Most women, in fact up to 90% of them, will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. For most it will happen during the third trimester, but for some it can happen as early as the first or second trimesters. One of the best natural ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to develop a healthy diet that is good for your skin. Not only will you be strengthening your skin, but you will be benefiting all you other organs and your baby’s too.
Up Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is more commonly known for preventing the common cold and the occasional cough. Believed for years to be the vitamin for strengthening immune systems, it has recently been found to be quite crucial to the health of your skin.
Ascorbic acid, as Vitamin C is also known as, is an essential vitamin. Essential vitamins are vitamins that need to be ingested through the diet because our bodies cannot synthesize them, unlike Vitamin D for example. Very few people know that Vitamin C is actually an integral part in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that is responsible for the elasticity of our skin. Since it is an essential vitamin, it is advisable to integrate vitamin C rich food in our diets.
Increase Vitamin E Intake
Vitamin E is one of the most well know beauty, vitamins, and with good reason. This vitamin promotes healing and encourages optimal cell function by neutralizing free radicals in our bodies. As an anti-oxidant, it helps our skin stay healthy and taut by protecting our cell membranes from damaging toxins and free radicals.
Given that dozens, if not hundreds, of fruits and vegetables are very rich in vitamin E there is no excuse for excluding this vitamin from your diet. One of the best sources of the vitamin are almonds, spinach, kale (kale is rich in everything!), shrimp, fish and tofu. To encourage yourself to chomp on more Vitamin E, you could dip tortilla chips in some guacamole. Both tortilla chips and avocado are chock full of the vitamin.
In the beauty industry, they cannot get enough of this vitamin. It increases blood circulation, eases wrinkles (with actual clinical trials to back it up) and even encourages fibroblasts to synthesize collagen and elastin (this action in particular will help with stretch marks a lot).
However, Vitamin A can be harmful when you are pregnant. Pregnant women are only allowed to use and consume limited amounts of it. Some forms of vitamin A (i.e., tretinoin and retinol) are known teratogens and are completely hands off for pregnant and breast feeding mommies.
To harness the benefits of this wonder vitamin, you will have to wait until after you’ve stopped breast feeding the baby.
Eat Fats—The Good Kind
Omega-3, the most popular “good fat”, helps reduce inflammation on the skin. Not only is compound good for your heart it could also soothe some of the discomfort that is caused by the rapid stretching of your skin. Besides that, some omega-3s namely EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docasehexanoic acid) boost immune, brain and over-all pre-natal development.
Consume Food Rich In Zinc
Although not directly related to stretch marks, zinc is good for the skin in that it helps reduce acne. In fact, acne could possibly be caused by a deficiency in zinc. This mineral is also great for the hair and is one of the minerals that can boost your immune system.
Increase Water Intake
Notice how dry skin seems to wrinkle faster and is slower to recover compared to supple skin? Hydration could spell the difference between stretch free and stretch mark covered skin. Our cells are made up of 70% water. In order for them to function optimally, we must stay hydrated.
Using your diet to prevent stretch marks is like hitting two birds with one stone. No, make that three birds! Not only are you preventing stretch marks from developing, the wholesome approach to the prevention will give your skin a healthy glow. Third, and most importantly, the natural way by which you prevented your stretch marks will also benefit your baby greatly.