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If your daily meals are filled with foods that cause chronic inflammation, such as vegetable oils, margarine, red meats, white bread, or sugary, processed foods, you're not doing your skin any favors. These foods can cause inflammation in your body, which may accelerate wrinkle formation. To prevent premature aging, stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon, and and olive oil. These foods will help your skin maintain its soft and supple look.
Be sure to load up on fruits and veggies, too. Fresh produce is abundant in zinc, selenium, vitamin C, and beta carotene, all of which are key players in the body's production of collagen (which keeps skin firm), as well as protecting against free radicals. Two good options are red bell peppers and carrots. Simply slice them up for a convenient on-the-go snack you can take anywhere. Not a fan? Try upping your intake of broccoli—just 1 cup has 100 percent of the total daily recommended value of vitamin C.
Lastly, make sure you're getting enough protein—recent studies show that an insufficient amount of protein can cause tears, wrinkles, and cracks in your skin. Aim to get at least one protein-containing food (for example, eggs, lean beef or poultry, beans) at each meal.
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Find out how to limit the damage from these common factors that can make you look older.