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Toss the Collagen Creams and Eat Your Way to Better Skin


Your skin is made up of 75% collagen - the main structural and most abundant protein that also makes up our hair, bones, and connective tissues. With age, collagen production diminishes and despite anti-aging product claims, collagen cannot be absorbed through the skin.

Enter foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants: your body’s best defense against aging skin. Here are a few you should be putting on your grocery list:


Cabbage contains sulphur which aids in the production of keratin - another structural component of hair, skin, and nails. Cabbage also boasts phytonutrients that boost skin hydration and elasticity. Phytonutrients also act as the pigment that gives foods their deep colors so you can recognize other phytonutrient-rich foods by seeking out colorful foods such as blueberries, blackberries.


Soy contains genistein, a natural plant hormone that improves the production of collagen along with Vitamin E and other essential fatty acids. Clinical studies have shown that soy can reduce blotchiness and discoloration by evening out the appearance of pigments within the skin’s surface.

Red Fruits and Vegetables

Lycopene - the phytochemical that give fruits and vegetables their red color -  is a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals that damage cellular structure. Bonus for those of us who experience blemish breakouts: “Lycopene may lower an acne-promoting hormone,” says Alan Logan, a naturopathic doctor and author of The Clear Skin Diet (Cumberland House). I’ll eat to that!


Chock full of Vitamin E and good fats that aid in preventing cell damage, almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium and are a significant source of protein and fiber. When you need a snack between meals, grab a handful of almonds - your skin will thank you.

Dark Leafy Vegetables

Besides being full of minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals, did you know that dark leafy greens also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C? In addition to being one of the powerhouses of antioxidants, Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps strengthen our immunity system while strengthening blood vessels. Eat a salad with a base of dark leafy greens each day and your body will thank you.

We chose our slogan “In Carrots We Trust” for a reason - they’re packed full of Beta-carotene! The body takes in beta-carotene and transforms it into vitamin A.  Vitamin A improves blood flow to the surface of the skin and also stimulates and thickens the dermis of the skin where collagen, elastin and blood vessels reside. Other good sources of beta-carotene are egg yolks, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains.

So rather than spending your money on the latest wrinkle cream, invest in a healthy diet that will provide you with everything your body needs to produce collagen and get a glow to your skin.

At Garden Bar, we have over 50+ veggies, proteins, and yummy toppings and 16 made-from-scratch dressings to choose from so that you can create your perfect anti-aging salad.

Three downtown Portland lunch locations to choose from and our SE Division Street is opening soon!
In Carrots We Trust