While the foods that build collagen and elastin are beneficial at any time in life, it becomes particularly important to get enough of these foods after age 50. At that time, your body begins to produce less of them, which can result in the loss of elasticity and firmness of your skin and facial features.
But what is elastin?
It is a protein of structural function that forms quite abundant elastic fibers in our body. It consists of the amino acids glycine, alanine, valine and proline. TIt has properties comparable to rubber and can be stretched to several times its size and then returned to its original dimension. It is found in the elastic tissue of the lungs, in large vessels and ligaments. Each molecule of it extends when the fiber is stretched and retracts once the stretching force is relaxed.
What's it for?
The fibres of elastin provide elasticity to tissues, including the dermis, which complements the tensile strength of collagen fibers, maintaining the skin and preventing aging.
What is the difference between collagen and elastin?
Elastin is the protein with the most resistance in our body, but it is found in small quantities in the skin, where its function is to give elasticity. The fibers are finer than collagen.
Since collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and makes up the skin, bone, tendons and vessel walls. The production of both begins to decline around the age of 25, gradually decreasing over the years, leaving the skin looking aged, lacking in elasticity and firmness.
How to maintain the elastin of the skin?
As with collagen, food plays a very important role in its maintenance. The use of antioxidants helps reduce the action of free radicals, which cause cellular aging.
Foods rich in vitamin C should be part of our menu, since this nutrient participates in the formation of elastin and collagen. VLeafy green vegetables and citrus fruits such as cabbage, broccoli, kiwi, lemon, strawberry and acerola are some options.
They also include vegetable oils, egg yolk, oil and wheat germ to be sources of vitamin E, important for good skin appearance by promoting elastin production.
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According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the body uses vitamin C to make collagen and elastin, proteins that help keep your skin firm and elastic. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps maintain your immune system, so you can get both beauty and health benefits from these vitamin-rich foods. Getting the recommended 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day helps with collagen production. After age 50, you should focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C. Citrus fruits-such as oranges and grapefruit-red-peppers, strawberries, and sweet potatoes-contribute to a significant amount of vitamin C.
Lysine is an amino acid that the body uses to build collagen. It is an essential amino acid, which means that your body needs it but cannot produce it itself. Instead, it is provided exclusively in our diet. Red meat, cheese and nuts are rich in lysine, but can also be high in fat. If you are over 50 and struggling with weight, you should try soy products, which are also rich in lysine but low in fat.
The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that your body needs large amounts of the mineral manganese to increase collagen and elastin production, especially when healing wounds. If you are over 50 and have also had surgery that has left scars, manganese will help your skin heal. Your diet should provide a small amount of manganese - 2.3 milligrams for men and 1.8 milligrams for women. Eat foods such as pineapple, nuts, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables, which are high in manganese. Unorthodox foods such as seaweed and other sea vegetables are also rich in manganese.
Your body needs copper, which is an essential mineral that helps bind collagen and elastin to form strong skin. Copper, like manganese, is found in a wide variety of foods, although it is most concentrated in animal organ meats, shellfish, nuts and seeds. Whole-grain foods, such as breads and pastas, are also rich in this mineral. Copper is found less often in fruits and vegetables, but you can get to the recommended daily intake with the addition of nuts and seeds - such as cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds - as well as lentils and mushrooms. Consuming 0.9 milligrams of copper daily is recommended for healthy collagen and elastin production.