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Is Your Food Aging You?

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Did you know that your body can show signs of aging that are not in line with your actual age? Such a condition is known as premature aging. To prevent it, an important tip is to avoid habits that can speed up this process. It's essential to examine our habits because what we put into our stomachs can be reflected in our appearance.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the foods that can potentially accelerate the aging process. Animal-people meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and ham, contain a high amount of sodium, saturated fats, and sulfites, which can make the skin dry and weaken collagen. Additionally, nitrates, a preservative in such animal-people meats, can cause inflammation and increase wrinkles on the skin. Processed animal-people meats also contain nitrates that create free radicals inside the body. The free radicals cause the oxidation of cells and DNA and may consequently lead to cancer or other health conditions.

Although genetics play an important role in the length of a person's lifespan, it is not the only factor that determines how long a person lives. A population-based study investigated the genetic factors of human longevity in more than 2,800 Danish twins. The study found that only 20% of a person’s longevity is determined by their genes, whereas the remaining 80% is largely affected by their lifestyle.

You may have heard about the term “Blue Zone,” which refers to regions of the planet where the longevity of the residents is higher than the rest of the world. Researchers found that people living in the Blue Zones often live up to 100. Although the previously mentioned Blue Zones are distributed across the world, experts have discovered one thing in common. The diets of these local residents in the Blue Zones are mostly plant-based.

To prevent aging, there are also other foods that we should avoid. Sugary foods and white bread are known for their contributions to the formation of dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which exacerbates oxidative stress and cause inflammation. These are not only closely related to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, but they cause also damage to collagen. Moreover, the high sodium content in fried foods can make the skin dry, thus wrinkling it. Smoking and drinking alcohol are two great enemies of keeping skin healthy. However, did you know that consuming foods that are high in sodium is also associated with aging?

A study suggests that having at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily increases one’s lifespan by three years. As a basic principle, please consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that tend to cause premature aging.
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