The Fountain of Youth may be as close as your kitchen. Healthy foods, along with collagen supplements and vitamins, are the key to winning the battle against aging.
Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet keeps your body healthy and youthful, but the benefits do not stop there. Eating the right foods can also keep you beautiful on the outside, nourishing your skin, hair and nails with vitamins and nutrients that keep them smooth, strong and healthy.
Antioxidants, Vitamins and Proteins, Oh My!
Your skin is subjected to a daily assault by UV rays, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, and other free radicals. These free radicals affect the texture of the skin, making it drier and rougher, while also increasing wrinkles and age spots. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A, as well as other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, combat these free radicals while providing nutrients for skin that protect it and fight the signs of aging. Blueberries, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach and citrus fruits all provide these valuable vitamins. Other great sources of antioxidants include green tea, red wine, and chocolate.
Your body is 50%- 75% water, so it goes without saying that hydration is very important for the entire body, including the skin. Skin that is dehydrated can lose its plump texture and become dangerously dry. Drinking plenty of plain water every day will keep your skin hydrated.
Healthy Oils for a Healthy Body
No-fat diets may seem ideal, but the truth is, some fats are necessary for the body to stay healthy and functioning well. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and nuts such as almonds, are healthy oils that nourish the skin and hair, as well as being very good for the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids must be eaten, or taken as supplements, so adding fish to your weekly diet, or trading those sugary or salty snacks for some healthy nuts are a delicious way to nourish your entire body.
Quality, Not Quantity
Even the best foods can be harmful if you eat too much of them. The key to feeding your body well is to focus on the quality of the foods you are eating rather than eating for volume. Organic and unprocessed foods are always the best choice, and if you can eat the fruits and vegetables raw, all the better. Wash them well so you can enjoy the skins if edible, since the skin is where a great deal of the vitamins and nutrients reside. Add in whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy products and low-fat meats. Use the Mediterranean diet as a guide, eating the meats in smaller quantities or as a side dish.
Even the most balanced diet has holes in it. Sometimes this is because a particular vitamin or nutrient is not available in large enough quantities to satisfy the body's needs, or perhaps because the body does not produce the substances anymore. Collagen is a good example of the latter.
Collagen is a protein that helps provide strength, structure and protection for the body. As we age collagen production slows down. This results in sagging skin, wrinkles and weakened cartilage in joints. Various methods are used to increase collagen levels. Collagen can be applied topically in creams or even injected into the skin, but ingestible collagen supplements are one of the best ways to boost collagen levels. LAC Taut collagen drink is a great example of a hydrolyzed ingestible collagen drink that replenishes the skin's collagen levels.
Feed Your Body ... and Good Health Will Follow
Being healthy inside and out begins with what you eat. Arguably, your diet has a greater effect on how you look and feel than anything else. Eating the right foods, and adding supplements as needed, will keep your body healthy and functioning smoothly, something that will show through on the outside in the form of smooth, glowing skin; healthy, shiny hair; and an energetic demeanor. Simply put, eating right makes you beautiful!
We all live for the summer months! Nothing is
better than going to the lake, beach, or hanging out at the pool with your
family and friends on a long, hot summer day. While this is therapeutic to the
mind and spirit, it may not always be so great for your skin. And we all know
that we’re supposed to wear sunscreen on the regular to help protect our skin
from the sun’s damaging rays, but maintaining coverage and reapplying sunscreen
is sometimes a task that escapes us while we are having fun. Unconsciously, we
may end up with a sunburn, which is a clear indicator of immediate skin damage.
This damage accumulates over time, and accelerates the skin aging in all of us,
resulting in dark/sun spots (hyperpigmentation), and contributes to other
subcutaneous skin structure breakdown that leads to lines, wrinkles, and
sagging skin. Which is a major bummer for our beauty goals.
Even though our mothers gave us the heads-up that
things are going to change, we then wake up one morning (approx. age 35 for me)
and realize that 1) Things HAVE changed,
along with 2) Mom was right…AGAIN
unfortunately, our skin is usually where we see the effects of aging in our
bodies first. From dryness, to volume loss and fine lines, to perhaps even the
oh-so-unfair adult onset acne, time has a way of wreaking havoc on our once
But the great news is, we can reduce these effects by nourishing
our skin from the inside, out. And as a registered dietitian, I’m here to
provide a few proven nutrition tips and real-life tricks, to nourish your skin
to help keep it glowing and healthy for years to come.
Protecting your skin from the sun is important, no matter what
time of year it is, but it’s especially vital in the summertime. While you
might want to bare your skin in the summer to achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed
complexion, UVA and UVB radiation
from the sun can wreak
havoc on your skin and cause premature aging if you aren’t careful.
UVA rays, which account for 90 to 95 percent of the UV radiation
that reaches the earth, penetrate deep layers of the skin and cause tanning.
UVB radiation accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of solar radiation, but it
damages the epidermis, or surface layer of the skin, causing sunburn.
UVA rays cause the collagen in your skin to break down at a higher
rate than normal aging
. They do this by penetrating the dermis, or middle layer
of the skin, and lead to the abnormal buildup of elastin. This elastin
accumulates and results in the production of enzymes that break down collagen.
The more sun exposure you get,
the worse the damage becomes. UV radiation also creates free radicals, which
are unstable oxygen molecules that increase the number of enzymes that break
down collagen. An excessive amount of free radicals in your body can also weaken
your vascular system, cause poor circulation, and lead to deteriorated eye