“Prevention is better than cure” is an age-old saying that is still sticking around and for good reasons. I am talking about stretch marks here. When you have got considerable weight to lose, stretch marks are inevitable. If you are currently on the weight loss journey, it would be prudent to include collagen-rich foods in your diet to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Oh how we dread those tiger stripes (makes us feel like anything but a tigress :\). Stretch marks are caused when our body expands so suddenly that our skin doesn’t get time to grow proportionately and thus just stretches like a balloon. And when we get back to the original size, the inflated balloon shrinks. Be it due to exercise, growth years or pregnancy, stretch marks are not desirable. Here are foods you can consume to avoid stretch marks:
What are the Causes of Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are ripple-like indented marks that common during or after pregnancy and with weight gain or weight loss. The most common areas where you can develop them are – arms, breasts, back, butt, hips, shoulders, stomach area.
What is Collagen?
Collagen provides the flexibility and resilience needed by skin to withstand stretching. Since collagen occurs naturally in the connective tissue of animals, bones (especially the marrow) should be your go to food to avoid stretch marks. They can be easily consumed as soups.
How Collagen Helps to Reduce Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks commonly develop around the tummy, thigh, and gluteus area. When the skin rapidly stretches, the connective tissues and dermal layer of the skin get damaged and streaks may appear. A stretch mark appears when the collagen and elastin content in the dermis, under the skin cell layer, breaks and ruptures. Keeping your skin well moisturized and hydrated can improve skin’s elasticity and prevent stretch marks from showing up.
Here are some collagen-boosting foods to include in your diet to avoid stretch marks:
2. Soy products.
6. Avocado (also rich in healthy fats)
7. Omega-3 fatty acid rich fish such as tuna and salmon.
10. White tea
13. Chia seeds
14. Leafy green vegetables
15. Pumpkin seeds
Other than collagen, you can also include these amazing nutrients to prevent stretch marks:
1. Healthy fats: They will provide added elasticity and promote healthy, glowing skin. Great choices include fatty fish like salmon or fish oil capsules, healthy oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil and coconut oil.
2. Vitamin A: It encourages the formation of new skin cells. Bright orange fruits and vegetables in general are loaded with Vitamin A. The best sources of Vitamin A are Sweet potato, Mango, Pumpkin, Carrot ,Spinach, Turnip, Red lettuce, Red peppers , Apricots, Cantaloupe, Goat cheese, Tuna, Herring, Mackerel, Clams, Salmon, Oysters, Cod liver oil and liver.
3. Vitamin E: It is essential for the repair of damaged skin. The best sources are Spinach, Tomato, Turnip, Red Pepper, Avocado, Wheat germ, Egg, Halibut, Herring, Sardines, Tuna, Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Almonds and their butter, Hazelnuts, Peanuts and their butter, Pine nuts, Sunflower oil.
4. Vitamin C: It helps the body produce new skin cells. Bell peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Kohlrabi, Cauliflower, Potato with skin, Sweet potato with skin, Asparagus, Turnip greens, Tomato, Guava, Papaya, Kiwifruit, Orange, Lychee, Strawberries , Pineapple, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe, Mango, Avocado, Berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries) are all high in vitamin C.
5. Zinc: It encourages formation of collagen. Wheat germ, bran, Cheese, Yogurt, Milk, Liver, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Pumpkin seeds, Baked beans, Nuts (pine, peanuts, cashews, almonds), Lentils, Sunflower seed, Cashew butter, Tofu, Soy nuts, Tahini/sesame butter, Egg, Oysters, Crab, Cuttlefish, Lobster, Mussels, Anchovies, and Shrimp are rich in zinc.
And lastly, drinking water is very important. Well-hydrated skin is less prone to stretch marks. Eliminate any beverages that contribute to dehydration such as caffeine and sugary drinks.
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