When it comes to the topic on snacking, most people’s concerns are either about their skin or about their weight, but rarely does anyone question if there is a link between eating junk and premature aging. While the scientific studies done in this field are not widely circulated or usually mentioned, there appears to be some link between these two points.
Digesting takes up energy
About 70-80% of the energy our body needs goes to digesting our foods, and because digesting is such a large factor for our body, our diet should be a crucial part of our lifestyle. When our body uses energy, it is actually working really hard and this includes working hard to digest foods too. Think of this as a machine theory: when a machine has been overused and including the frequent misuse of the machine for wrong purposes, will it get damaged quickly? Definitely it will! By eating junk food that doesn’t provide our body with the right nutrients is our way of ‘misusing’ our body. When the energy is used mostly to digest food, this lessens the energy we need for the body to repair itself on the outside such as allowing us to have good, acne-free skin and not having premature wrinkles.
Lack of nutrients in junk food
Digesting food is inevitable because we all need to eat. But when we snack in between meals, the body is actually constantly digesting, not having a break from working. Not to mention most junk food and snacks contain empty calories. This is where the fats come from, as empty calories make your body digest them but you either feel hungry really faster after that or you don’t feel full at all and that’s why you feel the need to snack. Some diet plans encourage eating small but frequent meals throughout the day, but it clashes with this theory as constantly eating small meals throughout the day doesn’t allow the body to rest from digestion.
Foods to prevent premature aging
Having a good variety of fruits and vegetables and sufficient amounts of them in general promotes good health and glowing skin, so I’d recommend eating as much vegetables as you can because it’s harder to eat too much of vegetables compared to eating too much junk food. But if you like specifics, these are some of the foods to include more of in your diet to either replace the snacks and junk food in your diet, or to simply eat more of them to prevent premature aging.
Beneficial vitamins for our bodies
B complex vitamins: found in foods such as Shiitake mushrooms, potatoes and sunflower seeds, and it helps your skin retain moisture and strengthens hair and nails.
Vitamin A: found in foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash and dark leafy green vegetables. This strengthens immune system and helps maintain cell growth and renewal and also acts as an antioxidant that fights oxidative stress.
Vitamin C: found in foods such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and kale. It is an anti-oxidant that fights free radicals in your body and helps in iron absorption to maintain your blood regeneration.
Vitamin K: found in foods containing vitamin K includes broccoli, romaine lettuce, parsley and dark leafy vegetables. Vitamin K prevents dark eye circles because it prevents leaky capillaries from forming.
Vitamin E: found in foods such as spinach, broccoli, almonds, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vitamin E protects your skin from UV damages and fights free radical damage both externally and internally.
Cut down on snacking in general
I believe that cutting down on snacking in general works wonders for the body and the skin because it lessens the ‘bad’ food we consume even when we are not really hungry, and according to this digestion using energy theory, it allows our body to rest in between meals. I can’t know for sure that this will prevent premature aging, but I have to say after I cut down on snacks and substitute snacks and junk foods with steamed vegetables and fruits, the pores on my face did appear smaller and made my face less oily. So whether this theory is 100% true or not, I think it generally sends the message for people who are particular about their health and skin to stay away from unhealthy snacking.
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