Many factors impact aging of our skin, but let’s focus on the 3 major culprits and discuss how dietary changes can help support the health and vitality of our skin and slow down the aging process. Phytonutrients such as vitamins A and C in our diet can help limit photodamage.
An anti-inflammatory diet has far-reaching benefits throughout your entire body, not just your skin. But your skin will recognize the support of anti-inflammatory foods, demonstrating more strength, flexilibility, resilience, and firmness. Most fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids will all combat inflammation.
Exposure to sunlight/UV radiation generates free radicals which harm and damage proteins, fats, and DNA within our skin. This damage leads to further inflammation which breaks down collagen and elastic fibers. Antioxidants help neutralize the damage caused by UV radiation. Antioxidant-rich foods include fruits, veggies, spices, herbs, green tea, and whole grains. These foods also help fight inflammation, as noted above.
Glycation is the result of a high glycemic diet and weakens the collagen in our skin, leading to laxity and sagging of our skin. This is the result of the breakdown of the the collagen and elastic fibers that are essential in keeping our skin strong and firm. Additionally, a diet that is high in sugars and processed foods leaves our skin ill-equipped to fight against other threats such as UV damage, pollution, and inflammation.
I personally follow an 80% 20% rule when it comes to my diet. The photos above are typical of my lunches and snacks. I do love to treat myself with some pasta or a sweet treat once a day, but otherwise, my diet is filled with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. And my skin reflects this.