It’s no coincidence that more and more upscale clinics around the world are offering healthy, varied and balanced diet for their rejuvenation treatments. We know today that food plays a key role in skin quality, suppleness, firmness and resistance to the signs of aging. The fountain of youth is on the plate.
Action at two levels
What in our diet can cause skin aging? The answer lies in two chemical processes that respond to the names oxidative stress and glycation.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals produced by certain foods attack healthy cells in the body. This results in a reduction of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid produced in the dermis which causes formation of wrinkles. Skin cells degrade and die faster without being renewed as quickly as they should. The result: age spots soon appear.
As for glycation, it is a rather complex chemical reaction promoted by a diet rich in sugars and proteins, with the key loss of flexibility, sagging of the skin and formation of wrinkles.
Food to avoid
To keep your body in shape and your skin healthy, keep away from foods that cause oxidative stress and glycation. This is case with red meats and cold cuts, which you can replace with white meats and eggs for a “good” protein intake. Also avoid white flour products (bread, cookies, pasta), and prefer whole grain foods, which will satisfy you even longer. Avoid added sugars: they hide mainly in ready-made drinks and foods (juices, desserts, pastries). Other taboo foods: deli meats and tripe products that can promote the development of pimples.
Finally, remember: industrial dishes are full of sugars, salt, additives and preservatives that mean nothing to your skin! If you feel a little lost when shopping, it’s simple: choose the least processed foods. Know, for example, that a plain yogurt with honey will be much better than an industrial yogurt with more sugars than fruits!
Set a course for antioxidants!
The body generally does not produce enough antioxidants to fight free radicals, molecules that attack the DNA of cells and especially those of the skin which then ages prematurely. It must therefore be provided through certain foods.
With fruits and vegetables, you are sure not to make any mistakes: they are full of them. Those that contain vitamin C and carotenoids are both the best friends of your complexion and the best enemies of free radicals. To recognize them, it’s not complicated, choose the most colorful! Fresh blackcurrant, fresh parsley, red and green pepper, broccoli, black radish, carrot, kiwi, orange, lemon, cauliflower, mango, clementine, redcurrant, raspberry… Let us smoothies and salads!
Another tip: vary your salads by adding legumes that are rich in zinc (lentils, chickpeas, red beans…) and season them with vinaigrettes made from vegetable oils (sunflower, grape seed, rapeseed, olive, groundnut) for their vitamin E content: you will feast on real anti-radical “bombs”.
A little snack at 4:00? A hot chocolate and a handful of nuts, hazelnuts and almonds will relieve your stomach until dinner, while giving you the benefit of flavonoids and magnesium, antioxidant virtues.
Vary the contents of your plate
Antioxidants are not the only foods you need to keep your skin firm and supple. The famous polyunsaturated fatty acids must not be left aside because they enter into the constitution of cell membranes, strengthen the lipid layer of the epidermis and promote good hydration. It is found in large quantities in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel…) as well as in crustaceans, algae, nuts, and in various oils (rapeseed, soya, flax seeds, nuts, sunflower, corn and grape seeds).
Fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, eggs, fatty fish, white meat… Eat everything in small quantities to ensure a balanced and sufficient intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To your plates!