Don’t overlook the importance of food when you’re searching for ways to keep skin young by boosting collagen production. Try topical products at home and check in with the dermatologist for in-office treatments, but remember to head to the grocery for nutrients that help your skin maintain volume, resiliency and strength.

These are the foods that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants to repair and restore collagen damaged by naturally occurring enzymes, free radicals, sun, pollution and smoke. The list includes some surprises along with such familiar stalwarts in natural skin care as dark, leafy green vegetables. Egg whites, anyone?


Garlic packs a lot of the sulfur that the body needs to produce collagen. Garlic also provides lipoic acid and taurine, which also help rebuild damaged collagen fibers.


Cabbage may be one of the best kept secret foods for increasing collagen production. Stuffed full of full of vitamins A, B, C, and E, cabbage provides a heavy dose of antioxidants and phytonutrients like lutenin that can help fight free radicals.


Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which increase collagen production. Thee natural skin care healers are also packed with vitamin E, which helps fight free radicals.


Omega-3 fatty acids are critical in creating stronger cells to maintain healthy skin, and fish like salmon and tuna are loaded with these fatty acids. Healthy cells are building blocks that support the skin’s structure.


Flaxseeds are another perfect source of skin-friendly omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They make a great addition to smoothies and salads,

Red and Orange Vegetables

Restore and regenerate damaged collagen with vitamin A-rich veggies that are orange, like carrots and sweet potatoes, and red, like peppers, tomatoes, beets and strawberries. These vegetables are chock full of the antioxidant lycopene, which acts as a natural sunblock and protects the skin.


Zinc is an essential element of the collagen-building process, and beans are loaded with this nutrient. They also come packed with hyaluronic acid, make beans one of the most important foods that encourage cell proliferation and hydrate skin. Well-hydrated skin is less vulnerable to fine lines and wrinkles.


Oysters are another naturally rich source of zinc, and they are loaded with vitamins and minerals including iron and vitamin B12.

Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale are packed with vitamin C that can boost collagen production. These veggies have high water content and antioxidants that hydrate skin and improve elasticity.


In addition to revving up collagen levels, blackberries and raspberries prevent damage by scavenging free radicals.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits help amino acids such as lysine and proline convert to collagen.  These fruits are drenched in the antioxidant vitamin C, which fights free radicals that can break down collagen and elastin in the skin.


Soy contains plant hormones genistein, which acts as antioxidants and promote collagen production. Add soy milk, cheese or tofu to your grocery list to block enzymes that can age the skin.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are high in both lysine and proline, so eating more egg whites can help support your body’s natural production of collagen. Plus, they are loaded with collagen itself.