Red fruits and vegetables also are excellent sources to up the collagen content of foods in the diet. The presence of lycopenesl in these types of foods helps to act as
antioxidants, which in turn increases collagen production. Try adding red peppers, beets, and fresh or stewed tomatoes to the diet. Also include sweet potatoes, carrots and more. Research from Dr Ronald Watson at the University of Arizona has found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating extra UV protection. "The effect is so strong that eating six portions a day for about two months will build a natural barrier equivalent to a factor four sunscreen," says Dr Watson.
Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables are natural sources of collagen production. You should try to include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and strawberies into your daily diet.
Prunes One of the biggest causes of skin aeing is attack by substances called free radicals, that break down healthy skin tissues. Antioxidants helps neutralise these free radicals before they can do any damage - and prunes are the fruit containing the absolute highest level of antioxidants. Blueberries are a close second. Eat five to six prunes, or a small basket of blueberries, daily to get a great health boost .
Omega Acids also help to create an ideal environment for collagen production. Fish such as salmon and turna are excllent sources of omega fatty acids. Nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts contain healthy amounts as well.
Flaxseed is a major sources of the healthy fat omega-3. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer made from this and other fats so, the higher your omega-3 intake the stronger that layer is, and the plumper your skin cells are - which helps disguise lines and wrinkles. Mix it into smoothies or add it to balsamic vinegar and use it as a salad dressing, but try to have a tablespoon each day.
Foods that are rich in sulphur content are also important to collagen production. Among these are green and black olives, fresh cucumbers, and fresh stalks of celery. Working in conjunction with the sulphur, vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A also aid in keeping collagen levels high. Try adding raw carrots, fresh cantaloupe and baked sweet potatoes to the diet for an extra boost.
Turkey contains a vital skin-friendly protein called carnosine that slows down a process in the skin called cross-linking. When this happens, fibres grow into the collagen of the skin making it stiff and inelastic. This then stops it snapping back when you do things like smile, laugh or frown - and this is what causes smile lines or crows feet. Eat turkey two to three times a week.
Chocolate is really is good for your skin. In studies in Germany, it was found that after drinking a cocoa-packed drink, blood flow to the skin was boosted (meaning it gets higher levels of nutrients and moisture). It also seemed to be more protected against UV damage - the number-one skin ager. Only dark chocolate contains enough antioxidants to have effects, though.