When we have concerns with our skin, many times we turn to skin-care products to help. But supporting healthy skin isn't just a matter of what we put on it, it also matters what we put in our bodies. And luckily, there are actually a number of yummy foods that stimulate collagen production. In case you aren't familiar with what collagen does for your body, founders of C2 California Clean, Dr. Clarissa Shetler and Christine Falsetti, PhD, let me know over email that collagen is a protein found in skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue all over the body that helps with elasticity, strength, and firmness.
However, as we age, collagen production decreases which leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. And while there are a number of treatments from serums to light therapy that can help stimulate its production from the outside, you can even help maintain collagen levels with your diet. The best part? You'll actually want to eat the foods that stimulate collagen production. So you know what to work into your meals (or keep since you probably already eat at least one of these things on the reg), here are 10 foods that will keep your skin healthy from the inside out:
According to Drs. Shetler and Falsetti, "Avocados and avocado oil contain omega-3 to boost collagen and vitamin E to help fight free radicals." So yeah, get that side of guac.
"Berries contain phytonutrients that help collagen fibers link together in a way that helps your body produce collagen," say Drs. Shetler and Falsetti. Try throwing a handful in your cereal or yogurt for a boost of sweet, healthy goodness.
Vitamin A helps restore and regenerate damaged collagen, say Drs. Shetler and Falsetti, so eating orange foods like carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potato that are rich in vitamin A can help keep your skin healthy.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Orange fruits and veggies aren't the only ones rich in vitamin A though. Drs. Shetler and Falsetti add that dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard that have both vitamins A and C help "encourage the body to produce more collagen."
Because amino acids are essential to the formation of collagen, Drs. Shetler and Falsetti suggest adding eggs to your diet as they are naturally rich in amino acids.
Similar to avocados, fish, especially fatty fish, contain omega-3 oils that help boost collagen production, say Drs. Shetler and Falsetti.
7. Flax Seeds
Another food rich in omega-3s? Flax seeds. Try sprinkling some over your cereal or mixing some into a smoothie to help stimulate collagen production.
Sulfur-rich foods such as garlic have been shown to increase collagen production in both the skin and joints, say Drs. Shetler and Falsetti. They add that taurine and lipid acid, which are also found in garlic, support damaged collagen fibers.
"Fruits containing vitamin C will help with the creation of collagen," say Drs. Shetler and Falsetti. Think citrus fruits, kiwifruit, berries, and even tomatoes.
10. White Tea
According to Drs. Shetler and Falsetti, research completed by Kingston University has shown white tea can "protect the structure of the skin proteins, specifically collagen."
So go ahead and pour yourself a cup of tea, and serve up that egg, spinach, and avocado toast. Your skin will thank you for it.