What is collagen?
Collagen is a term used to describe structural proteins present in the skin and tissues. It’s what gives the skin its suppleness and elasticity — it’s also what helps our skin stay youthful and healthy-looking.
There are several types of collagen present in the human body. And the older we get, the less our bodies produce collagen for each type.
Is it better to take supplements?
There are more than a dozen collagen supplements on the market today. While most of them have been reviewed and approved by health and safety experts, there is still a slight risk in taking these. Experts see eating foods that nourish your skin as the best and most effective way to improve skin health.
In the next section, we take a look at the top 7 foods that help your body produce collagen. Hopefully, this helps you make better and healthier decisions regarding your skin health.
Top 7 collagen-rich foods to add to your diet
1. Chicken Meat
If you’ve ever tried cutting open a chicken, you may have noticed that its meat has a ton of connective tissues giving it structure. This is collagen in its rawest form.
Supplement manufacturers extract this substance from the chicken meat and reproduce them to distribute to buying customers. But a lot of things happen during the production process that may alter the construction of collagen.
This is why consuming collagen directly from its source is a better way to get your required doses. Studies show that subjects who consumed collagen from chicken meat had a significant decrease of visible aging signs on their face.
2. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. These are just a few examples of citrus fruits that encourage collagen production in the human body. Vitamin C plays a massive role in the pro-collagen production process. Pro-collagen supports the overall structure of collagen in the body and maintains its strength and integrity.
The stronger the collagen in your body, the fewer blemishes that appear on your skin e.g., wrinkles, crow’s feet, and uneven skin tone.
3. Shellfish and Fish
Cod oil is one of the most effective substances to keep your skin hydrated and supple. It provides the skin barrier with sun protection and protects the body from other harmful elements such as bacteria, viruses, and oxidants. Besides that, cod oil is also known to speed up the wound healing process and reduce inflammation.
If you’re looking for a topical solution to your collagen problems, coconut oil might be the answer you seek. While it’s often used by people for weight loss, there are other uses for coconut oil outside of eating, like oil cleansing.
Oil cleansing is an age-old skincare technique practiced by many to keep their skin hydrated and smooth. Coconut oil is one of the most popular humectants used for the practice. This is because coconut oil is known to help maintain skin hydration by trapping moisture inside the skin barrier.
A recent study even found that putting coconut oil on your hands overnight can help reverse the adverse effects of alcohol and sanitizer use on the skin.
5. Beans and Nuts
Amino acids are essential for proper collagen production — and beans are chockful of them. They’re also a rich source of copper, a mineral that’s also important to the production and maintenance of collagen in the body.
Nuts are also a rich source of copper. They also contain zinc, which assists the body in its ability to make collagen.
There’s more to garlic than simply making our food taste and smell good. They also help prevent collagen breakdowns. This makes it more likely for you to retain healthy amounts of collagen in the body as you age.
Be careful not to consume too much garlic, however. Excessive amounts of this vegetable can cause serious heartburn. It can also have adverse effects in people taking blood thinners.
7. Leafy Vegetables
Salad greens such as spinach and kale have antioxidant properties that not only improve skin appearance but also help boost collagen production in the body. Adding a salad or two to your menu can bring about tons of benefits for your skin health. It may also help improve your overall wellbeing and immunity.
Benefits of collagen-rich foods
Besides the obvious benefits of improving skin conditions and blemishes, collagen is also an important ingredient in treating joint issues like arthritis. They may also prevent bone loss from happening in older people. It can also promote muscle strength and development as we age.
Collagen can also positively affect the heart, gut, brain, and hair.
Maintaining healthy skin and bones is important as we age. Not only does it help improve our outward appearance, but it also boosts our health and immunity overall. Make space to include these seven foods that help your body produce collagen in your daily menu. We assure you that you won’t regret it!