Have you thought hard about this as well? I have, because I want to be forever young! I have always been asked how true it is that vegans age better than those who aren’t. So, do vegans age slower? I can confidently say YES WE DO!
However, it will also need a lengthy explanation as many people won’t buy into it right away. In fact, there are even conflicting claims that say vegans age faster than a speeding bullet.
More importantly, when I say yes, there are plenty of factors that come into play as well. I will address both sides to be fair, and set the record straight once and for all.
Fortunately, there are now several significant studies that help answer the controversial question about whether vegans age slower or not, so keep reading to learn more.
I am here to give you more than just the answers. I will let you in on some tips, too! (*wink*)
So here it goes.
The Other Side Of The Argument
You have probably heard about the claims that a vegan diet may actually age you faster. This is not without a reason of course. However, this is just as relative as the statement that says vegans age slower.
Why? This claim is on the basis that vegans are missing out on helpful anti-aging nutrients that can be found in meat and animal products only.
Furthermore, many people believe that these essential nutrients for youthfulness cannot be substituted by any vegan-friendly diet.
Moreover, most people, for some reason, think that vegans tend to consume foods that are:
- High in refined sugars
- Rich in bad or simple carbohydrates
- Low or lacking in protein
- Highly processed and refined (substitutes)
All these, of course, can make you age worse, give you bad skin, and more. The truth of the matter, in general vegans are highly health-conscious, so why would they resort to low-quality substitutes that are just as bad as junk food?
With the wider and better variety of food items for vegans today, I can say this is far from the case.
I actually find it easy and enjoyable when shopping for food items especially in vegan stores that feel like a shangri-la for me!
Skin Nutrients Missing From Plant-Based Diets (Almost!)
It is more factual to say that vegans may be missing on some nutrients that help the skin regenerate and look younger. For example:
Essential fatty acids – commonly found in fish oils and egg yolks, they are one of the keys to plump and moisture-rich skin. According to Web MD, Omega 3 and Omega 6, to be exact, help to keep our cell membranes new and healthy.
Collagen – the most popular ingredient in anti-aging products today. Collagen is best sourced from chicken skin and fish. While there are collagen supplements that are derived from plants, the truth is there is currently no real vegan source yet for this youth elixir, as verified by know collagen expert Dr. Nick Bitz.
The good news is, our body already produces collagen naturally. So what can us vegans do? Boost it! That’s right! Collagen production can be easily enhanced with a lot of vegan A-OK foods such as:
- White tea
- Green tea
- Citrus fruits
- Red vegetables
- Orange vegetables
- Dark green vegetables
These foods not only stimulate the body to produce more collagen. Green tea, for example, even prevents collagen breakdown! Keep a generous serving of these foods in your diet and it can be just as good as having a reliable collagen supplement.
As for the essential fatty acids, here are vegan-friendly substitutes that we can count on (yes they exist!):
- Chia seed
- Hemp seed (has the best omega 3 & 6 ratio too!)
- Flax or linseed
- Pumpkin seed
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
(You don’t necessarily have to consume those healthy oils either, you can instead just put them on your skin)
What Makes Us Age Faster
Food is not the only factor why we might age faster or slower.
And aside from the obvious biological fact that aging is inevitable, here are the common aggravators of aging:
- Smoking – it causes poor blood circulation, which restricts the much-needed oxygen supply to the skin. The results? Wrinkles and dry skin.
- Excessive alcohol intake – negatively affects muscle tone and dehydrates the body. Its effects on the liver and kidneys will also be visible on the skin through discoloration.
- Too much sun exposure – the sun can easily dry out the skin. Aside from age spots, it also results in an unsightly skin texture that looks like leather. Leather still looks good when old, and we can only hope to be able to say the same when it comes to human skin. Unfortunately not.
- Living in colder, freezing climates – this is similar to excessive sun exposure. Colder temperatures make the skin very dry, as you can easily observe it during winter seasons. Eventually, it can make the skin thinner and along with the dryness, will easily lead to wrinkles.
