Wholesome Diet May Prevent Wrinkles

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A fountain of youth may be as close as the kitchen, new study
findings suggest. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and
unsaturated fats may ward off wrinkles by boosting the skin’s
natural defenses against sun damage.

In an international study of eating patterns and skin aging,
investigators found that dark- and fair-skinned people who ate
plenty of wholesome foods but passed on butter, red meat and
sugary confections were less prone to wrinkling. And the effect
of diet was consistent from sun-drenched Australia to
sun-deprived Sweden.

Some of the skin-smoothing foods included green leafy vegetables,
beans, olive oil, nuts and multigrain breads, researchers
reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Many of the skin-protecting foods the study turned up are rich in
antioxidant vitamins, which may fend off environmental damage,
according to researchers.

They studied the current diets of more than 400 adults aged 70
and older living in Australia, Greece or Sweden. The Australian
group included both fair-skinned “Anglo-Celtic” individuals and
Greek-born men and women. The researchers found that even when
they factored in age and smoking–which is linked to premature
skin aging–diet still played a role in wrinkling of sun-exposed

Overall, people who ate more of the foods that are universally
recommended for good health had smoother skin. The study authors
speculate that certain foods offered skin protection due to their
high levels of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. The
skin, they note, is a “major target of oxidative stress.”

Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil may offer protection
through the same mechanism. Fatty acids are present in the skin,
and monounsaturated fats resist oxidative damage, the researchers

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Nutrition