The food you choose for your daily meals can contribute to the appearance of those wrinkles and expression lines that you see in the mirror. A diet rich in fried and processed foods, and sugar can compromise the body’s collagen production.
These fibers, which are found in several body tissues, are responsible for firmness and elasticity. Over time, there is a natural decrease in collagen production: it is estimated that after the age of 25, there is a loss of 1% of collagen per year.
Foods that affect collagen production
Besides natural factors related to aging, a diet that is poor in nutrients affects collagen production and favors the appearance of fine lines on the face. This happens because low quality ingredients, like those containing high amounts of trans fat, for example, cause inflammation that can damage the skin's collagen.
While some ingredients, like meat, eggs, citrus fruits and leafy greens enhance the production of these elastic fibers, others trigger inflammatory processes that séed up the skin’s aging. To keep the skin young and healthy, it is important to limit the intake of these foods:
High levels of sugar in the body causes what is called glycation, a process in which a sugar molecule bonds with a protein – like collagen, for example – damaging its structure. Therefore, there is loss of skin elasticity and tonicity, enabling the appearance of wrinkles.
Foods that are fried in oil can increase inflammatory processes in the cells, leading to the destruction of collagen, which gives firmness and elasticity to the skin. It causes premature aging and the appearance of those unwanted fine lines. That is why it is important to avoid fried foods and other types of fats present in processed food labels, like trans fat and hydrogenated oils.
Fat and processed meat
Processed meat, such as hotdogs and bacon, usually contain high levels of saturated fats and nitrates, which can also lead to inflammation that culminate in cellular aging. The tip is to opt for lean red meat and other options like turkey breast and chicken.
Alcohol consumption is also responsible for the decrease of collagen production, because it alters the production of enzymes and stimulates the creation of free radicals, leading to aging. According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, the exception to the rule is red wine: when ingested in moderation, it has an antioxidant effect that fights free radicals.