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Can You Eat Your Way to Healthier Skin?

Posted by Smarter Nutrition on

Did you know you may be able to eat your way to better, more younger looking skin? That’s right! New research is showing that one of the best ways to get younger and better-looking skin is to consume more foods with high collagen levels.

When it comes to your skin, the food choices you make every day really do matter. If you make the wrong food choices, it can really age you. But with the right food decisions, you can have a more radiant appearance with skin that is more firm, plump, glowing, and with less wrinkles!

All these characteristics of great skin occur and improve with increased collagen and elastin levels in the skin. Collagen is one of the most amazing proteins in the body.

It’s found not only in skin, but also in your organs, hair, nails, tendons, bones, joints, teeth, and even in the fluid that exists between cells. In fact, there are 14 different types of collagen in the body, depending on where you’re looking in the body.

What’s the Problem? Why Do We Need More Collagen?

One of the reasons our skin looks older as we age is because our ability to produce collagen decreases by 25% on average. Also, as we pass 40, wrinkles set in, leaving the skin looking drained and tired, and the collagen levels start dwindling in the center of the cheeks and underneath the eyes. This is known as a loss of facial volume in the beauty industry.

It’s not only your skin that shows a decline in healthy appearance – hair loss speeds up, and bone density may start to decline. Simultaneously, the enzyme that breaks down collagen increases. When the breakdown of collagen is not balanced by enough collagen synthesis, your skin and body will start to look aged.

By the time you hit the age of sixty, your percentage of collagen synthesis plummets to 50% and collagen breakdown via the collagenase enzyme becomes very active. So in order to stay youthful looking, supplemental sources are crucial to meet your body’s demands.

What Foods Promote More Youthful-Looking Skin?

Below is a list of foods you should consider to stay a few steps ahead of the daily skin-aging battle and keep those collagen levels up:

Try hydrolyzed collagen supplement drinks

Hydrolyzed collagen is called hydrolyzed because heat and acid are used in its preparation to break down large peptides into smaller ones that are more bioactive. The amount needed daily is only 10 grams a day, according to studies. This is usually equivalent to a scoop of the powder mixed in with a fluid such as water or juice.

High quality protein foods

High quality protein foods include all foods that have a complete set of all essential amino acids in the right amounts needed to rebuild proteins in the body. These foods are generally from animal, fish, some dairy, and poultry. Some plants have been found to have all the essential amino acids, such as quinoa and amaranth, but they still are low in certain amino acids.  Beans, non GMO soy, lentils, chickpeas, and nuts are sources as well, but less complete.

To calculate the minimum amount of protein you need each day,  simply divide your body weight in pounds by 2. This number gives you the number of grams of protein needed for the day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need 140/2 = 70 grams protein daily. Each 7 grams protein is roughly equal to 1 ounce of animal protein or 4 ounces milk/yogurt or 1 egg.

Curcumin supplement

Turmeric root contains a powerful inflammation-fighting ingredient inside, called curcumin. However, few people know that curcumin also helps inhibit something called collagenase - the enzyme that breaks down collagen.  It can also help prevent water loss from the skin. Curcumin is a great daily supplement for addressing whole body inflammation as well - joints, brain, gut and more.

Vitamin C foods

Vitamin C is essential for your body to produce its own collagen and elastin. It lends support and strength to the collagen in your skin. This explains why topical vitamin C serum use is so popular with dermatologists to help rejuvenate the skin. But you can get benefits from the inside out by consuming more vitamin C foods in the form of grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, kiwi and kumquats.

Manganese Foods

Manganese is one of the many minerals most people need more of in their body. It naturally increases your body’s collagen and elastin synthesis. The foods highest in manganese are pineapple, pecans, and whole grains.

So eating your way to better younger looking skin is possible if you follow these tips each day. All of these foods are also  nourishing in other ways, in addition to feeding and hydrating your skin and increasing your collagen levels. They are also easy to incorporate into your diet on a weekly basis and boost your collagen naturally from the inside out!


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