Foods to Help Stay Young

download-5If only Peter Pan were real, the human race would have flocked to him and begged and begged for his secret to ‘never growing old’. What wouldn’t somebody do to take more than a couple of years off their age and looks? And who knew that you could almost get there, by just curbing the intake of some foods?

The amount of collagen present in your body decides how taut, young, supple, and soft your skin feels. Dietary habits that fail to maintain the required percentage of collagen in the body, give rise to problems which include pale skin, dark circles, limp, dull, and lifeless hair, joint aches―signs that are normally associated with aging. Wrinkles, swelling, puffing up, breakouts, and redness of the skin tend to take away its youthfulness, in turn, making you look old. These physical changes are majorly a result of excessive consumption of salt, sugar, alcohol, fried food, etc., that can lead to early aging. Learn about more such foods that can make you look older.

Foods You Should Avoid That Make You Look Older

Note: It is only on excessive consumption of the following foods and beverages that your body displays signs of aging. Moderate consumption of these foods in some cases is actually proven beneficial and is recommended.

Fried Food
Fried food causes the collagen present in the body to break down. The breaking down of collagen has an adverse effect on the skin making it feel dry, brittle, blotchy, and pale. The loss of moisture causes breakouts and wrinkles on the skin which leave behind marks on the face, making a person look old than what he/she actually is. Also, the growth of the hair is stunted, and it loses its shine and luster.

Sugar-loaded Food
According to Sophie Chan, an endocrinologist from Sydney, consumption of excess sugar and sugar-laden foods leads to glycation―a process in which the sugar molecules bind with the proteins present in the bloodstream. A part of this process is the production of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products), which are toxic in nature and cause dark circles, wrinkles on the face, saggy eye bags, and diabetes. Another ill-effect of consuming sugar-based foods in excess quantities is that it leads to inflammation, which gives rise to cell breakdown, broken blood capillaries, blotchy skin, and loose skin, all of which are spot-on signs of aging.

Food with Excess Salt
The most immediate effect that salt has on your body is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the moisture content in the body drops considerably. Salt and foods that contain extreme amounts of salt deprive the body of its moisture and fluids. This depletion of bodily fluids results in tiredness and fatigue. Fatigue has serious effects on the skin, and makes it appear dry and pale, thus, adding years to your appearance.

Top Tips to Look and Feel Young

  • Stay hydrated
  • Remember to smile
  • Ensure proper sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat in moderation
  • Make fruits and veggies your best friends
  • Carbohydrate-laden Food

The consumption of carbs tricks the body into thinking that it needs more carbs. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, only if you burn them after consumption. The body converts carbohydrates into sugars which, if not burnt or processed, will be converted to fat and calories, showing off around your waist and hips. A diet laden with carbohydrates accompanied by lack of exercise is a lethal combination, and can fast-track your way to extreme weight gain, fatigue, tiredness, saggy skin, and ultimately aging. So, unless you decide to burn down the carbs in your diet by exercising regularly, a limited intake is advised, to avoid looking twelve years older than what you really are.

Trans Fats
There are two kinds of fats―saturated (found in processed foods, animal, and dairy products) and unsaturated (found in foods like nuts and olives). Trans fats is just another name for unsaturated fats. Trans fats cannot be easily digested by the human body, and are harmful since they clog the arteries and blood vessels. This limits the flow of oxygen and blood throughout the body, and affects the skin by causing discoloration, dryness, and sagging. These physical changes take away the youth from the skin and hair very soon, making you look old, weak, and pale.

Alcoholic Beverages
Not only does alcohol not contain any nutrients, but also destroys the amount of nutrients already present in your body, thus, depleting the potential oxygen carriers in the bloodstream. Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol lowers Vitamin A levels. Vitamin A is extremely essential for the production of collagen that maintains the elasticity of the skin and strength of the hair. Alcohol acts like a diuretic and dehydrates the skin, making it look dry and brittle. It also widens the blood vessels present in the face causing redness, puffiness, wrinkles, and swelling in that area, making you look older than you actually are.

Energy Drinks
With these, your pearly whites are at risk. Your teeth are layered with an outer covering of a white substance called enamel. A layer of a substance, dentin, which is yellow in color, is formed beneath the enamel. Dentin and enamel are major constituents that ensure the whiteness and strength of your teeth. Sodas and energy drinks act directly and harshly on the enamel and dentin causing these two layers to erode. Erosion of these two layers could lead to falling off or discoloring of the teeth, making you one amongst the oldies who smile away to glory by showing off their pearly whites, except that there are no pearly whites!

Caffeine/Coffee
Just like alcohol, caffeine acts like a diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that increases the flow of urine. Excessive and frequent urination causes dehydration in the body which lowers the level of necessary fluids and moisture content. This is bad for the skin as the deprivation of moisture and fluids makes it dry and wrinkled, making it look old and wry. Excessive consumption of caffeine also causes insomnia which leads to formation of dark circles, redness of eyes, puffy skin―signs that hint you are aging too soon.

Remember that you are only as old as your heart feels. That said, keep these tips in mind to stay young, feel young, and look young!