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Hyaluronic acid, which is also known as hyaluronan, is a naturally occurring chemical that the body produces to help cushion connective tissue and joints. Although the body creates this chemical naturally, there are several other hyaluronic acid sources available. Good sources include foods such as beef or pork, leafy greens, and soybeans. When the consumption of healthy food is not an option, supplements may provide hyaluronic acid.
Although the natural production of hyaluronan is often quite abundant, those who experience temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), mitral valve prolapse, detached retinas, or wrinkled skin may find that they lack this chemical. Many turn to alternative hyaluronic acid sources, and some of the best can be found in certain types of food. The skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals, especially chickens, are good sources of this chemical, and may be made into a broth for easy consumption.
Vegetables are also good hyaluronic acid sources, and are better suited for those who follow a vegetarian diet or who have an aversion to meat in general. Soy is recommended as a good non-meat option because it raises the level of estrogen in the body. When estrogen production increases, the level of hyaluronic acid also tends to rise. Vegetables that contain a high degree of zinc, including spinach, beets, and beans, are a good option as well, because a deficiency in hyaluronic acid is sometimes found in those who lack zinc. Starchy vegetables are said to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, and may be consumed in the form of white or sweet potatoes, green peas, and carrots.
In addition to meat and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruit are all good hyaluronic acid food sources. Those who consume a diet that is low in magnesium are thought to create less hyaluronic acid naturally, as magnesium is said to be an essential part of hyaluronan synthesis. Foods that are rich in magnesium include apples, tomatoes, avocados, strawberries, and pineapples. Other foods that may contain or help in the production of hyaluronic acid are pumpkin seeds, brown rice, yeast, and peanuts.
One of the more convenient hyaluronic acid sources consists of supplements. Some of these supplements contain animal products such as rooster combs; however, most are made from vegetable sources, and may contain other, complementary chemicals or vitamins. These may include methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), vitamin C, or glucosamine.