23 Foods To Make You Look Younger
People spend hundreds of dollars in an effort to keep their skin youthful and wrinkle-free. Do anti-aging creams work? Maybe. Is botox the answer? I’m not sure. Are there some affordable lifestyle changes you can make that could work even better than these things? ABSOLUTELY!
TURNS OUT YOU DO HAVE SOME CONTROL OVER HOW YOU AGE!
We’re talking about COLLAGEN, my friend.
But first, let’s quickly dive into WHY skin ages in the first place. People spend a lot of time on skincare without really knowing HOW skin works and what keeps it looking smooth and wrinkle-free in the first place!
What’s REALLY going on?
Although skin has many layers, it can generally be divided into three main parts:
- The outer part (epidermis) contains skin cells, pigment and proteins.
- The middle part (dermis) contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles and oil glands. The dermis provides nutrients to the epidermis.
- The inner layer under the dermis (the subcutaneous layer) contains sweat glands, some hair follicles, blood vessels and fat.
Each layer also contains connective tissue with collagen fibers to give support and elastin fibers to provide flexibility and strength.
With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged.
The number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases. The remaining melanocytes increase in size. Aging skin looks thinner, paler and becomes clearer (translucent).
Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity. This is known as elastosis. It is more noticeable in sun-exposed areas (solar elastosis).
Elastosis produces the leathery, weather-beaten appearance common to farmers, sailors and others who spend a large amount of time outdoors. (If you’ve seen the movie, There’s Something About Mary, you know what I’m talking about here… Magda is a perfect example of too much sun!)
As you age, you are at increased risk for skin injury. Your skin is thinner, more fragile and you lose the protective fat layer. You also may be less able to sense touch, pressure, vibration, heat and cold.
Aging skin repairs itself more slowly than younger skin. Wound healing may be up to 4 times slower. This contributes to pressure ulcers and infections. Diabetes, blood vessel changes, lowered immunity and other factors also affect healing.
You might be thinking, ‘That’s a lot of physiological lingo… so tell me again what is collagen and why does it matter?’
Collagen is a protein produced by our cells that helps to “hold” the skin together as well as make it firm and flexible.
It is one of the most abundant proteins in your body!
There are 25 different kinds of collagen all around your body including your tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and skin. 12 of these different kinds make up your skin!
When we are young, our skin regenerates constantly, keeping our skin youthful and “plump.”
As we age, collagen can be broken down more easily due to sun damage, stress or other factors resulting in wrinkles and sagging.
My point is this: There are a lot of natural, non-invasive ways to preserve your collagen and keep your skin looking youthful…
And I want to show you HOW to do just that using REAL food… 23 foods to be exact!
Really, it’s all about lifestyle changes. Adding better foods to your diet. Protecting yourself from the sun. Staying hydrated and really paying attention to what you put into your body. After all, what you EAT is what your body has to BUILD new cells and new skin with! Feed it crap and, well, eventually it’s going to show!
On the other hand… fill your body with nutrient-rich, whole, natural and vibrant foods, and your body is going to reflect that! I’ve seen people walking around in their 70’s who could pass for 40 or even younger! Your actual age doesn’t have to determine as much as we give it credit for…
The following foods contain the essential amino acid, Threonine that is extremely important for collagen production.
Essential amino acids are the ones that are NOT produced naturally by the body and must be obtained through diet. Amino acids are building blocks for protein (remember, collagen is a protein!).
#1 Grass Fed Beef and Chicken
Have you ever noticed that your pee smells after you eat asparagus?
The effect of asparagus on urine odor has been observed for centuries. French novelist Marcel Proust famously wrote in 1913 that asparagus “transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.”
And one British men’s club is said to have put up a sign reading, “During the asparagus season, members are requested not to relieve themselves in the hat stand.”
Depending on which study you read, between 22% and 50% of the population report having pungent pee after eating asparagus.
But that doesn’t mean only some people’s bodies generate that smell.
Researchers believe that, during digestion, the vegetable’s sulfurous amino acids break down into smelly chemical components in all people. And because those components are “volatile,” meaning airborne, the odor wafts upward as the urine leaves the body and can be detected as soon as 15 minutes after you eat this spring delicacy.
But only about one-quarter of the population appears to have the special gene that allows them to smell those compounds. So the issue isn’t whether or not your pee is smelly; it’s whether you’re able to smell it. If you smell a funny fragrance in your urine after you eat asparagus, you’re not only normal, you have a good nose.
50% of the amino acids that make collagen are glycine, lysine and proline.
Nonessential amino acids (glycine, proline) ARE produced by the body but can also be eaten in food, like:
Next let’s talk about ANTIOXIDANTS… a very important element to consider when thinking about your skin!
Antioxidants protect against free radicals that can wreck havoc on the skin and break down collagen.
Free radicals are damaged cells that steal electrons from other cells and leave them damaged as well. This causes a chain reaction in the body. This reaction is a natural one, I might add. Not all free radicals are bad. They actually provide some important services to the body like helping the heart beat faster in stressful situations.
However, if there are other factors causing these free radicals to lose control, they can be very dangerous and are at the center of disease. Luckily the body also has ENZYMES, which are capable of neutralizing excess free radicals.
These particular enzymes, also known as antioxidants, have extra electrons and can donate them to free radicals without becoming imbalanced themselves.
You can EAT foods full of antioxidants to give your body the boost it needs to protect against free radical damage!
Antioxidants specific to protecting skin cells can be found in the following:
#7 Green Tea
Next on the list of importance are phytoestrogens. These are plant compounds similar to hormones in people that can help replace the loss of oestrogen, a hormone that decreases in production as we age that is vital in helping our skin make collagen.
To get some good phytoestrogens naturally (especially for those hitting the beloved 40’s), try adding more of these foods to your diet:
#12 Flax Seeds
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