I’m going to take a detour from my usual posts about mental health and focus on another area that I work with: skin health. Since I do facial acupuncture regularly, I often get asked what foods can promote anti-aging. More and more people want to work on skin anti-aging from the inside in addition to working on it from the outside. Research in this area is still growing but the good news is that most of the dietary recommendations that reduce aging in the skin are also good for your overall health.

One study done in 2007 on 4000 American women in their 40s-70s found that women who had a higher dietary intake of vitamin C had fewer wrinkles. Some good sources of vitamin C in the diet are citrus fruits (obviously), bell peppers (any colour), guava (a very rich source), rosehips and blackcurrants but vitamin C is found in many other fruits and vegetables.

This same study also found that women who ate more linoleic acid in their diet were less likely to experience the drying out and thinning of the skin that often happens with age. Linoleic acid can be found in things like vegetables oil, nuts (like walnuts), seeds and soybeans.

A more recent study done on about 3000 Caucasian women ages 45-60 found that higher dietary intake of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and EPA was associated with fewer signs of aging in the skin. These are both omega-3 fatty acids. Flax is one of the best sources of ALA but this fatty acid is also in walnuts and soy as well as some other foods. EPA is mainly found in fish – especially anchovies, mackerel, oysters, salmon and whitefish.

High fruit and vegetable consumption in general helps slow aging of the skin. It’s hard to find studies on what fruits and vegetables have been shown to be useful. Some sources recommend things like avocados, dark leafy greens, berries, orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots and pineapples.

Things you should consider limiting in your life to keep your skin youthful are sugar, alcohol and excessive caloric intake. These things are popular in the anti-aging research right now.

If you would like more information about my cosmetic acupuncture services, click here.

If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at info@HLHC.ca



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