We all know that topically applied products can help provide moisture and restore elasticity to aging skin. But how about what we eat? It makes sense that diet plays a role in how well (or how poorly) our skin responds to factors associated with aging, such as sun damage and the general loss of collagen over time.
According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, the skin is made up of 80% collagen. It is naturally produced in the body and decreases over time. The diet greatly affects how much collagen is produced.
There are some adjustments you can make to your diet that not only provide overall health benefits, but specifically work at stimulating collagen. Below are some food groups you should include in your diet every day for more youthful looking skin.¹
Dark, leafy greens, which contain lutein, an antioxidant, provide positive effects on the skin including increased hydration, elasticity, lipid content and photo protective activity.
Berries, kiwi, guava, oranges, and grapefruit contain significant amounts of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage to skin and helps the skin form collagen.
Soy, found in soy beans, milk, tofu, cheese, and yogurt, contains isoflavones, a class of organic compounds, which like vitamin C can also be helpful in preventing cell damage caused by free radicals.
Pinto, kidney and navy beans contain hyaluronic acid, an anti-aging substance that prevents skin sagging and improves elasticity. This substance is naturally present in the skin, but decreases with age.
Omega three fatty acids contained in cold water fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and some vegetables offer a long list of health benefits, which include improving dry skin.²
A diet rich in the good foods listed above, and complemented by topical skincare products rich in emollients, can greatly improve the skin’s ability to withstand aging and other external assaults on collagen.