Had a fun question about nutrition and skin collagen. While we haven’t learned about that yet in my classes, I thought this was an interesting article about it.
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Collagen is the elastic-like fibers that make up the dermis, the layer of skin underneath the topmost layer of skin. Certain factors, such as aging, smoking and lack of sleep, can cause the collagen to break down. This results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Fortunately, positive nutrition choices can help improve and rebuild collagen.
EAT MORE FISH
The Good Housekeeping website suggests eating more cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. These types of fish contain large amounts of protein, which makes up collagen. In addition, cold-water fish contain a fatty acid called omega-3. This fatty acid helps boost collagen production, helping it to stay plump and improving the texture of the skin. For maximum benefits, eat at least two servings of cold-water fish per week.
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WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK
Dr. Albert Kligman in the book “Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins” explains that alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate the skin, damaging collagen and causing skin irritation, wrinkles and puffiness. Instead, concentrate on drinking at least four glasses of water every day. If you are exercising or sweating heavily, drink more water. Staying hydrated can replenish the skin’s moisture, helping collagen to sustain any damage caused by poor dietary choices or daily environmental exposure.
Add more soy to your diet. Soy can be found in a variety of products such as meat substitutes, cheese products, beverages, shakes, cereals and nutrition bars. Soy contains an isoflavone called genistein. Genistein can not only help boost collagen production, it can help block the enzymes that attack and break it down. In addition, soy products can help improve collagen that was damaged by aging or excessive sun exposure.
EAT VITAMIN-C RICH FOODS
Vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, oranges and other citrus fruits, are essential to collagen. These types of foods can help rebuild and maintain collagen, helping to reduce signs of aging. Vitamin C is especially important if you smoke. This is because cigarette smoke tends to deplete the body of vitamin C, break down collagen and promoting wrinkles and other skin problems.