- Diets high in bad fats, sugar, and processed foods – bad diets can lead to early signs of aging: saggy and wrinkly skin. What’s worse, it will also leave your hair and nails looking dull and dry.
- Being overweight – being out of shape can give you a flabby and wrinkly appearance. Not to mention, carrying too much fat also means poor muscle tone.
- Being underweight – it’s probably obvious as being too thin can make you look gaunt and ancient. The reduction of plumpness in the skin also makes it easier for wrinkles to develop and the skin to sag.
- Sedentary lifestyle – lack of physical exercise prevents good blood circulation. Then everything else follows eventually: poor oxygen supply–bad health–bad skin.
- Chronic stress – it can easily trigger aging as it damages cells and causes chemical imbalance in the body, resulting in a host of illnesses. On the inside, it can break us down slowly.
- Poor or lack of skin care – slathering on some skin nutrients every day can make a big difference for our skin. The tricky part though is finding the products that will work to your benefit. However, one thing is certain, moisturization goes a long way.
If you constantly expose yourself to any of the above factors, you are subjecting yourself to premature aging. Wouldn’t you hate to look so much older than how young you really are?
Quite simply, these are the things that you must avoid and work hard to stay away from. Aging gracefully doesn’t come easy, after all.
The Anti-Aging Effects Of Veganism
Fruits and vegetables are known as the concoctions for optimum health. Good health, of course, also means that you can keep aging at bay. This is also why it is a common idea that vegans age slower than usual.
Some people, however, need more convincing. But I’m here to tell you that plant-based diets are rich in the following:
- Fiber – cleanses the colon to get rid of harmful toxins that can wreak havoc on the skin too.
- Water content – keeps the moisture skin-deep by providing extra hydration for the body. As we all know, skin moisture plays the biggest role in a younger-looking skin.
- Vitamin A – essential in the maintenance of skin health. Also helps to keep skin supple.
- Vitamin C – plays a major role in the synthesis of collagen, without it, our body cannot produce and use collagen effectively. It can also protect the skin from UV damage.
- Vitamin E – known as the skin vitamin, it can reduce UV damage just like Vitamin C. It also nourishes the skin while also serving to protect it from free radical damage. No wonder it is one of the skin care holy grails of all time!
- Anti-inflammatories – internal inflammation, which is often undetectable, is one of the leading causes of illnesses. The additional workload it gives also forces the body to work harder, thereby causing undue stress which can lead to premature aging. Popular anti-inflammatory juicing methods, if you notice, uses fruits and vegetables only.
- Antioxidants – the fighter of free radicals, antioxidants reduce the common signs of aging. It can also calm down inflammations, with skin tightening and toning effects.
How would you feel if you can get all these youth-boosting nutrients every single day? I bet you would feel like a million bucks! Being a vegan, I get the benefits of all these on a regular basis and I feel ebullient all the time!
Other Anti Aging Nutrients And Their Sources
There’s more! Aside from the plant nutrients I just mentioned above, look for these too when you plan your diet next time:
- Collagen – see above
- Carotenoids – snack on sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, and add carrots and pumpkins to get your fix.
- Essential Fatty Acids – see above
- Flavonoids – abundant in spicy herbs such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and green cardamom. It prevents and heals cell damage.
- Polyphenols – now you have a reason to snack on some dark chocolate! Just don’t forget green tea and legumes too.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics – popular for their immune-boosting properties. Keep your skin’s immunity with some bananas, artichokes, onion, asparagus, and non-dairy yogurt.
The Omega 3 & 6 Balance
You will find that a lot of those who claim that vegans age faster will cite this imbalance as the common reason. These essential fatty acids work differently, but are of course still important to health.
According to Healthline, Omega 6 is believed to be pro-inflammation, while Omega 3 is the opposite. A good balance of Omega 6:3 is a ratio of 1:1 and should not be higher than 4:1.
Many vegan foods are indeed high in Omega 6 like soy and vegetables. To fuel it, Omega 3 is not easily sourced from plants.
When one of the two is consumed in large amounts, it can just throw the ideal ratio off balance. What happens then? Inflammation ensues, and you know now what can come next–premature aging.
