Summer is my favorite time of the year. I love this warm, sunny and joyful season full of happy moments and stinky sweat. It’s the time to relax, soak up some sun and produce as much vitamin D as possible for free.
On the dark side of summer – it’s also the time when you get lots of wrinkles and age spots. I don’t know about you, but usually after summer I find myself looking 60 years older than before that. This is because summer is a season with lots of free radicals that come from high sun exposure. The life goal of these evil little monsters is to make us age faster on the outside and on the inside.
But just as there are foods protecting us from free radicals and from getting wrinkles, there are foods that can make us look even older if we eat too many of them. Not only do these foods not protect us from sun damage, they add to that damage. Even if you consume enough fruits and vegetables these foods might be sabotaging your health and your looks.
Here are 4 of them.
I know what you’re thinking – “Hitler is alive and now he’s writing a blog called Beauty Bites.” Well, fyi I’m a girl and giving up ice cream during summer is not easy for me either. Still, ice cream is full of sugar. And sugar is bad not simply for your overall health, but also for your skin. Too much sugar causes excess inflammation and actually destroys collagen. Since collagen is the protein responsible for firm and young skin, if you eat a lot of sugar – you look older.
What to eat instead?
Instead of ice cream you can try these recipes that are sweet enough and refreshing, but won’t hurt your collagen.
Other than these easy recipes you can freeze a banana and make a frozen banana ice cream. I must say to that – I’ve tried it and did not like it, so I can’t make any recipe recommendation here. But apparently a lot of people love frozen banana ice cream and it might be your thing too. Or simply eat fruit. Groundbreaking idea, I know.
The point is whatever you choose, just make sure it doesn’t contain too much sugar, and instead has antioxidants.
What is an article about foods to avoid without mentioning soda? And I will add a little dehydrating and super sweet iced latte as a bonus. As you’d expect they’re both high in sugar and bring nothing good to the skin. Like ice cream they make you old because they ruin the functionality of skin collagen, increase oxidative stress and inflammation.
What to eat instead?
Instead have a juice, a smoothie with lots of ice, or lemon water with frozen berries. All of them are refreshing and will boost collagen production as well as your antioxidant supply, so you can fight free radicals like a champion.
Grilled meat and grilled fish are not big beauty boosters. And there are a few reasons for that:
- both contain lots of advanced glycation end products. Advanced glycation end products are molecules accelerating skin aging and aging in general and are formed during the cooking process at high temperatures.
- heterocyclic amines are also formed during that cooking process and those are known to cause cancer.
- frying adds one more bonus: vegetable oils that cause inflammation. And inflammation is associated with a number of diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease and with aging in general
That just makes a cocktail of molecules you don’t want inside your body.
What to do to reduce?
Generally it’s better to reduce meat and fish consumption to 1-2 times a week. Another thing you can do is to cook at lower temperatures and for shorter periods of time, so that moisture content stays higher. A good cooking method would be steaming – this reduces the amount of heterocyclic amines and advanced glycation end products. Also adding vegetables, spices and herbs like rosemary and garlic can actually help reduce the amount of these evil compounds.
Pastries are among my favorite things in the world. But as much as I love them, they not only contain lots of advanced glycation end products, bring no value to your body, but also have a high glycemic index. All those things impair the function of collagen and cause other skin problems. They as well create inflammation and oxidative stress in the body – both major reasons for premature aging.
What to eat instead?
Alternatively you can try: overnight oats, nuts, whole grains. These foods have a low glycemic index, are high-fiber, antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory – thus keep your skin young, balanced and nourished.
These are just 4 foods to avoid during summer and it’s definitely not easy for me as well to say good bye to them. But the truth is summer is truly a season when you should pay a little more attention how you nourish your body. UVA and UVB rays don’t mess around, you need some antioxidants to combat them. And also I made these graphics with emojis from Emojipedia, the free radical is without a doubt my favorite.