Eat your way to firmer skin
There is one vital factor that determines whether your skin looks plump and youthful, or wrinkly and saggy: collagen.
As you age, your skin gets a lazier and lazier when it comes to producing collagen. While slathering on anti-ageing products is great, another sure-fire way to plump up your skin is by eating collagen-boosting foods.
So, here’s how to munch your way to firmer skin…
PACK YOUR DIET WITH PROTEIN
Just as you need to chow down on protein to keep muscles healthy, collagen needs protein to stay strong, too. It helps to build tissue within the skin and produce healthy collagen and elastin (the stuff that makes your skin spring back when you touch it), so dish up lean meats, fish, nuts and eggs for a protein boost.
LOAD UP ON VITAMIN C
One of the major culprits for premature ageing is damaging free radicals. Think: stress, poor diet and too much alcohol, smoking, illness, and exposure to UV rays. These stressors on the skin cause collagen to break down, but vitamin C has the ability to halt this damage. Up your diet with dark, leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale, and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit to get a vitamin C hit.
LEARN TO LOVE LYCOPENE
Bright red veggies are loaded with lycopene, which is brilliant at boosting collagen. This antioxidant increases natural collagen production and acts as a natural sunscreen. While it will never replace your daily SPF sun protection, it can help to shield your skin. Pack your salads with red vegetables like beetroot, red capsicum and tomatoes to reap the benefits
SERVE UP SOY
Soy-rich foods are packed with antioxidants, which can not only enhance collagen production, but also block the kind of nasty enzymes that can age skin. To amp up your soy intake, switch your regular milk for soy milk, opt for tofu instead of meat and up your intake of cheese (um, yes please!).
THINK ABOUT ZINC
Need an excuse to eat more chocolate? Well, here it is! Dark chocolate is a great source of zinc, which benefits the skin by reducing inflammation, repairing damaged cells, and – of course – boosting and protecting collagen and elastin. Other zinc-rich foods include pumpkin, oysters, spinach and white mushrooms, so get munching!
Do you want to boost your skin’s firmness? Will you be adding any of these foods to your diet?