The answer? Eating in moderation. Being extra mindful even when you think you are eating healthy already is important if you want to keep a proper balance. It may also help to consume vegetable oil at a minimum.
Foods That Make You Age Faster
If I was you, I would stay away from these:
- Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Refined grains (they breakdown into sugar!)
- Hydrogenated and Trans Fat (from foods that take years to expire)
- Processed meats
Famous (and Glowing!) Vegan Celebrities
I know you will say celebrities are just full of botox, fillers, surgeries, and what have you.
However, these can only do so much, and if you have deep wrinkles already, these procedures will not really look flattering on you.
A healthy diet still works much better, skin deep! Take it from these celebrities (as published by Glamour Magazine UK):
- Alicia Silverstone
- Serena Williams
- Miley Cyrus
- Liam Hemsworth
- Jessica Chastain
- Jared Leto
- Lea Michele
- Ariana Grande
- Jessica Simpson
- Jennifer Lopez
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Olivia Wilde
- Tobey Maguire
- Ellen Degeneres (and wife Portia)
- Bill Clinton
- Anne Hathaway
- Pamela Anderson
- Alanis Morissette
- Jenna Dewan
- Alec Baldwin
Oh my, this list can go on forever! You’d think celebs would love a lifestyle with as much best-tasting foods as they can get.
But I bet you’re surprised how many celebrities are in fact vegans!
Many of them also swear by their veganism as the main reason behind their healthy, glowing skin, and their new found energy.
The Complete Formula To Slow Down Aging
By now, you have probably picked up the most important points from above when it comes to aging. Nonetheless, here is a summary, of the real formula to aging gracefully:
Regularly engage in relaxing activities especially if you often have long hours of work every day. Rekindle your hobbies or find new ones. Take a rest whenever you feel the need for it. Your mind, body, and skin will thank you for it.
Maintain a healthy diet:
A healthy and balanced diet is the only way to give your internal body the nourishment it needs to heal and protect itself. You will notice the difference even in your levels of energy once you follow a healthy diet. With the right food choices, your body can regenerate faster while slowing down all the signs of aging. More importantly, do not forget your daily dose of anti-aging foods!
When we eat, our body works hard to digest food and metabolize everything that we have taken in. So when we eat more, it works even harder with undue stress.
When this happens, our body may not do its other tasks as efficiently since it is focused on somewhere else already. Furthermore, the increase in calories also triggers aging inside the cells.
In a study published by Science Daily, ribosomes, which are the protein manufacturers in the cells, are highlighted. Linked to the aging process, when ribosomes have to work hard, as in the case of high caloric consumption, aging accelerates too. So how does it slow down? By eating less.
If you want to go this route, you can try intermittent fasting. I myself fast for 12 hours everyday, but if you are a male you can fast for even longer. To learn more about vegan intermittent fasting, CLICK HERE to check out my blog post on this topic.
Avoid refined and processed food:
Opt for natural foods as much as possible. Aside from serving no purpose to the body (okay, it satisfies your craving, but that’s all!), they only add heaps of unnecessary workload.
Limit bad fats and sugar:
Or better yet, eliminate them! Yes, you can do it! This will take some getting used to but slowly weaning yourself off of these addictive stuff is feasible if you put your mind to it.
Exercise and meditate:
Stay strong while watching your skin glow as your body gets the optimum oxygen supply it needs down to your toes and fingers. There are so many benefits you can get from exercising and meditating, and good skin is only a small part of it.
This may sound silly but it’s true! Your state of mind can make or break you. It works just the same way as stress would affect you. When you feel positive and happy, it will easily show on your face. A happy state also relaxes the muscles. What does it mean? Less wrinkles. Do you know botox works by relaxing the muscles, too? That should be enough proof!
BONUS: To learn how your body transforms on a Vegan diet, check out the video below
So after all you have learned from all the info above, I think we got our answer to the question “do vegans age slower?” I say YES, if they are mindful enough about eating with a careful balance!
Are you a glowing vegan? Have you recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and started to look and feel younger? I would love to hear about it! Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform!