Diet and wrinkles

By Ann Griswold • Published: January 30th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

What lengths do you go to, to prevent wrinkles? If you lather on the sunscreen, avoid cigarette smoke and apply daily moisturizer, you’re halfway there. But a new study suggests you could be ignoring one of the biggest skin spoilers of all: poor nutrition.

Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at the dietary habits and skin quality of over four-thousand women ranging in age from forty to seventy-four. When scientists compared each woman’s diet with the wrinkles, dryness and thinness of her skin, they realized that most of us are only as beautiful as the foods we eat.

The study revealed the best wrinkle-fighting foods are fruits high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps the skin repair itself after damage. Also high on the list are nuts and green leafy vegetables that contain linoleic [lin-oh-LAY-ick] acid, a compound that prevents dryness.

Vitamin C and linoleic acid had significant wrinkle-fighting powers even after researchers accounted for the effects of smoking, sun exposure, body weight, physical activity and race. The study found that smokers can ward off wrinkles by eating foods high in protein and niacin, a vitamin found in poultry, cereal and red fish.

As you might expect, the worst foods for wrinkles are the ones we hate to love… fats and carbs. Experts aren’t completely sure why, but they say sugar consumption could interfere with proteins that keep skin feeling firm and elastic. So the next time you’re shopping for a wrinkle-fighting product, try the produce section!