Ask Chuck: Eating away at wrinkles ... really?

By Charles Colson
Oct. 17, 2013 at 5:17 a.m.

I have heard that you massage therapists really study skin problems that may occur beyond our control. Could any of these problems have anything to do with wrinkles?

Thank you for mentioning problems beyond our control. Yes, we do study about how keeping our skin in a natural state will simplify unwanted conditions to our bodies. Wrinkles are one of them and is something we all face during our lifetime.

A very interesting study was published recently in Massage Today magazine. It started out by saying that a fountain of youth may be as close as your kitchen. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats may ward off wrinkles by boosting the skin's natural defenses against sun damage.

Wow, wouldn't this become a miracle for us all. In an international study of eating patterns and skin aging, investigators found that dark and fair-skinned people who ate plenty of wholesome foods but gave up on butter, red meat and sugary confections were less prone to wrinkling.

Some of the skin-smoothing foods included green, leafy vegetables; beans; olive oil; nuts and multigrain breads researchers reported in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Many of the skin-protecting foods the study turned up are rich in antioxidant vitamins, which possibly fends off environmental damage. Still with me?

More than 400 adults, aged 70 and older, who ate more of the foods that are universally recommended for good health had smoother skin. How about that, I guess we need to get busy, right? The study was quite explicit when mentioning how vitamins A, C and E were so beneficial for us. The study also brought out how valuable monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil can be so vital for good health.

One important thing that was suggested is something that we all can get involved in, and that is to ask our grocers to post the high levels of antioxidants over the fruits and vegetables that we purchase. What a great idea, don't you think? I bet their produce would sell like hot cakes, and as a result, we would become much healthier.

Charles, since you seem to be talking to us older people, how do we battle with fatigue as we get up in age?

Excellent question. Since we all would love to turn the clock back, we have to live with the age we are - surprised?

Fatigue strikes everyone at one time or another - after vigorous exercise, a long work day or prolonged stress. I have mentioned a number of times that it occurs whether we are physically or mentally affected. In the more elderly population, fatigue can become a severe problem, especially for seniors suffering from physical ailments.

Do we all feel this way very often? Sometimes, it happens way before our senior years. Whether we are young or old, the battle against fatigue is a real and important one. How do we fight fatigue? I read a study recently that stated there is no one single answer, so consistent exercise and sensible diets may be the best place to start.

I remember one time at an early age when I was in the hospital, a nurse came in and asked me if I ever planned to get up out of bed and start walking. Of course, being a man, I said not right away because the bed was so comfortable. She then used a valuable teaching moment and said if I didn't get up pretty quick, they would have the big hunks come pick me up.

She went on to tell me that for every day I stayed in bed I would lose 10 percent of my strength. I calculated quickly and told her that I guess in 10 days, I wouldn't be able to ever get out of bed, losing then 100 percent strength.

So guess what I did? You got it, I seemed to have come alive quickly and started walking down the halls. I hope we can all learn from my stubbornness, and you, too, after following the nurse's vital instructions, will stay alive.

Stay in touch for my next column, which will explain the beneficial effects Swedish massage has on our bodies, such as improving high blood pressure, proper heart rates and overall wellness.

I will go into detail of the most important Swedish strokes that we use in massages. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have for men or women. Thank you for your continued compliments on my column.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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