We all try really hard to take good care of our bodies, and what we put into them shows up right on our skin.
However, there are a few items that you should try to eliminate completely as they do tremendous damage over the long haul.
Some foods accelerate this process by adding fuel to the inflammation fire. In the body, chronic inflammation translates to aches and pains as well as an increased risk for age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes. In the skin, inflammation induces oxidative stress, reducing cells’ ability to defend themselves from free radical damage and promoting collagen breakdown. Wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and skin sagging result.
While you can’t stop the ageing process, you can increase the longevity of your skin and body by eliminating these foods from your diet:
Although insulin is natural and very necessary, high levels—which we experience after eating a sugary food or carbohydrate-rich meal—are extremely inflammatory. Elevated blood sugar levels also accelerate a natural process called glycation, in which glucose attaches to proteins in the body and makes them rigid. This includes collagen and elastin, proteins that keep the skin smooth, elastic, and tight. These rigid proteins are called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs for short. This acronym couldn’t be more appropriate: Not only do AGEs trigger an inflammatory reaction, but they also cause collagen and elastin to become brittle and break, promoting skin ageing. Even more concerning: AGEs are behind a number of age-related degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s.
The blood sugar highs and lows we experience from a sugary treat or carb-heavy meal also zap us of our energy. And certainly, nothing makes us feel a decade older than lacking the energy to get through the day.
2. Vegetable oils (including canola, soy, corn, and sunflower seed)
Not only are these oils some of the most unnatural, processed foods on the market, but they’re also loaded with polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids, which kick-start the inflammatory process. While omega-3 essential fatty acids signal the chemical messengers that turn off the inflammatory process, the average person consumes 10 to 15 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. Since we ought to be consuming the two in about equal quantities, our bodies are perfectly able to inflame without being able to properly anti-inflame. It’s the perfect recipe for chronic inflammation of both the skin and body.
The solution lies in increasing our omega-3 essential fatty acid intake and reducing omega-6 essential fatty acids in the diet. Keep a close eye on ingredient labels—vegetable oils are the main feature in processed foods, from mayonnaise to crackers.
3. Wheat and the gluten-containing grains barley, rye, and triticale
Gluten is a composite of the proteins glutenin and gliadin, the latter of which has been shown to cause ‘leaky gut. By allowing toxins and undigested food particles to pass through the intestinal lining, leaky gut prompts an immune response and is a significant cause of chronic inflammation. Amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) found in wheat have also been shown to provoke an inflammatory immune response in the GI tract.
4. Refined grains
These high-glycemic, simple carbohydrates might as well be table sugar to your body since they’re so quickly converted to glucose once digested. In fact, a single serving of “healthy whole grain” breakfast cereal can have a glycemic index higher than pure table sugar! As a result, these refined grains similarly cause a dramatic, pro-inflammatory insulin spike.
5. Burned and Charred foods
AGEs aren’t just a result of elevated blood sugar levels—they’re also found in burned and charred foods. These dietary AGEs are likewise pro-inflammatory. On the day-to-day, the best cooking options to minimize dietary AGEs are boiling, steaming, slow-cooking, low- to medium-heat baking, and medium-heat pan-frying.
6. Conventional dairy
It is believed that 75% of the adult population can NOT properly digest dairy. Since improper digestion and food intolerances are a major source of chronic inflammation, for a large majority of the population, dairy wreaks havoc on the body from the digestive system to the skin and is best removed. If you’re going to consume dairy, make sure it’s hormone-free, or opt for one of the many plant-based kinds of milk that are currently on the market.