We all know that collagen is associated with the elasticity and suppleness of youthful looking skin. It’s when the production of collagen begins to decline with age that many beauty concerns begin. As the body ages it produces less and less collagen, gradually leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. Most people look to topical treatments as the first port of call, however some of the most basic foods can actually support the production of collagen in the body.
1. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and the levels found in citrus fruits have been shown to help the amino acids lysine and proline convert to collagen. So incorporate oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits that are rich in vitamin C into your diet. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps to neutralise free radicals which can attack and break down collagen and elastin in the skin.
2. Red Fruits and Vegetables
Top up on red fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, beets, sweet potato, red capsicum, carrots, berries and watermelon. They’re all high in antioxidants that help combat free radicals while boosting collagen. The presence of the antioxidant lycopene in red fruit and vegetables increases collagen production and helps prevent cellular damage.
3. Green Tea
Drinking green tea is a great way to help reduce the premature ageing associated with free radical damage. Green tea is rich in the polyphenols catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants. New research has shown that EGCG compounds in green tea can regenerate surface skin cells that have been damaged by free radicals.
Berries are a great source of antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanins which give berries their blue and purple colours. All berries contain anthocyanins in varying amounts and the good news is that you can freeze blueberries without doing damage to the anthocyanin antioxidants. Keeping some berries in the freezer is handy for adding to smoothies.
Garlic is an excellent source of sulphur, which is an essential part of collagen production. It also contains lipoic acid and taurine, both of which help repair damaged collagen fibres.
There a plenty of foods, herbs and spices that can help keep your skin beautiful from the inside out, but just starting with these can be a big improvement for most of us. Remember to also protect your skin by avoiding cigarette smoke, staying out of the sun and limiting sugar intake.
Your in natural health,
Always consult your healthcare professional before commencing a new dietary or exercise regime, before using any supplements and before making any changes to prescribed medications.