Stretch marks usually develop during rapid weight changes like in the case of pregnancy. As a matter of fact, about 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks in particular areas like the abdomen, breast and thighs. It is primarily due to small tears from the stretching of the skin combined with hormonal changes during pregnancy. Typically, it develops during the third trimester of pregnancy. A lot of women wonder if there are ways to prevent the development of stretch marks during pregnancy and the answer is yes. The most important part of prevention is your diet since particular foods can reduce the severity of stretch marks. Here are the top diet tips to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Up Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a major role in many body functions. It is also important in maintaining healthy skin and protecting it from damage. It also helps in producing new and healthy skin cells. During pregnancy, vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, broccoli and berries can help improve the elasticity of the skin reducing the chances that stretch marks will develop.
Increase Vitamin E Intake
Vitamin E plays a crucial role when it comes to skin health. It helps improve cell integrity to prevent damage like that which occurs due to the stretching of skin during pregnancy. It is also proven to aid in repairing damaged skin. This is the reason many stretch mark creams include this vitamin as an active ingredient. It can be applied topically or taken orally. Some vitamin E rich foods include nuts, avocados, wheat germ, oat bran and seeds. Vitamin E dietary supplements are also available if you can’t get enough from your diet.
Another helpful vitamin for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy is vitamin A. It helps protect the skin and also encourages the production of new skin cells. It can be sourced from many foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, liver and cantaloupe. Some multivitamin supplements also contain vitamin A. Remember that a healthy nutrient-rich diet alone may not be very effective in preventing stretch marks during pregnancy and it is necessary to utilize other preventive measures like using the best stretch mark creams.
Eat Good Fats
Healthy fats or monounsaturated fats can help improve skin elasticity. It also offers the added benefit of having healthy and glowing skin. The ideal source of healthy fats include fish like salmon and herring, coconut oil and olive oil. You can also eat almonds and other nuts as long as they are not fried.
Consume Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc is essential when it comes to the body’s natural production of collagen. High collagen production increases elasticity and strength of the skin which helps prevent damage caused by stretching during pregnancy. This is why you should increase consumption of zinc rick foods like lean meat, beans, lentils and raisins.
Increase Water Intake
Hydrating the skin is very important in preventing cellular damage. Ultimate skin hydration can be achieved by combining the use of a good moisturizing product and drinking enough water. Most stretch mark creams also contain moisturizing ingredients so using such products combined with increased water intake can help you hydrate your skin properly and prevent stretch marks. Prevent dehydration at all cost since it makes your skin more prone to stretch marks. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks which can cause dehydration.
Watch Your Caloric Intake
Aside from making sure that you get enough of certain vitamins and nutrients, you also need to manage your weight in order to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch marks are primarily due to the skin stretching from weight gain so not gaining a considerable amount of weight can help prevent the development of stretch marks. You should also utilize the best stretch mark creams to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. The ideal healthy weight gain during pregnancy is around 25 to 35 pounds for women with a normal weight. It should be lesser (15 to 25 pounds) for overweight women. Anything more just increases the chances that complications will occur and stretch marks will develop.
To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, you have to make sure that you are getting enough of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients. You should also watch your weight during pregnancy which is very important if you don’t want to have stretch marks. Moreover, there are many good stretch mark creams that are effective in preventing the development of stretch marks during pregnancy. You just need to research carefully to find products that are both effective and safe.