Stretch marks are a visible reminder of your skin's expansion due to sudden weight gain or pregnancy. Stretch marks are the result of the tearing of the dermis, your middle layer of skin. They are often accompanied by pink or purple lines, indicative of burst capillaries, and generally appear on your thighs, abdomen, hips, breasts and upper arms. Stretch marks are very difficult to get rid of, but you can help minimize their visibility by making a few dietary changes.
Zinc is a required mineral for collagen production, the connective tissue that holds your skin together. According to the Healthy Skincare website, zinc is also a component in the proper functioning of enzymes that the body requires to repair skin wounds. You can find zinc in common meats such as fish, Brazil nuts and turkey.
Vitamins A, C and E are known to help fight off stretch marks and promote the healing of current ones. Vitamin-C-rich foods help limit stretch mark formation, as vitamin C aids in skin collagen formation. Vitamins A and E are also beneficial for stretch marks; vitamin A aids in the development of skin cells, and vitamin E helps the body regenerate vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C are carrots, sweet potatoes and blueberries, while rich sources of vitamins A and E are dairy products, avocados and sunflower seeds.
Protein-rich foods can improve the quality of your skin and help prevent stretch mark development. Soy beans, most particularly the concentrated powder form, are a high plant source of protein. Also rich in protein are meats such as turkey, tuna and chicken breast. For protein-rich dairy, try eggs.
Many drinks, such as coffee, tea and soda, tend to dehydrate the skin and make you more vulnerable to stretch marks. Unlike these drinks, water keeps your skin healthy and hydrated, making it less likely to develop stretch marks. You can boost skin hydration by drinking at least eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. This keeps your skin elastic and helps maintain normal production levels for collagen.