You really are what you eat, and by eating more fruit and veggies, you can fight wrinkles and get glowing skin. It’s recommended that Americans eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of veggies every day, but only 12 percent are eating enough fruit while only 9.3 percent are eating enough veggies.
Fruits and veggies don’t just feed your body. They also nourish your skin, as they’re filled with powerful antioxidants that protect your skin from sun damage, age spots, and wrinkles. They’ll also aid skin growth and give your skin a healthy glow. Besides skin health, not getting enough fruits and veggies has other impacts on aging. Studies show that people who eat fewer than five servings of fruits and veggies a day had shorter telomeres than their produce-loving peers. The reason? Antioxidants in fruits and veggies stomp out free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and encourage telomeres to shrink more rapidly.
Aim to eat a minimum of five servings a day, although know that more is better. Eating raw, whole fruits and veggies is one easy way to increase your intake. Or try these strategies:
■ Top your pizza with veggies
■ Make a smoothie with fruits and veggies
■ Swap zucchini noodles for pasta noodles
■ Top your morning cereal with berries
■ Make a PB&F (peanut butter and smashed fruit)
■ Add frozen chopped spinach or kale to soups, stews, and sauces
■ Use riced cauliflower in place of regular rice
Gaining weight doesn’t only raise your risk of numerous health issues—it could also add years to your looks. In a study of 186 pairs of identical twins in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, judges thought the overweight twin (who was about 24 pounds heavier than her sister) looked up to three years older. Researchers explain that while there was volume loss in some parts of the face with aging, with higher weights there was also an increase of fat deposits under the chin and development of jowls, which signal aging.
No matter your age, keep your weight around your ideal body mass index (BMI), because being overweight or obese increases the risk for thirteen different types of cancers. Keeping that weight stable isn’t easy, but it’s well worth your efforts. If you do try to lose weight, do so slowly. Otherwise, you may not get the nutrition and hydration that your skin needs, which could create a sunken appearance and make you look gaunt, frail, and, thus, older. Yet when you do lose, know this: for every 2.2 pounds of excess weight you lose, you’ll increase lifespan by two months.