Nowadays, we often see and hear about collagen products (from beauty products, food supplements, even drinks) that are being sold in the market that offers you a youthful glow as well as its anti-aging properties. What’s the fuss all about? What really is collagen?
Collagen is the major fibrous protein in the human body that gives our skin its firmness. Did you know that up to 30% of all the protein in the body is collagen? And up to 70% of the protein content in our connective tissue is composed of collagen? Overall, it is the most abundant protein in the body. It strengthens, connects and supports our tissues including the skin, muscles, bones, cartilages, tendons, as well as our organs. It works with keratin to provide our skin with strength and flexibility.
But as we grow older, less collagen is produced by our body, that’s why we see its effects: appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness, problems on our joints and the most noticeable, the loss of elasticity of our hair and skin, thinning of our lips, as well as fragile nails.
By providing an increase in the protein levels of collagen in the body, there will be an increase in the body tissue support to all joints and organs of the body. Since collagen is so important within the body, collagen deficiencies can be problematic that’s why here are some ways to help you increase collagen:
- Soy and Soy products. An element known as genistein, contained on food like soymilk and cheese give soy products their collagen production qualities. Genistein also helps in blocking enzymes that tend to break down and age the skin.
- Dark green vegetables. These are also excellent examples of food that contain collagen-producing agents. Examples of these are cabbage, kale, and spinach among many others.
- Beans. Beans help produce hyaluronic acid, a vital anti-ageing substance.
- Red Vegetables. Two powerful antioxidants, Lycopene and Anthocyanins, found in red vegetables help increase the levels of pro-collagen (a precursor of collagen). These vegetables indirectly promote collagen production and reduce the wrinkling of the skin. Antioxidants are also known to reduce the damaging effects and help keep the skin safe from the damaging effects of UV rays.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C. Fruits rich in vitamin C like lemon, oranges, limes and strawberries are natural sources of collagen production. Vitamin C-rich foods help amino acids—lysine and proline—in converting collagen.
- Antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidant-rich foods help fight the effects of free radicals (substances that causes ageing). Antioxidants help in neutralizing these free radicals before they can do damage to our body, that’s why you should consider including these food in your daily diet.
- Egg Whites. As we said above, the amino acids lysine and proline are among the two essentials in the production of collagen,as they are the building blocks of collagen. Egg whites contain substantial amounts of these amino acids and including it in your diet helps improve tissue firmness and skin appearance.
- Pineapple. Aside from it being a source of vitamin C, pineapples contain a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme, Bromelain, which is found to be effective in the formation of collagen.Aside from collagen formation, it also helps in reducing tissue swelling when you have wounds as it has its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
These may not be a long and complete list of your collagen-rich food, but hey, this can be a great start. Remember the key term: balanced diet. By including those mentioned above in your daily diet, you will soon begin to see changes and difference in your skin and your whole body as well.
So before you opt to shop for artificial creams, why not start shopping for these food first?
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