention of premature aging. Your diet affects the appearance of your skin in numerous ways. Your entire body, including your skin, needs sufficient macronutrients (like protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in order to thrive. Therefore, it’s important that you consume enough macro and micronutrients through a healthy and diverse diet. In addition, your gut health should be in optimal condition in order to properly digest and absorb these nutrients to put them to good use.
The more inflamed you are, the faster you age. Diet plays a crucial role in either aggravating or reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. But how does inflammation age the skin? For example, when inflammation occurs, cell walls become more permeable, which makes cells more vulnerable to free radical damage. Also, when inflammation occurs, pro-inflammatory molecules like cytokines and prostaglandins are released, and these molecules can directly damage the skin. Therefore, by reducing the amount of inflammation in the body, you slow down premature aging.
The best diet for you to follow is one that is specific to your individual body’s needs. However, generally speaking, if you want to prevent premature aging, you should avoid foods/drinks with sugar, gluten, dairy, processed foods in general and alcoholic drinks. Focus on a balanced, diverse, whole-foods diet. Consume foods that are anti-inflammatory such as fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, ginger, turmeric, and generally foods high in omega-3s. Also, incorporate foods high in antioxidants into your diet. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals by neutralizing them. Foods high in antioxidants include pecans, elderberries, blueberries, kiwis, dark chocolate, cilantro, etc… In addition, remember to regularly drink sufficient amounts of water to aid the body’s detoxification system and keep cells hydrated (including skin cells of course!)
3. Reduce Stress
Stress plays a major role when it comes to premature aging. Short term stress can motivate us, however chronic stress can cause havoc in us in many ways. Stress can negatively affect our gut health, which as we have already explained, plays an important role in slowing down premature aging. It can decrease the amount of good bacteria in the gut and cause damage to the gut lining, therefore contributing to the development of leaky gut. Stress also affects our hormones. When cortisol, the primary stress hormone, levels are high, insulin is low so that you have sugar, a source of energy, in your bloodstream in case you need to run away or fight an attack. Sugar directly ages the skin via the production of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). For these reasons and more, if you want to prevent premature aging, you must find ways to naturally reduce stress!
Here are some quick tips for reducing stress;
- Manage stress emotionally: Practice gratitude and mindfulness. Don’t catastrophize a situation. Remember that even if you cannot control a situation, you can control your reaction to it.
- Nourish the body: Poor lifestyle choices stress your body by putting pressure on adrenal glands. Keep stimulants to a minimum.
- Supplements: You can try these supplements to help reduce stress.
- Fish Oil
Be sure to always speak with your doctor before trying any supplements.