Who wouldn't want to look this smokin'-hot at 67? Take a page out of Norma Kamali
's book and focus on what you're eating now, in order to look ageless in the future.
"Aging is a fact of life. Looking your age is not," says dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad
. "Much of what we perceive as skin aging is, in fact, caused by environmental damage and external factors that can be controlled, treated, and prevented. Exposure to sun, pollution, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, pesticides, toxins, poor nutrition, and stress all contribute to skin damage." Adds Meg Richichi
, MS, LAc, an integrative wellness practitioner, "youthfullness is a lifestyle. It boils down to a synergistic integration of daily lifestyle choices. This is the magic bullet to looking awesome."
What this all means is you really need to eat better
as of, like, yesterday. Says Murad, "You get to choose how fast you age. Whatever goes into the body affects how the organs function. A complete diet overhaul is difficult and often unattainable. However, I suggest focusing on a few small changes to make a big difference."
These include adding good fats like walnuts, avocado, and olive oil to help rebuild cell membranes and reduce dry, flaky skin; eating more embryonic foods like eggs, beans, and seeds, which contain all the building blocks for regeneration and will flood your body with vital nutrients to make all your cells healthier; eating your water with raw fruits and veggies, which contain structured water that releases into your system at a slower rate, allowing you to stay hydrated longer. Murad says these foods also contain vital nutrients to help your skin and your body stay healthy.
Richichi gets more specific, recommending certain foods for various aging woes. Leafy greens like kale
and spinach are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that "slow down wear and tear on your DNA, which translates into slowing down the aging process and looking vibrant." To get rid of dark circles — something Richichi calls a "major sign of toxicity" — try cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, which contain sulfurophane, a powerful antioxidant that aids in detoxification while reducing those dark circles. If you're prone to bruising or spider veins, Richichi says vitamin C fruits and veggies are your new best friend. Be sure to eat the white meaty part surrounding your citrus fruits, she says — it contains bioflavonoids that help you absorb vitamin C more efficiently. For supple skin and hair, be sure to stock up on foods with essential fatty acids, like wild salmon, cod, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, and olive oil.
Finally, since water intake is essential for hydration of skin and also proper detoxification, Richchi suggests drinking lots of filtered water. Her rule of thumb to make sure you are getting enough H20? "Take your body weight and divide it by two and that’s how many ounces of water per day you should be drinking. Add another 16 oz. to that total for every hour you work out." Adds Brown, "When you don’t drink enough water, your body releases water-conserving hormones such as cortisol, which will actually age your skin. Cortisol breaks down collagen and can cause you to gain weight. If you make sure to stay hydrated, you can prevent this from happening."
One last nutrition takeaway from Murad: "Sugar and white flour can exacerbate premature wrinkles and aging. Carbonated drinks, processed foods, and pastries are all high in sugar and directly affect how your skin ages. In addition, foods high in fat such as French Fries and potato chips are loaded with trans-fats and also lead to premature aging. Finally, diets high in animal proteins can actually drain essential minerals from your bones and cells, speeding up the aging process." That's definitely what we call food for thought.
Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh