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It’s a fact of nature that our collagen production falls with age. But did you know that this wonder compound – so important to the elasticity and appearance of our skin – can be influenced by your diet? So, what foods can you include or ramp up in your diet to ensure you’re giving your skin the best chance?

Dark leafy green vegetables

Not only does increasing your consumption of dark green leafy vegetables assist your collagen production through an antioxidant called lutein, but many also provide vitamin C and a huge amount of fibre and water content. Add to your fridge or increase your daily intake of vegies like cabbage, kale, spinach, silverbeet (Swiss chard) and rocket.

Root vegetables and beans

These foods are great in any diet because of their high fibre and low GI content. But more than that, foods like beans, beetroots, celeriac, parsnips and radishes consist of hyaluronic acid, which is found in the body’s connective tissue and assists in the skin’s own tissue repair.

Garlic

Although the old adage ‘Less is more’ certainly applies to garlic in most recipes, you might want to replace that with ‘less more often’. Garlic is high in sulphur, which is critical to the production of collagen. Just maybe don’t try to increase your garlic in the one dish.

Vitamin C

Foods rich in vitamin C work with proline – an amino acid inherent in humans – boosts your body’s collagen production. But swap the tablets for the good stuff – eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, capsicum, kiwis and berries, will provide your body with a whole range of other benefits.

Blueberries

Not only do blueberries contain a heap of vitamin C, but they also have high amount of anthocyanins. These compounds work in collaboration with vitamin C to strengthen your collagen.

Avocado

Avocado oil has been found to have a direct impact on increased production of collagen within your skin. It is for this reason that avocado oil is so often found in skin ointments and lotions.

Proteins

Found in protein-rich food sources, the essential amino acid threonine is utilised in collagen production. Food sources rich in protein, such as nuts, beans, chickpeas, lentils and meat are all good sources of protein, which also assist healthy muscle growth and tissue repair.