There are super foods that help us slow down the aging process, turn back time and even reverse our sun damaging, champagne loving, late nights, wind swept and cold weather days – thank goodness. But did you know there are foods that actually age you – make your skin look older, dull, drawn, wrinkled and crepey – fast. Sneaky (because we thought they were healthy) and quick – these foods attack your whole system and everything crucial to support the building blocks for healthy, youthful and beautiful skin. There is no amount of $200.00 eye cream, facial mask or serums that can help you if these guys are running a muck in your diet. So before you reach for your daily diet staples – make sure you’re not accidently aging yourself with one of these offenders.
- Sweetened Teas and energy drinks. While teas contains many super food elements, pre-sweetened tea beverages, including green teas and energy drinks, can contain upwards of 10 teaspoons of added sugar per serving. Collagen is a substance that helps keep skin tight and radiant. Too many high-sugar = pro-inflammatory foods can damage collagen production, leaving your skin more dull, saggy and flat and causing wrinkles over time.
- Your morning coffee. If it gets you out of bed, don’t give it up. But you’d be wise to balance your coffee or organic cup of java with steamed almond milk by chugging a glass of water, too. “Coffee acts as a diuretic, and that won’t make skin pretty, that’s for sure,” says Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Eva Shambam. “Our skin cells are made of water, and anytime they shrivel up, you lose that glow and plumpness.” That means fine lines, like the ones we all have around our eyes, look much worse. Good News: as long as you add back hydration, there are plenty of benefits to drinking coffee, too: The polyphenols in coffee could mean younger-looking skin in the long run. Women who drank about three cups a day had the fewest age spots in a study in the International Journal of Dermatology.
- However…what coffee, tea, matcha powder and even some energy drinks do to your health have more to do with sleep than skin. All are high in caffeine, which if you drink frequently throughout the day to night, will affect your sleep.Poor sleep has been linked to increased signs of aging and more dark eye circles, wrinkles, and fine lines.If you’re concerned about the caffeine content, take a look at how much you’re drinking. Consider having golden milk instead of coffee. Turmeric, the main ingredient in golden milk, is rich in antioxidants and one of the most powerful anti-aging compounds around.
- Margarine Take it easy with that butter knife. A once healthy alternative to butter, older studies have shown that those who don’t consume margarine have less skin damage and wrinkles than those who do.And the science checks out: Margarine is worse than moderate amounts of real butter due to the fact that it’s high in partially hydrogenated oils. These trans fatty acids make skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, which can damage skin’s collagen and elasticity.Swap butter for olive oil or smear avocados, rich in anti-aging antioxidants, on toast instead.
A seemingly innocent bagel, gluten free scone or organic carrot muffin – it doesn’t matter, refined carbs have poor nutritional value. But they do feed one thing: the bad bacteria in your gut. Even “healthy” refined carbs turn to processed sugars, which age your skin -literally -, by creating molecules called “AGEs” (advanced glycation end products). This process is known as glycation, a major factor in premature aging.You see, when you digest refined carbohydrates, the sugar molecules become “co-dependent” and attach themselves to proteins such as collagen. When sugar molecules latch onto collagen molecules, together, they form brand new molecules: advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs. Unfortunately, your body can’t break this bond, and those collagen proteins that form smooth, youthful skin become lost forever.
I have always been a big believer in ‘you are what you eat’ – I watch my diet carefully, not in an uptight “I have to bring my own food to a party” way but I look at my diet and lifestyle as an investment in my overall well being, health and longevity – and that goes for my skin too. It’s not about looking young, it’s about looking my best. So when it comes to pre-mature aging from my favorite seemingly innocent vices – yes, I love a perfectly crusted organic, vegan scone to go with my morning coffee with almond milk – I want to make sure it’s not at the cost of my skin….but oh sometimes I thinks a little wrinkle or two might be worth it