Slowing Down the Aging Process With Food

Hello Dear Ones,

In April, I shared my go-tos for natural topical skin enhancers.  This is the easiest way to help nourish and repair your cells and brighten your skin tone.  However, despite how huge the skin care and product industry has become, the ingredients you use for your skin are only ONE of the THREE factors that contribute to how your complexion looks and feels.  

As a reminder, here are the top three factors: 

  • Your Nutrient Intake (Food) 
  • Emotional Stress
  • Quality Skin Care

This month, I’ll continue the discussion and narrow in on the most important factor: Your Nutrient Intake (Food).

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying,

“You are what you eat.”

Sometimes this statement isn’t exactly what people want to think about because they may not be interested in examining and altering their eating habits.

Let’s just think about this statement: “You are what you eat.”  Well, we consume nutrients, our digestive system breaks them down into amino acids and carbohydrates, these nutrients circulate to repair damaged cells, are stored in the liver, or are released for energy.  In short, the food really does BECOME us.

By defusing any emotional ties with this statement, we can create an awareness of our eating lifestyle and choices. Awareness is to observe in a state of neutrality, and in this case, it can release us from any judgments about eating habits ingrained throughout our family trees and inner circles. We can gain more information in this state of awareness.

Let’s take it a step further.  Like a brightly lit mirror, the skin can show us the cause and effect of nutrient consumption via its relationship with the lymphatic and digestive systems. 

How many times have you eaten something and your stomach expanded like a 5-7 month pregnant woman?  Or maybe every time you eat dairy, you develop a rash on your inner elbow and your stomach gets itchy?  This is your digestive and lymphatic systems communicating with you and providing the best assistance to offset any imbalances.

The same goes for your complexion.  

Next time you find yourself gazing in a mirror, ask yourself:

  • Is the texture of my skin bumpy or uneven?
  • Has my skin lost its elasticity and more wrinkles have appeared within a short period of time?
  • Do I have puffiness around my eyes, face, or under my chin and neck?
  • Do I have skin growths or moles?  Rashes or eczema?
  • Do I have hyper-pigmentation?  (AKA Liver Spots)

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, perhaps it’s time to consider an upgrade in your eating lifestyle.  

Even though aging is a natural process, the “yes” answers to these questions can indicate that something is out of balance.  Many of these skin problems we experience can develop from consuming too many simple carbohydrates or added sugar.  Dietary sugar that is added into foods and beverages is accountable for more than 30% of all carbohydrates consumed.  In fact, Americans are consuming on average 17 teaspoons (71.14 grams) of added sugar per day.  Convert this amount into a daily serving and we’re consuming 1/3 of a cup of sugar.  At this rate, we’ll consume almost 128 cups of sugar in one year.

Sugar consumption is a topic that’s been overlooked for too long in the skin care industry, especially since it’s a natural inflammatory ingredient.  In addition to that, when we consume high levels of sugar with fats or protein, sugar/protein bonds develop in the skin.  This covalent bonding process is called glycation and their union is known as Advanced Glycation End-product, or AGEs.  Glycation creates abnormal cross-linking with collagen fibers, diminishing the youthful elasticity of the skin.  This accumulation in the dermis will continue at a rate of 3.7% per year beginning in your 30’s, and the rate will increase or decrease based on your food choices.  

Kind of ironic that the acronym is AGE, because that’s exactly what it does; it adds years to your skin.  With time, it restricts optimal function in other organs like your eyes, heart, liver, and kidneys.  Diabetes is an example that accelerates this process

AGEs may modify the extracellular matrix (ECM); modify the action of hormones, cytokines, and free radicals via engagement of cell surface receptors; and impact the function of intracellular proteins.

What we know for certain is, to acquire a bright and youthful complexion, and slow down the signs of aging, it requires an upgrade in your menu.  Here are a few new habits you can introduce into your eating lifestyle:

  • Learn ways to reduce and minimize your sugar intake.
  • Eat the rainbow of whole foods and create a variety of combinations.  Oftentimes we can settle for the same foods over and over again, when it’s better for our digestion to change it up a bit.  
  • Cook and eat more meals at home and explore your pantry and your recipe books.  You’ll save money, inspire creativity, and put LOVE into your food. Love always makes food taste better.
  • Eat seasonal foods during their peak season.  This will assist your digestive system and other organs.  I learned a few years ago from an Ayurvedic Doctor that cruciferous vegetables were actually detrimental to those with thyroid problems, unless they’re consumed during their peak season.  

Most importantly, be gentle with yourself.  Food means different things for everyone.  For most of us, our connection with food is deeply ingrained from our family rituals and all throughout our ancestral lines. Long story short, it’s in our DNA. It can take time to change and believe me, judgment does nothing but repeat old patterns.  

Condemn nothing; eat mindfully.  

With each food you digest, listen to your body.  Your body speaks in many ways, and the skin is always there to help interpret the information.

Happy Tummy, Happy Skin,



Your Skin, Younger by Alan C. Logan, ND, Mark G. Rubin, MD, and Phillip M. Levy, MD

Renegade Beauty: Reveal And Revive Your Natural Radiance by Nadine Artemis

What Are Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s)?  video by Dr. Berg