There’s a seemingly endless amount of beauty and anti-aging products out there. And they all promise you the world. You can hardly shake a stick without seeing an ad claiming to make your skin as smooth as a newborn baby’s. First off, that’s just unrealistic (without plastic surgery and chemical peels). Secondly, they’re missing the major key to a youthful appearance.

Your skin is similar to a mirror — it “reflects” your inner health. What you put into your body shows up on the outside.

It’s the reason most smokers have more wrinkles and tend to look years older than they actually are. It’s similar to the way skin appears yellow in people with untreated liver cirrhosis. It’s why people who load up on sugars and unhealthy fats tend to suffer from inflamed acne.

My point is that you should focus on aging healthy — from the “inside out.”

The main battle against aging is of course, a healthy diet, but also how well your body handles oxidative stress (which can damage the heart and arteries, and lead to chronic disease).

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress occurs when our bodies are exposed to too much physical/emotional stress, too many toxins, or are dealing with infections.

Basically, when our bodies metabolize or process the oxygen we breathe, our cells produce energy from it — this is called oxidization. This process produces free radicals, which are atoms that interact with our cell’s molecules — sometimes causing damage to mitochondria, nearby cells, and DNA.

Know that free radicals are normal (and necessary), as they also stimulate repair through antioxidants which counteract their damage. Oxidative stress happens when the amount of these free radicals overwhelm the cell’s repair process.

Roots of oxidative stress

Overproduction of the free radicals that lead to oxidative stress are caused by:

  • Eating too many calories, sugars, and refined carbs
  • Too little exercise
  • Exposure to air pollutants and tobacco smoke
  • Poor liver and gut detoxification
  • Lack of sleep
  • Chronic infections

The A-List Diet includes an easy-to-follow blueprint to fix each one of these common issues. I’ll touch on a few solutions today.

Reverse aging from the inside-out

Aside from the obvious fixes of exercising and reducing your sugar intake — which you should already be doing — try some of these natural methods for supple, younger-looking skin:

  • Increase your intake of anti-aging amino acids.
    These place a crucial role in nearly every age-related process including energy, skin health, metabolism, and memory. My top three include:

    • Lyceine: boosts collagen production, helping to keep skin taut and firm.
      I recommend 1,250 mg of L-lysine daily.
    • Glycine: is a key component of collagen. Without enough, damaged tissue isn’t repaired, which causes your skin to wrinkle and sag.
      I recommend 1,000 mg of L-glycine daily.
    • Glutamine: is one of the body’s most abundant amino acids. Your body makes plenty of this when you’re young and healthy, but decreases with age. This aimino acids can delay the skin’s aging process, which means fewer wrinkles.
      I recommend 6,000 mg of L-glutamine daily.

All three of these anti-aging amino acids, plus two more, can be found in CocoaLogic —one of my delicious formulated powders, paired with the benefits of the superfood, cocoa.

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
    This is critical for a luminous complexion, as your body’s collagen production depends on the processes your body undergoes during sleep. Read more in my blog from last week on “The serious science behind ‘beauty sleep.’”
  • Hydrate.
    Like I said earlier, your skin is a reflection of your inner health. If your body is storing a lot of toxins, it will show in your complexion. So flush them out!Drink plenty of water. My rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and drink that amount in ounces. If you’re going to exercise, drink a few ounces more.You can also rid your body of toxins with Phase One of my diet, the detoxification phase (Chapter Three of The A-List Diet). I recommend doing this twice a year.

I guarantee all of these methods are more effective and less expensive than any “miracle” face cream. You can learn more about anti-aging amino acids and other natural youth-promoting techniques in Chapter Five of my book.

A-Lister’s Corner

Dr. Fred,

I’ve been following your Reality Health Check for quite some time and know that you recommend eating foods that are either organic, grass-fed, wild-caught.

As the mother of two teenage boys, my grocery bills can sometimes be outrageous — sometimes they eat like it’s going out of style!

What do you recommend to eat healthy while on a budget?

-Shania W., St. Louis, MO

Hi, Shania. Thanks for your question.

I know organic fruits and vegetables can be a little pricier. Unfortunately, the food industry in this country is set up completely backward, with “dollar menus” on every corner — full of processed, mass-produced junk they have the audacity to call a “meal.”

But I digress. If you can’t afford to buy organic all the time, don’t give up and backslide into cheap, processed bulk foods. Just buy non-organic instead. Or buy organic in whatever your family consumes the most of each week (salad, chicken, bananas, etc.).

Although it’s not as healthy, it’s way better than eating no healthy foods at all. And just remember, you may be spending a little more moolah on good foods now… but it will save you and your family the costly price of the unhealthy alternative: doctors bills and medications.

As for the A-List program — you can use whatever healthy food you can afford. The better the ingredients, the better the outcome. The weight loss will come regardless!

One More Thing…

Remember, most people want to look younger. And looking good is one thing — but feeling good and having your body function the way it’s supposed to is the most important. You should never sacrifice your inner health for vanity.

And by just feeding your body what it needs will make a visible difference without the pain of needles or procedures.

Not to mention that you can rest easy knowing you’re not throwing away your hard-earned money on pricey beauty products with unpronounceable ingredients — but instead, buying nutritious foods, scientifically proven to work for decades.