Collagen, which helps keep our skin looking young, is not found in food directly; however, there are some foods that help boost its production to help sustain a youthful appearance.
Zinc, a mineral known for speeding up wound healing, works with the skin to help rebuild its collagen fibers. Zinc is found in watermelon seeds, raw cacao, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, pecans and rolled oats.
The amino acids proline, found in wheat germ, along with lysine, found in legumes, also looks promising for promoting collagen formation. However, it is important to consume with vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies in order to convert it to its collagen-producing form.
Silicon is another beautifying mineral found in hemp, radish, alfalfa, oats, bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Finally, a couple phytonutrients that show promising results for strengthening the connective tissue matrix are catechins, found in green tea, and anthocyanidins, found in deep-colored, red-blue berries and fruits.
The phytonutrients found in cucumbers, a natural beauty food high in B vitamins (except B12), vitamin c, silicon and other minerals, help heal and smooth collagen and, as an added bonus, reduce visibility of cellulite!
In general, consuming foods high in antioxidants disarms the free radical damage of cross-linking, the process that makes our skin stiff and inflexible.