There are so many factors that impact our skin and the overall youthfulness of our appearance. Sun damage, age, and skincare routines all play an important role in the look of our complexions, but many of us underestimate just how much of an effect our diet has on our skin.
A lot of people are asking, does eating meat make you look older? And do vegans age well compared with vegetarians?
We have previously discussed whether a plant-based diet can slow down the ageing clock and came to the conclusion that there are many plant-based skin benefits. But now, we are taking a closer look into whether taking on a vegan diet will make you look younger and why a plant-based diet has these effects on our appearance.
The way the body ages is not solely determined by what we eat, but biology, environment, and mental health also play an essential role. For this reason, it is impossible to say that vegans age well over meat-eaters or vegetarians, as there are so many other factors to consider. That being said, there are certainly some vegan skin benefits, and switching to a plant-based diet could bring a more youthful glow.
One of the most vital parts of anti-ageing and healthy skin is collagen. This is the protein that gives our skin volume and plumpness, and it slowly begins to deplete with age. As collagen levels drop, wrinkles and sagging can creep in, some of the most common signs of ageing.
It is possible to combat a loss of collagen with supplements, but many of these come from animal tissue, and therefore are not part of a vegan diet.
All hope is not lost for plant-based eaters worried about their collagen levels causing signs of ageing. One of the many vegan skin benefits is that these diets can help improve the body’s natural collagen production. This means that vegans can often improve their collagen naturally, without the need for additional supplements.
Vitamin C, lysine, and antioxidant compounds are all found in abundance in a plant-based diet and help encourage collagen production at a cellular level. This means that when answering the question do vegans age well? The answer is usually yes, thanks to the collagen-boosting properties in a vegan diet.
If we know that a plant-based diet brings various anti-ageing benefits, it is important to consider whether eating meat can make you age faster.
Researchers have suggested that consuming a lot of red meat can actually speed up the ageing process thanks to increased levels of serum phosphate. This is the case for those who are eating a lot of red meat but not consuming enough fruit and vegetables at the same time.
In addition to this, many common meat products are processed meats, such as sausages. Processed meats are known to contain a lot of nitrates and other compounds, which make them pro-inflammatory. These can cause inflammation in the body, which aids the ageing process and can deplete a youthful appearance with puffiness.
Not only that, but inflammation can break down collagen levels, contributing to a more aged appearance over time.
Taking meat out of the equation altogether, it is also worth considering whether vegans have any anti-ageing benefits over vegetarians. The key dietary difference between vegan and vegetarian diets is dairy, and these products can have a big impact on our appearance. It has been suggested that dairy products can contribute to acne and acne scarring, which can result in an aged complexion. Taking dairy out of our diets could reduce the appearance of acne and scars.
A common concern for vegans is a lack of calcium, and this is a very likely deficit for those following a plant-based diet. Calcium is often found in dairy, and it is essential for supporting blood, bone, heart, dental, and nerve health. Not having enough calcium can cause signs of ageing, but following a vegan diet doesn’t have to mean a calcium deficit.
Plant-based eaters should focus on getting calcium from other sources, such as green, leafy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
Eggs are the other key ingredient that vegans go without, and they are pretty powerful when it comes to anti-ageing. Eggs contain protein, selenium, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and biotin, which all have youth-boosting properties for the skin. Just like with dairy, a vegan diet can be curated to include all of these things from other sources, but that often means taking some form of supplements alongside a balanced diet.
A healthy vegan diet is all about balance and ensuring you get the right vitamins and nutrients from plant-based sources. With a well-balanced plant-only diet, you may see the following vegan skin benefits:
At Hans Place, we are experts in skincare and non-invasive treatments to promote youthful, glowing and healthy skin. For more information, contact our team.