What Foods Contain Hyaluronic Acid and Would They Benefit Your Diet?

What Foods Contain Hyaluronic Acid?

You’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid if you  purchase beauty products or frequent your local cosmetic clinic. Hyaluronic acid (HA) has become quite the buzzword in the beauty world for its hydrating and plumping effects. It’s the main ingredient in many of the dermal fillers we use in our clinic to help lift and smooth wrinkles. But did you know that hyaluronic acid is also in food and your body can naturally produce more of it if you adjust your diet?

We all know that a balanced, healthful diet does wonders for our skin and a poor, unbalanced diet can wreak havoc on it. The skin is our largest organ and it’s greatly affected by what we consume. The age-old saying, “you are what you eat”, is 100% true! Certain foods are rich in hyaluronic acid, so it makes sense to add them to your diet to not only stay healthy but help you age well.

It’s easy to take the shortcut of having dermal fillers to get a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance. But if needles and anaesthetics aren’t your thing, going the natural route with a healthy balanced diet full of HA-rich foods will certainly help your appearance. Don’t be afraid of the “acid” in its name — HA is a naturally occurring carbohydrate or sugar found in the body that provides moisture and firmness to the skin and lubricates the joints. One of the reasons we develop wrinkles is that as time goes by, we lose a significant amount of natural hyaluronic acid in our skin as we age. Hence the need to add HA to your life right now!

 

What Does Science Say about Hyaluronic Acid?

If you are anything like us, you’ll want to know if there is real science behind what the beauty industry tries to sell you. Hyaluronic acid has been studied extensively since its discovery in the 1950s. It can be found in most connective tissues in the body and helps support numerous functions. HA is used for many medical procedures but became popular in dermatology and aesthetics in the 21st century. Because of its ability to retain moisture, hyaluronic acid replaced collagen as the liquid of choice for dermal fillers around the early 2000s. HA was officially approved safe to use as a filler in the EU and FDA-approved by the US during this time. Beauty product creators caught on to its benefits and started putting HA in everything from cream to serums.     

It is also popular to consume hyaluronic acid. You can find supplements containing HA and there are even foods that naturally contain this miracle hydration agent. One study found that the “ingestion of HA moisturises the skin and is expected to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from dry skin.” It can also slow down the ageing process, increase elasticity and improve the skin’s suppleness. So it’s not a bad idea to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your diet and beauty regime sooner rather than later!

What Foods Contain Hyaluronic Acid?

If you want to increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body, you could start by adding these food groups containing HA to your diet. These foods have the added benefit of being good for you, too.

Soy

Some people are apprehensive about soy, but it has a ton of health benefits and can assist the body in making hyaluronic acid. A dash of tofu or edamame in salads and stir-fries — or on their own as a healthy snack — is an easy way to incorporate soy into your diet. Use soy sauce, tamari and miso for sauces and dressings. For adventurous eaters, try cooking with tempeh, a fermented soybean cake popular in Indonesia. Not only does soy assist in creating HA, but it also contains plant-based proteins that are an excellent alternative to meat and fish.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like orange, lemon and grapefruit have the benefit of containing not only a high amount of immune-boosting vitamin C but also naringenin, which inhibits the breakdown of HA in the body.  It’s easy to add citrus to your daily diet with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a grapefruit with your morning yoghurt or by making a lemon vinaigrette for a salad.

Tuber Vegetables

Vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, jicama, lotus root and other tubers are great for producing hyaluronic acid in the body. As they are mainly carbohydrates, they are good alternatives to staple foods such as bread and rice. Tubers contain potassium, fibre and vitamins A, C, and B6, so their inclusion in your diet is an excellent way to get all that nutrition while adding a healthy starch to your meal plan for energy and satiation.

Green Leafy Vegetables

You should eat green leafy vegetables every day, like kale, lettuce, collard greens, bok choy and spinach. These vitamin-rich foods contain magnesium, which aids in the production of hyaluronic acid in the body. It’s easy to sneak leafy greens into your diet via a salad or by steaming or sauteing them for a lovely side dish. Or, you could add them to veggie and fruit juice for a little diversity in your meal planning.

Nuts and Seeds

When considering natural sources of hyaluronic acid, nuts and seeds should definitely be on your radar. Many nuts and seeds are high in magnesium and promote hyaluronic acid synthesis. They also come with plenty of extra benefits, helping you burn energy while being a fantastic source of fibres, proteins, vitamins and healthy fats. As well as helping you achieve plump skin and a natural glow, seeds and nuts are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet, whether you enjoy them as a snack, sprinkle them on your salads or add them to sides and stir-fries. For the highest concentration of magnesium and the most skin-boosting benefits, try pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, pine nuts and cashews.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is often said to be an excellent source of nutrients, and it’s true that it provides an abundance of both hyaluronic acid and collagen to keep the skin smooth, well-hydrated and healthy. It’s made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of poultry or beef in liquid for several hours, over which time HA and other nutrients and minerals are extracted. The easiest way to consume bone broth is to drink it by itself, but if that idea is a bit much for you, you can also add it to soups, use it in gravy or cook rice and grains with it. It makes an excellent addition to risotto or ramen dishes, resulting in a meal packed full of flavour.

Supplements

Supplements are designed to assist you with further nutrition rather than be a replacement for a good, balanced diet. In addition to eating the foods above, you can try supplements containing hyaluronic acid. Many people choose to also add a topical hyaluronic acid treatment, which might not have lasting effects but works well as a rich moisturiser.

What Are Hyaluronic Acid Benefits?

A diet rich in HA will help keep tissues and joints healthy, preserve bone health and hydrate your skin. Thanks to its water-loving properties, this humectant is known for its anti-ageing and moisturising capabilities and its ability to improve skin texture. It’s also said to help with wound healing and to treat dry eyes, acid reflux and osteoarthritis.

How Else Can I Take Hyaluronic Acid?

There are several ways for hyaluronic acid to be used to help the body fight ageing — via foods, dermal fillers, or topically. While an HA-infused diet and skincare routine will undoubtedly benefit your skin and overall health, you should be aware that there are limits to its effects. Dermal fillers are the only way to administer hyaluronic acid directly to the skin’s dermis, providing deep hydration in targeted areas for more effective anti-ageing results. If you want to benefit from hyaluronic acid, experiment to see what works best for you and helps you achieve the youthful glow you desire.

If you’re looking for an anti-ageing boost with hyaluronic acid, dermal fillers are the most effective option. Book a free, no-obligation consultation with our aesthetic treatment experts and let us help you feel more confident. We offer the best Botox, facial treatments and dermal fillers in London to meet all your needs. 

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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