One day you’re looking in the mirror and notice a line where you hadn’t seen one before and you may just realise that you have wrinkles!
A lot of the time, they tend to pop up around the eyes, forehead, and mouth simply because normal facial expressions tend to weaken the skin.
There is also a chance that you may see some appear in skin areas that are exposed to the sun, because the sun causes skin damage that leads to wrinkles.
You may want to take a look at your diet before thinking at other methods of eradicating your wrinkles. While wrinkles may just be a normal part of aging, your diet can definitely speed up the process.
Skin is made up of two proteins: collagen and elastin. These proteins work to keep the skin smooth and wrinkle free. Keeping these proteins healthy is what will also keep your skin looking great.
Asides the sun, another culprit of wrinkles are advanced glycation end products, or AGEs.
These molecules are left over debris, formed as part of the normal process of digesting sugar which build up overtime and damage the structure of elastin and collagen leading to wrinkled, sagging skin.
So which foods lead to AGEs, and what should you avoid if you want your skin to look great?
Although dairy products provide calcium which is important for bone health and muscle function, they also tend to increase inflammation, leading to a rise in oxidative stress.
Dairy is also high in milk sugar, called lactose, which can increase the formation of AGEs, leading to collagen damage. You can try to get your calcium from other sources such as green leafy vegetables, or milk alternatives.
After digestion, carbohydrates get broken down into pure sugar that causes AGEs. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal.
Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates and many of them have high nutritional properties that can actually prevent wrinkles. As such, totally avoiding carbs will be detrimental to your skin.
Instead, avoid carbs that are highly refined and processed, and those with little nutritional benefit that can be damaging to the skin. Focus on eating healthy, less-processed carbs which provide nutrients that improve the appearance of skin.
Ensure your diet is based around whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which asides the carbs they contain, also have antioxidants and wrinkle-reducing vitamins.
Sugar increases the formation of AGEs, which damage collagen. It is essential for collagen fibers to remain linked together to help maintain the structure of the skin.
Sugar damages the link between the collagen fibers, which is further exacerbated by exposure to UV light from the sun.
In order to prevent wrinkles, reduce your sugar intake. Foods rich in sugar such as cake, sweets or ice cream, should be eaten only occasionally and not as part of your daily diet.
Avoid taking sugary beverages, such as soda or blended coffee drinks, which can provide high amounts of sugar. Instead, base your diet on whole foods that don’t contain any additional sugar: vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats.
Red meat may lead to the formation of wrinkles, but only if it’s charred. Lean red meat is actually a healthy source of protein and nutrients in the diet and should not necessarily be avoided.
However. when meat is burnt, it forms inflammatory hydrocarbons, which increase inflammation, damaging many of the body’s organs including the skin.
More so, processed meats, such as sausage and bacon, are high in sodium and other preservatives, which can increase skin-damaging inflammation.
If you love meat, ensure you reduce your consumption of processed meats, and go for fresh cuts instead. If you choose to grill your meat, just cut off the burnt pieces to limit the consumption of those inflammatory compounds.
Margarine has been touted as a better choice than butter because of its lower saturated fat content but that may not be the case. Margarine contain polyunsaturated fats that have damaging effects.
A study published in an issue of 2001’s Journal of The American College of Nutrition found that people who regularly consumed margarine had more wrinkles than those who ate less margarine.
Some type of fat found in margarine, which tends to increase inflammation can lead to an increase in oxidative stress. Uncontrolled oxidative stress can damage all the body’s organs, including the skin.
Therefore, inflammation not only increases your risk of disease, it also causes damage to skin, leading to a dry, dull appearance and the formation of wrinkles. As such, it is best to avoid margarine and opt for small amounts of real butter instead.