We live in a culture obsessed with youth and beauty. Who doesn’t want beautiful, glowing, flawless, and younger looking skin? Plastic surgery and anti-aging products are both exploding multi-billion dollar industries. Research shows Americans spent roughly $114 billion on anti-aging products in 2015 in their desperate quest for eternal youth.

While the natural aging process is inevitable, we do have some control over physiological changes related to aging. But how much of the aging process can we control? And what exactly causes accelerated aging anyway?

As with any health concern, the only way to effectively treat the symptom and make lasting change is to identify the root cause. While a number of factors determine the rate at which we age, there’s one whose role is quite significant. And it just so happens to be one that we DO have full control of. What is it? Inflammation! Where does it come from? The gut!

A study from the Yale School of Medicine showed that chronic inflammation can speed the aging process and significantly reduce health-span. Under normal circumstances, inflammation is an acute, self-protective response to help our body heal. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, the inflammatory process becomes habitual and begins to wreak havoc on our skin and health.

Ignoring chronic stress, skimping out on sleep (missing restorative sleep between 10pm-2am) and other stress reducing activities, working too much, and lacking a “healthy balance” significantly increases cortisol production and predisposes the body to inflammation and accelerates aging. It’s also important to be aware of your external environment. Second hand smoke, chemicals, and polluted air all produce an inflammatory response.

It doesn’t take much to reduce the toxic load from these factors and boost your body’s ability to maintain a more youthful appearance.

My top 5 tips for younger looking skin

  1. Eat a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods. This includes foods like dark greens, colorful vegetables, fresh fish, bone broth, coconut oil, and berries.
  2. Ditch foods that increase inflammation. Some of the most inflammatory foods we eat are gluten, dairy, and sugar. These foods are known as “the big 3” and for good reason. They’re often a likely cause of irritation to the lining of the gut. If you don’t remove what causes the inflammation to begin with, you won’t see the benefits.
  3. Consume inflammation-squelching spices. Turmeric and ginger are my favorites. Both are extremely powerful when it comes to soothing inflammation.
  4. Consume bone broth daily. Bone both has incredible gut healing properties. It’s also full of collagen and gelatin which help to rebuild inflamed, damaged gut tissue and give skin a full, healthy, and plump look.
  5. Use pure topical oils to help repair skin. Emu oil is my go-to anti-aging serum. It has incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and skin healing properties. Read more about Emu oil here.