Many of us want to stay looking and feeling our best, and that includes appearing fresh and youthful for as long as possible. There are many things that play a role in the advancement of aging, particularly as we see it in our skin when we look in the mirror.
Just as there are activities and behaviors that make us age faster, there are steps we can take to naturally delay and prevent the visible signs of aging.
A lifestyle that includes nutrition from whole foods, regular exercise, good habits, and a collagen supplement can help stave off visible signs of aging.
Nutrition and Skin Health
Nutrition plays an important role in the health and appearance of the skin. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can enhance skin health and delay aging.
This should be your first priority when it comes to your skin.
Fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation. Avocados are high in healthy fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are both advantageous for skin health.
Walnuts and sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of fatty acids and vitamin E.
Beta-carotene and vitamin C are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also required to create collagen. Eat sweet potatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli to increase your intake of these amazing phytochemicals.
To keep your skin looking healthy, avoid highly processed foods with added sugar and saturated fat. Limit junk food and processed meats. Aim to fill your diet with fresh, whole foods to keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful.
Lastly, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
Lifestyle Habits and Skin Health
Your lifestyle choices can slow or accelerate the aging process. Avoiding things like smoking, excessive alcohol use, constant stress, and poor sleep habits can give you a more youthful look.
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about options for quitting.
Try to limit alcohol intake to 1-3 drinks per week. People who drink less alcohol not only appear younger, but also have a decreased risk for cancer and other health complications.
Keep the stress in your life to a minimum. If reducing the amount of stress in your life isn’t an option right now, find a way to manage it such as meditation, exercise, or therapy.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Most people need about 8 hours of sleep per night. If you have difficulty sleeping, try a nightly routine to prepare your body and mind for restful sleep.
Regular exercise has a myriad of health benefits, and it can also improve skin health. One study showed that people in their 40s who exercised regularly had similar skin quality to people in their early 30s. Increased sweating seems to regularly clear the skin of impurities, leaving it appearing healthy and glowing.
Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. As mentioned before, chronic stress can increase the signs of aging, so taking a break for a walk or a hike can lower those stress levels and keep you looking younger.
Collagen and Skin
Collagen is a structural protein that keeps the skin strong. It serves as one of the main building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
It’s what keeps your skin from sagging and gives you that plump, youthful look. Your body naturally makes collagen, but this production decreases with age.
Skin Aging and Collagen
There are factors inside the body that cause our skin to age, as well as things outside the body that can contribute to visible aging of the skin.
After the age of 20, the amount of collagen a person will produce decreases by about 1% each year. In addition to decreased collagen production, sweat and oil glands work less effectively and less elastin is produced.
Excessive levels of psychological stress have been shown to accelerate the formation of wrinkles due to increased levels of cortisol in the body. High levels of cortisol can break down elastin and collagen, as well as increase inflammation, both of which contribute to skin aging.
Outside of the body’s decreased ability to produce collagen and elastin, there are also environmental factors that accelerate aging such as UV rays from the sun, tobacco use, and exposure to pollution.
How to Increase Collagen Levels
Remember that collagen production decreases by 1% each year starting at age 20.
Eating a diet rich in foods that contain collagen can support healthy skin in light of this decreased production.
Foods that contain collagen include:
- Egg whites
- Citrus fruits
- Red and yellow vegetables
- White tea
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
A collagen supplement is another way to increase your intake of the youth boosting protein.
Collagen peptides powder from Naked Nutrition contains only one ingredient: bovine hide collagen peptides sourced from pasture-raised cows in Europe.
It is free from any additives or artificial sweeteners, so you won’t be adding any processed ingredients that may decrease the health of your skin.
If you’re wondering how much collagen you should take per day, most experts suggest between 10-20 grams of collagen protein to see skin health improvements.
Collagen Skin Smoothie Recipe
Try incorporating a daily smoothie that provides your skin and body with yummy nutritious goodness.
Give our favorite recipe a shot. It includes whole foods rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, plus collagen powder to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup soy milk
- ½ cup avocado
- 1 scoop Naked Collagen
- 1 tbsp honey
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Aging is a natural part of life, and while some things are out of our control – like decreased collagen production as we age – there are certain measures you can take to keep the skin looking young and healthy.
By adopting healthy lifestyle habits including a diet rich in whole foods, regular exercise, positive lifestyle choices, and help from collagen supplements, you may be able to reduce the signs of aging and improve the health of your skin.