Collagen is responsible for firm, youthful and glowing skin. It is a protein which is found in abundance in our bodies. Collagen is found in our muscles, bones, skin, tendons, digestive system and blood vessels and is the glue which keeps our bodies together and maintains the elasticity of our skin.
Collagen reduces the appearance of cellulite, strengthens teeth, bones and nails, helps fight leaky gut, repairs joints and boosts the metabolism. Unfortunately, the production of collagen slows down as we age, which is the reason why we begin to wrinkle and our bones and joints become weak when we get older. Excessive consumption of alcohol, a poor diet and unprotected sun exposure can accelerate the aging process, however, there are also ways of slowing it down.
If you are worried about crepey skin, stretch marks, cellulite, weak bones and joints and wrinkles, there are ways you can improve your diet in order to avoid the effects of aging for as long as possible. There are plenty of collagen supplements available, but everyone should strive to get all the nutrients the body needs through a healthy diet first and use supplements for their intended purpose—to supplement a healthy diet.
There are certain vitamins and nutrients which are vital for the production of collagen. Below is a list of the vitamins and nutrients accompanied by a list of foods which supply each in abundance.
Vitamin C is a vital molecule for forming collagen, and vitamin C is known for reducing the effects UV damage has on the skin. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are:
- Strawberries and guavas
- Leafy green vegetables
- Red peppers and tomatoes.
Vitamin A reduces the rate at which collagen is broken down. Foods that are rich in vitamin A are:
- Leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots and winter squashes
- Dried Apricots
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 fatty acids help the skin to maintain a smooth appearance by maintaining elasticity because Omega 3 is absorbed into the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin where it minimizes sun damage to collagen and prevents moisture loss. Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are:
- Chia seeds
- Fish oils
Other foods which keep people young include:
Black and green olives because they have a high sulphur content, which collagen production relies on. Sulphur has been used for centuries for the treatment of skin ailments such as dermatitis. Sulphur has other benefits such as treating and preventing acne.
Beans contain hyaluronic acid which holds onto water and plumps up the skin.
Soy products contain genistelin which is a natural plant hormone that improves the production of collagen.
All of these foods should be eaten in abundance every week in order to ensure that collagen is produced and maintained as we age in order to keep us looking, and feeling, young.
Eating healthy foods together with avoiding alcohol, bad foods which are high in sugar and staying protected from the sun are the best ways to fight the signs of aging.