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The Anti-Wrinkle Diet

The skin is the largest organ in the body—about 20 square feet—and the most vulnerable organ in the body. It’s exposed to both the oxidizing effects of UV radiation from the sun and the oxidizing effects of oxygen in the air, and years of oxidant stress can take a toll. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, more easily damaged, loses volume and elasticity, and can sag and wrinkle. So what can we do about it?

Three things contribute to the aging of skin: 1) Oxidative stress induced by sun-damage, 2) inflammation, and 3) ischemia or lack of adequate blood flow. Oxidative stress means we need antioxidants so one might predict plant foods would help (see Antioxidant Power of Plant Foods Versus Animal Foods). Similarly saturated fat and cholesterol intake may contribute to inflammation and  ischemia (see The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation and Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease). Let’s see if our predictions hold up.

In my 3-min. video Beauty is More than Skin Deep I profile a study that concluded “In particular, a high intake of vegetables, legumes [beans, peas, lentils, and soy] and olive oil appeared to be protective against skin wrinkling, whereas a high intake of meat, dairy and butter appeared to have an adverse effect. Prunes, apples and tea appeared especially protective.”

For more on the power of prunes see Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol and To Snack or Not to Snack?.

Another recent study found that green tea phytonutrients were able to protect skin against harmful UV radiation and help improve women’s skin quality. After a few months on green tea there was a 16% reduction in skin roughness and a 25% reduction in scaling.

For an extraordinary report on green tea and skin health, check out: Treating Gorlin Syndrome With Green Tea.

Eating healthier can produce healthier skin, but who cares about microscopic changes? What about overt visible-to-the-naked eye changes? See my NutritionFacts.org video pick above to see what dietary intervention may significantly protect against wrinkles in the crow’s foot area around the eyes.

For other videos on appealing to vanity to get people to eat healthier, see:

Want to know what else green vegetables can do? I’ve got 45 videos on greens. Here are a few of my favorites:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Hamner_Fotos / Flickr

Related:
Burning Fat With Flavonoids
Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?
Many Supplements Worse than Useless

Read more: Eating for Health, Health, Skin Care, Videos, , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

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6:25AM PST on Dec 3, 2014

Thank you

2:27PM PST on Nov 27, 2014

thank you for sharing !!!…

9:29PM PST on Nov 24, 2014

The sun - too much of it can cause a lot of damage in later years.

I remember as a young women of 20 I decided that as much as possible I would keep my face out of the sun, when everyone around me was getting burnt suntans to look good.
Of course some inherited genetics can help play a part, one of my grandmothers hardly had any wrinkles.
With just a little extra weight it helps fills up the crevices, but what the heck - I eat and drink everything I want to, love chocolates, drink lots of tea, not nearly enough water, never follow any diets, don't use creams and lotions, love my make up and perfume.
I'm in my 60's now a granny and a great grandmother and feel very fortunate that when I scrub up - people think I'm still in my 40's. Sometimes it's just an attitude towards life.

2:24AM PST on Nov 24, 2014

Our lifestyle counts

3:51PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. . . I mean, look at a tortoise.

2:17PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

Thank you for sharing

1:05PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

9:26AM PST on Nov 21, 2014

thanks for good info

5:05AM PST on Nov 20, 2014

Thank you :)

3:21AM PST on Nov 20, 2014

Yes, I can eat a kilo of apples a day! That's why a cashier asked me this year at a supermarket for my ID card when I was going to buy beer. :-)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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