What The Heck Is Inflammaging And Why Should I Care?

Spoiler: Diet is the ultimate anti-wrinkle warrior.

inflammatory
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We know that inflammation is the cause of the vast majority of heath problems, and we know that being in poor health can expedite the ageing process, often resulting in age-related diseases such as Alzheimers, type 2 diabetes and, of course, physical changes like dull skin and wrinkles.

Inflammation-based premature ageing, aka, inflammaging, is characterised by chronic, low-grade inflammation that is significantly lifestyle based. Your diet has a huge role to play in the state of your health (but what’s news there), and there are inevitably foods to nix in order to slow down the ageing process.

Here’s the foods that you should be avoiding, and what you should be chomping down on instead, to avoid inflammaging:

FOODS TO AVOID

Sugar

News flash! Okay not so much. We know that you know, but we can’t reinforce the point enough. Sugar is toxic for your system. We’ll save you all of the scientific details, but the long and short is that an excess of sugar leads to elevated blood sugar levels, which leads to the accelerated levels of advanced glycation end products, or AGE’s for short. Yup, the most appropriate acronym ever to exist. AGE’s are incredibly inflammatory, they cause elastin and collagen to become brittle and break and are also closely linked to age-related diseases like atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Basically, avoid!

Dairy

The whole going-dairy-free trend is for very good reason. It’s estimated that around 75% of the world’s population are lactose-intolerant, because it is simply so inflammatory for the human body. We’re not saying you can NEVER have cheese ever again (in fact, our very own Bianca Cheah re-incorporated dairy into her diet, check out her thoughts here), but watching your intake will have a great impact on your overall inflammation levels. Yogurt is a good choice as it contains a sh*t-tonne of gut-friendly bacteria.

Image: Pinterest | notwithoutsalt.com

Vegetable oils

Polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids are a verified nightmare for your inflammation levels, while omega-3’s are the antidote. Unfortunately, the average person’s diet consists of way more omega-6’s than omega-3’s, meaning that the body is consistently inflaming without adequately un-inflaming. Combat this by going heavy on the 3’s, and low on the 6’s. Your face in 30 years time will be so grateful. Now that that’s over and done with, here’s what you should be including in your diet to ensure that inflammaging doesn’t get its grubby mitts on you:

FOODS TO EAT

Nuts and seeds

Not all heroes wear capes! Nuts and seeds are an anti-ageing dream thanks to their cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory effects. Plus they’re chock-full of other nutrients; protein, magnesium, zinc to name but a few, and are a staple in any inflammation-fighting diet. Would it be cliche to suggest you go nuts on nuts?

Image: Pinterest | naturallyella.com

Blueberries

Our tiny blue friends contain more antioxidants than any other fruit, making them an anti-inflammation dream. Size really ain’t a problem here, as these little treats provide great protection against free-radicals like pollution, sun-damage and stress. Bless you, bluebs.

Avocado

Y’know how we were harping on about omega-3 fatty acids earlier? Well, avo’s are brimming with the things, making them a mainstay of any anti-inflammation diet. They help with the function of your immune system, incorporate a hefty dose of health fats into any meal and they are to millennials what party pies were to the 90’s.

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