While some genuinely fear the aging process, others have chosen to embrace it. Aging is inevitable, but regardless of how you feel about it, it’s more than just skin-deep. If you gladly celebrate each and every birthday, there are several ways to ensure that you stay healthy, beautiful and strong throughout the years.

1. Break Up With Sugar

If you’re currently in a relationship with added sugar, it’s time to give your breakup speech. Sugar can drastically age the skin, damaging collagen and elastin — two proteins that are essential to protecting the skin and keeping it hydrated. Sugar causes the skin to lose its elasticity, causing it to look dull and aged. (1)

2. Drink More Water

We’ve all been told to drink more water, but it really is vital to keeping your body healthy, and to keep skin from aging prematurely. Chronic dehydration is a main culprit of skin aging. Water helps to lubricate the joints and flush toxins out of the body, which allows the skin to stay moisturized and maintain a youthful glow.

3. Consider Going Gluten Free

Gluten has been shown to affect mineral absorption and assimilation in the gut, leaching vital minerals and nutrients that the skin needs to stay healthy. Wheat can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Opt for naturally gluten-free foods such as rice or quinoa, or skip the breads and pasta altogether, and replace them with veggies!

4. Manage Stress

When cortisol levels are chronically high, it can lead to many serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and gastrointestinal problems. Stress can take years off of your life and add wrinkles to your skin. High cortisol levels rob your body of minerals that are essential for healthy, glowing skin, such as vitamin C, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6. Find a way to manage your stress by allowing yourself to have alone time every day to meditate, exercise or just relax.meditate 2

5. Don’t Forget Your Antioxidants

The toxins and chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis can cause free radical damage to our cells. To combat free radical damage, make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, and beta-carotene. Vitamin C is especially important for maintaining healthy and resilient skin. (2)

6. Lift Weights

Trying free weights can be intimidating, but lifting weights can help skin stay tight and firm. Having lean muscle also means you’ll burn calories more efficiently, manage blood pressure levels, and reverse oxidative stress, which are great ways to fight premature aging. (3)lift weights woman

7. Make Protein an Important Part of Your Diet

Protein helps to slow insulin levels to balance blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. Protein is also essential for tissue repair and building new tissue. Collagen, one of the most valuable proteins in the body, helps to strengthen the skin, hair and nails. Adequate protein intake can reduce skin sagging, prevent premature aging and promote overall health.

8. Use Natural Beauty Products

Anything you put on your skin can be absorbed into your body. Soaps, lotions, perfumes and makeup that contain parabens, preservatives and toxic chemicals can put you at risk for a number of health problems, and damage your skin. The same products that claim to moisturize and protect your skin may actually be causing dryness, inflammation, wrinkles and acne. Stick to natural and organic products, and always check the ingredients.natural beauty products

9. Get More Sleep

Depriving your body of sleep can cause hormonal imbalances that result in increased cortisol levels and oxidative stress. During sleep, the body produces human growth hormone, which works as an anti-aging hormone. Lack of sleep will lead to puffy eyes and wrinkles, so make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest on a regular basis.

10. Eat Essential Fatty Acids

Omega 3s and other essential fatty acids are important for heart health, hormone regulation and combating inflammation, all of which can help slow the aging process and keep your body healthy. Healthy fats can be obtained from avocados, fish, walnuts, coconut oil and olive oil. They lubricate internally, producing more vibrant and radiant skin while protecting skin cells from oxidative damage.avocado oil pic


11. Ditch the Alcohol

Drinking alcohol causes inflammation in the body, and it can also slow down your metabolism. Along with the many health risks associated with heavy alcohol use, alcohol puts stress on the body, accelerates the aging process, dehydrates the skin and leaves you looking fatigued. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

12. Let Go of Grudges

Holding onto grudges is wasted energy. By holding a grudge, you’re holding yourself back and staying in the past, instead of allowing yourself to move on. Replaying a bad situation over and over in your head can cause stress, anxiety and depression, and even increase blood pressure — a mix that can cause premature aging and oxidative stress. Find a way to move on. You’ll feel lighter and finally free of whatever was holding you back, and your skin will thank you!peace 3

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