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Are There Foods That Tighten Loose Skin?

author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
Are There Foods That Tighten Loose Skin?
Fresh brussels sprouts on a cutting board Photo Credit: tashka2000/iStock/Getty Images

Loose skin might occur as you get older or after significant weight loss. In many cases, only surgical intervention can considerably tighten the skin, but you can alter your diet to include foods that encourage the production of elastin and collagen, the compounds your body makes that give your skin elasticity. This might help tighten loose skin.

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Citrus Fruit

Tangerines with leaves on a wooden table
Tangerines with leaves on a wooden table Photo Credit: Valentyn Volkov/iStock/Getty Images

Consuming citrus fruit positively impacts the elasticity of your skin due to its vitamin C content. One large tangerine, for instance, provides you with 32 mg of vitamin C, a significant portion of the 75 to 90 mg you require daily. Vitamin C triggers the production of collagen. A tangerine also gives you small amounts of zinc and selenium, nutrients that help improve elastin production.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers in a colander
Bell peppers in a colander Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Bell peppers are an excellent source of the vitamin C you need for collagen production, containing 119.8 mg per cup -- far more than the daily recommended intake. This portion of peppers introduces 0.19 mg of zinc into your diet as well; your meal plan should include 8 to 11 mg of this mineral each day to boost the amount of elastin in your skin for tightening loose skin.

Cruciferous Vegetables

A plate of steamed broccoli
A plate of steamed broccoli Photo Credit: eyewave/iStock/Getty Images

Including cruciferous vegetables in your diet might help you firm up loose skin. The cruciferous vegetable group includes brussels sprouts, cabbage, Daikon radishes, rutabagas, broccoli and watercress. These vegetables are generally a good source of vitamin C and contain other nutrients needed for skin health as well. A cup of chopped broccoli, for instance, contains 81.2 mg of vitamin C, 0.37 mg of zinc and 2.3 mcg of selenium, all nutrients needed for elastin and collagen production.


A plate of opened oysters
A plate of opened oysters Photo Credit: mathieu boivin/iStock/Getty Images

Oysters pack a wallop of selenium and zinc, revving up your skin's elastin content. Three ounces of oysters cooked with moist heat introduce 66.8 mg of zinc into your diet, far more than the suggested amount for daily consumption. You also take in 33.6 mcg of selenium; your skin benefits from 55 mcg of selenium daily. In addition to selenium's influence on elastin production, it also helps preserve the look of your skin through antioxidant protections.

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