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Three foods aging you fast

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Getting older is a natural process, however, it seems a lot of us want to turn back the clock because we feel we are looking older than we really are. While it is common to reach for supplements, lotions and wrinkle creams in an attempt to regain our youthful skin, many dermatologists agree that the speed at which one ages can be managed through the foods we eat. Ever heard any of these sayings, “you are what you eat” or “beauty is skin deep?”

Well, while its common knowledge that environmental stressors such as sunlight, smoking and pollution causes the skin to wrinkle and look dull, a lot of us need to know that many of the foods we eat accelerate the aging process, making us look older. So, if excess weight-gain, diabetes and heart disease don’t stop you from eating these foods, maybe the lure of younger looking, smooth, radiant and clear skin would. Below are the four foods proven to make us age faster from the inside out.

• Refined Carbohydrates: Eating foods like pasta, noodles, bread, chips, cookies, doughnuts, cakes, fufu, garri and wheat flour causes our blood sugar levels to spike, which wreaks havoc on our bodies by causing inflammation (inflammation in the body is what causes us to feel run down, tired and ill). Constant inflammation causes serious illnesses like cancers, tumours, diabetes, flu, Alzheimers etc. What’s more is because refined carbohydrates break down into sugars in your body, the sugars attach to cells forming what’s known glycation. It is the end product of glycation -AGE- that “makes you look older faster, and makes the skin look just plain awful …it accounts for accelerated aging, yellowing and stiffness of the skin, and decreased circulation.” says Peter T. Pugliese MD, skin expert and biomedical consultant.

• Sugars, Sweet drinks & Desserts: When people say they don’t eat sugar, I ask do you eat red velvet cake? How about cocktails, mocktails, juice, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, sodas, flavoured yogurt, sweets or chocolate? These days you don’t have to add sugar to say you eat sugar, simply inspect what you eat and you will see sugar is hidden in many of the packaged foods and treats you buy. Humans are naturally drawn towards sugars because it provides quick energy. However, these days many of us hardly move around much, we drive everywhere, sit in offices, and don’t burn as much energy as our forefathers did. So, majority of us tend to have excess sugar in our bloodstream, which attaches itself to collagen and elastin fibers responsible for smooth supple skin. Sugars break and damage collagen and elastin resulting in sagging and wrinkling of skin. Furthermore excess sugar can lead to or encourage diseases like Alzheimers, Type II diabetes, and heart disease. On average an adult male should consume a maximum of 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is equivalent to a can of coke or a 75cl packet of juice. Anything more is in excess, so think twice about the biscuit, cake, ice cream or chocolate.

• Iodized Salt/Sodium: Many are familiar with the fact that high blood pressure is linked to salt consumption. However, researchers have found that sodium speeds up the aging process in children and adults alike. The recommended daily salt intake for children is 3-5grams a day and for adults its 6 grams. Today’s Americans are eating excess salt most of which comes from bread & pastries, boxed breakfast cereals and seasonings/sauces. West African’s are also not far behind, the high reports of HPB and strokes, plus the increasing bread and processed food (pizza, chips, baked goods, fried chicken, burgers etc) consumption suggests that we too are eating excess salt.

While excess salt wreacks havoc on your heart and kidneys, consuming too much salt shows up on your face. Sodium dehydrates the skin causing the complexion to look dull and making fine line and wrinkles more prominent. And another shocker is that salt contributes largely to acne. If you are over 25 years old and still battle acne try cutting out bread, pastries and packaged foods from your diet as they are all high in sodium, which is linked to acne.

If after reading this you are worried about what to eat, try sticking to a whole-food diet which includes fresh foods like grains, vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish and poultry. Eating whole-foods simply means that you avoid processed packaged foods. For example, instead of giving your kids sugary colourful boxed cereals and bread for breakfast, you can give them Quaker oats and eggs for breakfast.

You can also get a menu plan that’s right for you from a certified Health Coach.


In this article:
Leslie Okoye

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