Mirror, mirror on the wall, what the heck is happening?! According to www.LiveStrong.com, the plump and healthy looking skin we enjoy in our youth is from collagen, and elastin, stored in our bodies. Collagen forms connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, and gives young skin its smooth texture and resilience. Elastin is a protein also found in connective tissues, and provides the flexibility to structures such as skin, cartilage, and arteries.
Unfortunately, these important proteins are depleted as we get older, causing wrinkles and other visible signs of aging we see looking back at us in the mirror. The good news is you can build collagen and elastin with every bite, by serving meals containing ingredients that keep production levels of these key proteins up.
Ingredients like leafy greens, citrus, soy, and seafood all contribute to the beauty and health of your skin. Here’s why:
HealthCentral.com suggests incorporating vegetables containing vitamin C because it’s a good source of lutein. Choose green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and arugula. Oranges, kiwis and strawberries are super concentrated sources of Vitamin C.
Copper is an essential trace mineral that assists with the metabolism of ascorbic acid. It works in conjunction with vitamin C toward the maturation of collagen and the formation of elastin. Dried fruits like apricots, prunes, and raisins supply copper in abundance. Adults require 900 micrograms of copper daily.
Vitamin A builds and maintains healthy and glowing skin. Include carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and melons into your meals. Foods high in antioxidants, like these, prevent the molecular reaction caused by free radicals that leads to cellular deterioration.
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, important fats that the body does not produce on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the proper functioning of many different types of cells in the body, including those in the skin. Salmon and tuna are excellent choices.
Zinc enables proteins to combine with other building blocks of protein to form new collagen. Good sources of zinc include shellfish, other fish, meats, and dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cheese.
Soy-based foods can also help boost collagen production in the skin. Tofu, edamame, soymilk and soy nuts contain a substance called genistein, an element responsible for increasing collagen synthesis.
Get inspired to cook and serve a bounty of skin-healthy foods for your friends and family with our Summer Celebrations Menu!