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15 Superfoods That Can Firm Sagging Skin

These foods can help reverse the signs of aging.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, making skin appear crepey, dry, and saggy.  "Your body has been making collagen your whole life," Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, tells Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. "Products to boost your collagen levels may be helpful, but you first need to consider if your body needs more… Aside from aging, the top reason people don't have enough collagen is poor diet. Your body can't make collagen if it doesn't have the necessary elements." So what exactly do experts say we should eat to boost collagen and firm up skin? Read on to find out.

Nuts and Seeds

Various seeds , nuts seeds , pumpkin seeds and varies in glass jar

The Omega-3s in Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, and walnuts are wonderful for skin health and appearance. The zinc found in nuts and seeds also encourages the body to produce collagen. "The health benefits of walnuts are impressively broad," Amber Sommer, RD, LD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "They definitely deserve a place in your diet. They're well-known for their healthy fats, and they also have benefits you might not know about, such as improving your gut microbiome."


Avocado on rustic wooden table. Raw Fruits healthy green food concept.

Research shows avocados improve skin elasticity. "A lot of those natural compounds in avocados share the same characteristics as the resveratrol found in grapes and the many other phytonutrients found in other fruits and vegetables," Zhaoping Li, MD, tells UCLA Health. "It brings us back to the main point of all of our research, which is that replacing processed foods with natural foods improves our organs, improves our skin, and improves our health altogether."

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Oily Fish

Roasted fillets of mackerel fish on cutting board. Dark wooden background. Top view.

Omega-3-packed oily fish such as salmon and mackerel can help firm up skin. ""Oily fish, including sardines, mackerel, salmon and herring, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that prevent oxidative stress, thanks largely to their heavy antioxidant profile. Oily fish also provides protein that boosts collagen and elastin," dietitian Johanna Angman tells Express. "Increased production of collagen and elastin promotes plump and elastic skin."

Bone Broth

Saucepan with bouillon with a ladle on rustic wooden table. Bone broth

Bone broth made from chicken, fish, or beef, is a great source of collagen. "I recommend buying only organic bone broth, or cooking broth from the bones of only organically raised animals," Dr. Bradley says. "You don't want the residue of pesticides, antibiotics and other contaminants in your broth."


blueberries and raspberries, blackberry in a wooden bowl on old wood background

Berries are a great source of antioxidants that encourage firmer, more supple skin. According to experts, black raspberries are the best. "They're the most nutrient dense of all the berries," Kathleen Johnson, MA, RD, LDN, tells Johns Hopkins Health.

Olive Oil

Olive oil with fresh herbs on wooden background.

Extra virgin olive oil is packed full of antioxidants that help which "can slow down or prevent body cell damage caused by free radicals, [as well as squalene], which works to stimulate healthy collagen connectivity, supporting skin elasticity and delaying the onset of wrinkles," L.A.-based osteopath Vicky Vlachonis tells Town & Country.

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Green Tea

Hand that pours chinese green tea from glass kettle to smal cup

"Tannins and caffeine in green tea help shrink blood vessels around your eyes and reduces dark circles, redness, swelling, irritation and puffiness," Harini Sivakumar, Founder, CEO & Cosmetic Chemist at Earth Rhythm, tells Vogue India. "It contains a high quantity of polyphenols known as catechins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and powerful antibacterial properties, making it effective in treating acne and unclogging pores. Green tea and green tea extract can keep your skin looking younger."


Egg, Chicken Egg

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, choline, and vitamin D. "I swear by: Boiled eggs, tomatoes, oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines) and plenty of green vegetables along with red meat twice a week," dermatologist Dr. Nick Lowe tells MailOnline. "I have rosacea which causes redness and broken capillaries so I avoid foods that aggravate such as alcohol, over-spicy curries and hot drinks, I have taught myself to enjoy tea and coffee cold."


oysters fresh seafood healthy meal food snack on the table copy space food background rustic top view pescatarian diet

Oysters are very high in zinc, which is crucial for collagen production. Zinc is also important for a healthy immune system and can help improve your mood. "Yes, oysters are very good for you," preventive cardiology dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, tells Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. "In fact, you probably didn't know that it's hard to beat all the health benefits of oysters from a nutritional standpoint."

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Almonds pour from wood Cup

Almonds have many nutrients that are good for both health and beauty. "In the sense that they are a low-glycemic-index food and have 6 grams of plant-based protein, yes," Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, tells Allure. "What is good for the heart can be good for the skin."


Farmer holding fresh tomatoes at sunset. Food, vegetables, agriculture

Tomatoes are full of lycopene, the riper the tomato the better. "Lycopene is a great food-derived antioxidant with many skin benefits that span the entire skin wellness spectrum," Karin Hermoni, PhD, head of science & nutrition at Lycored, tells the Sydney Morning Herald. "The nutrient not only quenches free radicals but also induces the body's own protection mechanism against oxidative stress and inflammation, enhancing skin resilience and allowing skin cells to better cope with the environment."

Organ Meats

Raw chicken liver on a stone Board. Black background. Top view

Organ meats such as liver contain high amounts of vitamin A, also known as retinol. It also contains high levels of zinc, which encourage collagen production. "Retinol has many skin-clearing and antiaging benefits. Retinol increases the thickness and elasticity of your skin, slows the production of melanin, reduces inflammation and prevents clogged pores," says the Cleveland Clinic.


fresh steamed cockles, boiled cockles in ceramic plate on old white wood texture background, easy seafood recipe menu, blood cockle

Shellfish is sky-high in zinc, which is necessary for collagen production. Certain types of shellfish such as cockles are also high in iron and vitamin B12, also important for collagen synthesis. Cockles also contain skin-friendly retinol.

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Citrus Fruits

Fresh fruits. Mixed fruits background. Healthy eating, dieting. Background of healthy fresh fruits. Fruit salad - diet, healthy breakfast. pomegranate, persimmon, tangerine, banana, lemon

Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemon are incredibly good for sagging skin. "Vitamin C promotes fibroblast proliferation, which makes up the skin-firming collagen in the dermis," New York City-based dermatologist Anthony Rossi tells GQ. "It also helps inhibit melanogenesis, a hyper pigmentation that causes dark spots on the skin."

Green and Red Peppers

Green and red peppers

Green and red bell peppers are good sources of vitamin C, which is very beneficial for skin. "Red peppers contain a large amount of vitamin C, which heals and rejuvenates tissues, including cartilage," Lara Whitson, RD, LD, tells Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. "Research suggests that vitamin C helps reduce pain from knee arthritis. Red peppers also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which could also help relieve OA symptoms."

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Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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