Best Diet for Ageless Skin!

Written by
August 2, 2013

“You are what you eat”, so can you eat your way to a beautiful, youthful skin?
Diet supplements claiming to nurture the skin health abound. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to validate their value. There is however one concept with increasing scientific validation as it relates to the health of your skin and its aging. It is glycation.

What is glycation?
Glycation occurs when a sugar molecule, such as glucose or fructose, binds with a protein or lipid creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which contribute to premature aging. High temperatures such as used in grilling and frying can cause external glycation (look for grill marks on meat or browning of toasted bread). Foods with high levels of AGEs include doughnuts, barbecued, fried, or heavily grilled meats, and dark-colored soft drinks. Consumed glycated proteins contribute to the inflammation in our bodies and bind to our genes, proteins, and lipids, promoting the aging process and tissue degeneration.

Internal glycation which occurs inside our bodies is even more harmful since it occurs directly in the bloodstream, when sugars such as glucose and fructose, bind to structures such as red blood cells. The cells in our nerves, brain tissue, retina, or pancreas can also be glycated. High glucose level in the bloodstream promoting glycation is at the core of tissue complications seen in diabetes. Glycation also stiffens the collagen in our blood vessel walls contributing to high blood pressure.

How is our skin affected by glycation?
End products of glycation (AGEs) are very stable and difficult for the body to clear. Collagen and elastin affected by glycation cannot be repaired in the same manner as normal collagen and elastin. The rate of glycation is accelerated with sun exposure, another reason to use good sun- protective measures.

So what constitutes an optimal anti-aging diet?
The answer is simple. Avoid the foods that are fried, heavily barbecued, charred on the grill, or have high sugar content. You may also consider including in your diet cinnamon, cloves, oregano, and allspice which are thought to inhibit the production of harmful AGEs. Another compound, resveratrol, derived from fermented red grape skins abundant in red wine may also prevent the negative effect of these compounds.

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