Collagen is imperative in maintaining healthy, youthful skin. As we age, the collagen in our skin slowly breaks down and we begin to wrinkle. Other factors, such as smoking, sun exposure, and free radicals in the air can contribute to the breakdown of collagen.
Fortunately, there are a handful of foods that boost the body’s collagen production. For a healthier, younger looking you, try adding these foods into your diet on a regular basis:
- Soy products. Soy products, such as soymilk and tofu, contain protein, anti-oxidants that stimulate nitrate synthesis, and omage-3 fatty acids. All of the above nutrients help to boost collagen production and fight free radicals that break down collagen.
- Dark green vegetables. Veggies such as kale, spinach, collards and asparagus contain lots of collagen producing agents, such as Vitamin C and zinc.
- Vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C is key in collagen hydroxylation, which leads to the formation of the ideal triple helix structure of collagen molecules. Kakadu plum, which is found mainly in Northern Australia, is considered to have the highest naturally occurring concentration of vitamin C of any fruit.
- Red fruits and vegetables. Red vegetables contain lycopene, another anti-oxidant. Lycopene, in conjunction with other compounds in the body, has been found to significantly increase collagen production. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene.
- Seafood and nuts. These two foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help the body to establish the ideal environment for collagen growth. Cashew, pecans, avocado oil, salmon and tuna are all great sources of fatty acids.
- Foods rich in sulfur. Foods rich in sulfur, such as olives, cucumbers and celery, promote faster protein synthesis that eventually stimulates collagen production.
To avoid premature aging of the skin, you should always avoid sun exposure, wear sunscreen, and, if applicable, quit smoking. If the damage is already done, cosmetic treatment options including BOTOX® Cosmetic, dermal fillers, and lasers are available.