Vegetables High in Hyaluronic Acid
By Jeffrey Traister
, last updated March 19, 2012
Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally present in the human body that lubricates certain parts of your body and has antiaging properties that may contribute to life extension. Certain foods, including vegetables, contain hyaluronic acid. Increasing your dietary intake of hyaluronic acid may improve your health and reduce your risks of diseases. Consult your doctor about your diet and the health benefits of increasing your intake of hyaluronic acid from eating certain vegetables.
Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluronan, lubricates your eyes, connective tissue, joints and heart valves. (reference 1) Increasing your intake of hyaluronic acid reduces your risk of various types of joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis. Eye surgeons use hyaluronic acid to supplement natural fluids during surgeries, including corneal transplants, cataract removal, retina repair and other procedures. Cosmetic surgeons use hyaluronic acid as fillers in various plastic surgical procedures. Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland report more than 85 percent of dermal filler procedures involve the use of hyaluronic acid, according to research published in "Facial Plastic Surgery" in May 2009. You can also use hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin and help heal burns, wounds and ulcers. Low blood levels of hyaluronic acid are associated with connective tissue disorders, eye disease and heart and muscle related conditions, whereas high blood levels are associated with cancer.
Satoimo, a Japanese sweet potato with striped and slightly hairy skin, contains hyaluronic acid. The inside of satoimo looks similar to sweet potatoes, but it has a sticky texture. A Japanese village called Yuzuri Hara grows satoimo, and residents regularly live very long lives, often exceeding 90 years. Compared with Japanese people from other locations, the residents of Yuzuri Hara have fewer wrinkles, even those who work outside in the sun during the day. Furthermore, the incidence of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease is very low, even among smokers.
Imoji is a Japanese potato root that contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid. Eating this starchy vegetable helps your skin retain moisture and sustain a youthful look and feel. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. You can find imoji at some Asian food stores or Japanese restaurants.
Konyaku is a gelatinous root vegetable concoction that is a rich source of hyaluronic acid. Women in their nineties who live in Yuzuri Hara, Japan and eat konyaku as part of their daily diet have youthful looking skin. They also have a lower incidence of diabetes than women their age who do not eat this starchy root vegetable.
Soy is a plant-based food that contains hyaluronic acid. Scientists at the Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research in Kunitachi, Tokyo, Japan found Bifidobasterium-fermented soy milk contains extracts of hyaluronic acid in both in vitro and in vivo tests, according to research published in the March/April 2003 issue of "Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology." The scientists report that topical application of these extracts increases hyaluronic acid in layers of human skin cells.