A fountain of youth may be as close as your kitchen, new study findings suggest. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats may ward off wrinkles by boosting the skin's natural defenses against sun damage.
In an international study of eating patterns and skin aging, investigators found that dark and fair-skinned people who ate plenty of wholesome foods but passed on butter, red meat and sugary confections were less prone to wrinkling.
Some of the skin-smoothing foods included green leafy vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts and multigrain breads, researchers reported in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Many of the skin-protecting foods the study turned up are rich in antioxidant vitamins, which may fend off environmental damage. More than 400 adults, aged 70 and older, who ate more of the foods that are universally recommended for good health had smoother skin.
The study authors speculate that certain foods offered skin protection due to their high levels of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. Monosaturated fats such as olive oil may offer beneficial protection through the same mechanism. Fatty acids are present in the skin, and monosaturated fats resist oxidative damage.
How do you know what fruits and vegetables have high levels of antioxidants? Ask your doctor of chiropractic, or ask that your local grocer post nutritional information about the products that you choose, if they don't already. For additional information on senior health issues, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/senior.html.
Purba M, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N, et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2001:20(1), pp. 71-80.