5 Foods That Age You and Other Tips on Looking and Feeling Younger

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I don’t think any of us want to look our age. That’s why so many of us do what we can to try to look younger. It’s no wonder the anti-aging skincare market has ballooned to a more than $30 billion industry, and it’s expected to continue to grow, according to a recent article in Forbes Magazine.

Our skin, teeth, hair and nails all contribute to how old we look. Plus, our energy levels, heart function and digestion all contribute to how old we feel. So, it’s not what we put on our faces that’s going to make us look younger. It’s all about what we put in our mouths and how much we move our bodies.

Here are five foods (or drinks) that can make us age more quickly.

  1. Sugar. Yes, sugar not only makes us gain weight, but diets high in sugar increases risk of cavities and chronic conditions. Having a damaged smile can impact your overall health and contribute to an older physical appearance. If you have a sugar craving, try reaching for a healthy and natural sugar like fruit instead of cookies and candy.  Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber for healthy skin and good digestion.
  2. Trans fats.  People with diets high in trans fats (cakes, cookies, donuts, fried foods and some crackers) increase your risk for heart disease and other chronic diseases. An unhealthy heart can lead you to feeling sluggish and worn down at the very least.
  3. Processed foods. Eating processed meats, such as hot dogs, salami and bacon also have high levels of trans fats, sodium and cancer causing agents. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, so let’s choose lean beef, pork, fish, poultry, nuts and beans to fuel our bodies and our taste buds.
  4. Caffeine. Whether in coffee or soda, caffeine is a diuretic and drinking a lot of it can leave the skin looking dehydrated and aged beyond its years. Drinking lots of water (at least eight glasses a day) will help keep your skin hydrated and allow you to benefit from free radical-fighting antioxidants. Need more taste? Non-caffeinated herbal tea and sparkling water with a slice of fruit, cucumber or mint are good options.
  5. Low-fiber foods. Refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta and sweetened cereals don’t give you enough fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly. When your digestive system isn’t healthy, you may feel uncomfortable, tired and grouchy. Try to make at least half the grains you eat whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, fruits and vegetables. This will add to your daily fiber intake.

It’s not only what you eat that matters, but how you eat also plays a role in our health. Eating small meals throughout the day is better than a big, heavy meal. When you eat too much at one sitting, you’re giving your body more calories than it can process at one time, which leads to that uncomfortable, tired feeling. It’s like the feeling you get after a Thanksgiving feast. Smaller meals help maintain consistent blood sugar levels and give us energy to complete our tasks for the day. The more energy you have, the younger you’ll look and feel.

Inactivity is a sure way to look and feel older. Everyone needs daily physical activity. Leading a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for chronic diseases. You’ve heard the term, “use it or lose it,” that pertains to your body. Consider taking a walk each morning and again after dinner, or sign up for a water-aerobics class, which is great exercise and is easier on the joints. Even gardening is a great way to get moving. Don’t forget to stretch.  Tight muscles can lead to pain and tiredness.  Follow these simple tips to look and feel younger.  Start with the one that looks good to you and work through the list slowly.  This is the best way to make a change into a real habit for life.

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