Foods that Speed Up the Ageing Process

here comes a time in most people’s life when they wished they looked younger than what they are.  Wrinkles start to appear, the skin begins to sag and your eyes don’t seem to sparkle as brightly.  But what if there was a way to look younger, simply by avoiding particular foods?  It seems too good to be true but studies have shown that certain foods speed up the ageing process by wreaking havoc on your body by increasing inflammation, cell damage and dehydration.

Sugar 

The reputation of sugar is rapidly declining, and for good reason.  Sugar ages the skin faster than the sun and smoking!  It’s a toxic substance that produces an acidic inflammatory response and increases cell oxidation, which is like rust formation.  It also reduces skin elasticity, messes up your hormones and affects your mood.

Make sure you read food labels and look for hidden sugars – there are over 40 different names for sugar and include sucrose, fructose, cane sugar, corn syrup and dextrose and maltodextrose.  Artificial sweeteners aren’t any better.  They put extra strain on the liver and have been associated with headaches, memory loss and high blood pressure.

Salt 

Salt is an important chemical compound that is required by the body to perform essential functions like maintaining fluid balance, assisting with the absorption of nutrients and transmission of information in the nervous system.  Unfortunately, it is very easy to consume too much salt because it is used as a flavour enhancer!

Excess consumption of this food additive can lead to health issues like heart disease, strokes, kidney problems and bone thinning.  It also causes dehydration, which leaves the skin dry and wrinkled, so look out for the salt content on food labels at the supermarket.

Cured Meats

Sausages, deli meats, and bacon have all undergone a curing process to increase their flavour and shelf life.  Curing meats and fish often involve lots of salt as a way to remove excess moisture and slow down oxidation which prevents the meat from going off.  This can cause dehydration and puts extra strain on your liver.

The most controversial ingredients when curing meat is nitrates and nitrites.  These chemical compounds are used to kill bacteria, reduce oxidation and give the cured meats a nice colour.  Unfortunately, when applied to high temperatures, these compounds form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

Soft Drinks 

These sugary, artificially coloured fizzy drinks contain heaps of toxic substances and preservatives have been found to accelerate ageing and decrease bone density, but the real problem is the sugar content and its link to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Alcohol  

It has the potential to be a great social lubricant but if you drink more than one or two standard drinks a day, you can damage your liver and decrease the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.   Alcohol also inhibits vasopressin which is a hormone that helps conserve body water.  The excess urination caused by alcohol consumption leads to dehydration and unsightly wrinkles.