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By Rhea Cortado

Photo Jun 17, 11 12 29 AM

You’ve been there—working extra long hours, you order greasy takeout on the regular and the stress breaks out in pimples on your skin. Or the morning after a bingefest, those dark bags under your eyes look like you got punched in the face. It’s clear that what foods you put into your body affects your skin.

To find out more about how to prevent skin aging through the right foods, I asked my friend Dr. Michelle Davenport who is the Director of Nutrition at Zesty, Inc., a mobile app based in San Francisco in which you can find healthy take-out food.

Michelle specializes in the aging compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and says, “Aging of skin is caused by (AGEs) that can: 1) cross-link to collagen in our skin and make it weaker and 2) cause inflammation and skin damage.”

To lower the amount of AGEs that exist in our bodies, she gives these three tips to remember when cooking at home or going out to eat.

1. Avoid foods that have been cooked in high, dry heat. For example, swap out the barbecue for the steamer, or incorporate more raw foods into your diet (i.e. sashimi vs. teriyaki salmon). Also, I don’t advocate for a raw diet, just incorporating more raw foods into our diets overall.

2. Cook with water and lemon. Water-based cooking methods (i.e. steaming) and acidic marinades (i.e. lemon or lime juice) can inhibit the formation of AGEs throughout the cooking process.

3. Eat your fruits and veggies. These superfoods contain properties that can fight the damage caused by AGEs and slow the aging process.

And lastly, not food related, but Don’t Smoke! Cigarettes are basically little AGE sticks. The curing of tobacco forms AGEs, so it’s not surprising to find chronic smokers look much older than their identical non-smoker twins, as recent studies have found.

Visit drmichelledavenport.com for some healthy recipes and stay tuned for more food tips for anti-AGEing from Michelle soon.