Now that I’m in my 30s, I realize that beauty cannot be achieved with Botox or going under the knife, at least for not for me. And it’s not about defying age either. What’s really important is to age gracefully. What you eat and drink will be directly reflected through your skin and hair health. Science says your cells will live longer and decrease the onset of wrinkles if you feed your cells with nutrients. Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging, but you can most certainly slow the process and focus on lifestyle and eating habits that bring about a lovely glow, regardless of your age.
Tips for staying young and aging gracefully
Eliminate or eat as little sugar as possible. You’ve likely heard that insulin is secreted at a higher rate when you eat sugar and refined carbohydrates rather than if you eat complex carbs, lean protein and “good” fat. This hormone allows glucose (sugar) to enter your cells to be used as fuel or stored as fat. It also tells your body not to release any stored fat, leading to excess body fat if you eat a diet high in sugar and carbs. Insulin has a double whammy-not only does it help fat stay on your body, it also accelerates the aging process and the formation of wrinkles. Chromium piconlinate is a mineral that aids in blood sugar balance, but the best thing to do is just cut out sugar and limit refined carbohydrates.
Avoid caffeiene. Simply stated, caffeine from any source acts as a diuretic and causes you to urinate more leading to dehydration. Chronic dehydration results in premature aging. Caffeine from tea, coffee, pop and energy drinks and bars are to blame and they cause a massive surge of stress hormones too – the same hormones responsible for the “fight or flight” response. Stress leads to premature aging. Choose herbal teas instead which provide antioxidants and keep you hydrated: peppermint, rooibos, chamomile, açai berry are all wonderful tasty options that will help keep cravings away too!
Be active every day. A recent study found that not only does exercise make you happier; it helps you stay young at a cellular level. In fact, scientists received a Nobel Prize for discovering this incredible way to prevent premature aging. Basically, when telomeres shorten (which are the bookends of your DNA), you age-this is essentially like reading the biological clock of your body. Bring in cardiovascular exercise and you slow the process of the telomere shortening because it ignites the enzyme telomerase which in turn, stabilizes the telomere. Science aside, exercise to stay young, active, happy and fit.
Get your greens! Skin loving foods including kale, spinach, arugula and swiss chard are jam-packed full of antioxidants which prevent your skin from free radical damage that can lead to wrinkles. As well, many people are surprised to learn that greens are an excellent source of protein. Protein is a building block of every cell in your entire body and this is essential for cells to regenerate, especially skin and muscle cells.
Image: The Memory Keeper