If anyone knows me well, they understand that I’m in love with my summer homeland of Cape Cod. Confession #1: “Beaching it” is in my blood. Basking under the sun here on the magical sands of the Cape’s National Seashore, I’m in heaven. I just took a dip in the cold waves, then sprawled on a blanket to dry and do some magazine reading. Health literature is always a favorite, so I grabbed a recent issue of Life Extension magazine—you can find others in my office waiting room.
I was drawn to the article entitled ‘Protect Your Skin From Age-Related Glycation’. In short, glycation is a process of free blood sugar binding to proteins like collagen which are particularly prevalent in your skin. The resultant compounds are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and they disrupt collagen metabolism. The take home message: glycation in your skin causes WRINKLES and looseness. This article named a few familiar things that halt this unflattering glycation process, and I felt they’re worth revisiting on this lovely sunny summer day.
Who isn’t at least mildly concerned with those migrating crows feet? (A) Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption! Confession #2: I have a sweet tooth. Jay says that I have multiple sweet teeth actually. I’ve noticed that being on vacation (and very busy packing my childhood house in preparation for my mom moving permanently to our Cape beach house), I’m less likely to turn to sweet foods, breads and cereals. Dessert time is always the hardest for me. When I’m “bad”, it’s chocolate boudin off the desert menu or a few cookies from the pantry. When I’m “good”, I eat just 2 squares of dark chocolate- that seems to satiate me.
Continuing on with anti-glycation strategies, (B) limit high temperature cooking methods like deep frying and prolonged searing. And (C) consume my favorite summer crop, BLUEBERRIES. Their anti-inflammatory properties have a destructive effect on AGEs and oxidative stress in our tissues. Compared to other fruits tested, blueberries have the strongest anti-glycation powers. Remember, glycation happens everywhere in our tissues, but for vanity’s sake let’s stay on course: wrinkles and sagging. UV exposure from sunlight amplifies free radicals that even blueberry indulgence can’t combat. So protect your skin with sunscreen and a hat if you like “beaching it” too. Confession #3: I love picking and eating blueberries. Pictured here is a recent harvest of wild blueberries from the woods of my childhood off-Cape house in Southborough, MA—the one we were packing up all week in preparation for the move. Apparently wild blueberries have 10x greater potency than our larger cultivated blues.
I’ve shared a few personal notes with you today, and hopefully also inspired you to follow my recommitment to prepare low sugar/starch meals, eat plenty of blueberries, and perhaps even top off dinner with a square of dark chocolate, ok, 2 squares. Bonus: erase wrinkles and firm skin.
FYI- Life Extension is also the manufacturer of quality supplements, some of which I use and recommend. On top of the above recommendations, I sometimes use a cool product that LE makes called Advanced Anti-Glycation Peptide Serum. It’s a topical for your face and neck, full of glycation combatting natural compounds. Look it up if you’re curious. Ask me if you want the full LE article with research citations.
Happy Summer Vacation!