10 Collagen-Boosting Foods for A Younger and Healthier YouAnn
What is collagen? Being the most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen can be found in your muscles, bones, skin, blood vessel, digestive system and tendons. Collagen is what makes your skin elastic, helps your skin cells renewing and repairing normally. It’s also the “glue” that holds your joins and bones together, enables your bone to withstand stress so that you can walk around.
Collagen is naturally produced in our bodies but such production starts to slow down when we reach age 25 and continues to decline further. That’s why as we grow older, aging signs such as wrinkles, sagging skin, brittle nails and joint pains start showing up.
Does it mean we all are doomed? Thankfully we aren’t if we know how to help our bodies produce collagen. Below is my list of 10 affordable collagen-boosting foods together with a few tips and tricks to incorporate them into your diet. Give them a try the next time you are shopping for groceries. These foods will bring back the glow to your skin and reduce your joint pains without breaking the bank.
This wonderful superfood tastes great in salads, toast and even smoothies. What’s more? Avocados can make you look more gorgeous. Brimming with healthy monounsaturated fat, potassium, folic acid, B-vitamins and other essential nutrients, they stimulate collagen production in our bodies. I definitely plan to indulge myself this weekend with avocado on toast or a bowl of salad with avocado oil dressings right away for a pump, youthful complexion. High five if you have the same idea!
2. Leafy greens
Want to maintain healthy skin but have a concern about the high calories in avocados? Fret not, because leafy greens such as bok choy, green algae, arugula, kale, lettuce and broccoli can help too. Chlorophyll, which gives those above-mentioned veggies their vibrant green colour, increases the collagen production. So next time when you visit the supermarket, remember to pick up your favourite leafy greens, or maybe try out those recommended above and cook up a storm! Your body will certainly thank you as eating leafy greens will give you a healthy dose of vitamin A, B and E, all of which are vital for collagen synthesis
The versatile, juicy and tangy tomatoes contain a fruitful load of lycopene, which has been shown to impede the enzymes responsible for collagen breakdown in our body, thus helping to strengthen the skin. According to Professor Lesley Rhodes, a dermatologist at the University of Manchester, the tomato diet significantly boosted the level of the protein procollagen, which helps keep the skin supple2. Here are 2 quick tips for you to get the most goodness out of a tomato. Firstly, choose plump, heavy, red and aromatic tomatoes. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. Secondly, lightly cook tomatoes in olive oil will help your body to absorb lycopene better than eating raw tomatoes.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, I love eating them or add them to my desserts. They are packed with ellagic acid, which has been shown to prevent collagen breakdown from UV damage3. Also, the abundance of vitamin C in berries helps to link specific amino acids together to form collagen, thus boosting collagen production in our bodies. Therefore, make sure you pick up a package of berries when they are in season to pamper yourself and your complexion. I always find myself grabbing boxes of berries when they’re in seasons. Who can say no to those beautifully delicious berries?
Suffering from lactose intolerance? Looking for a dairy-free source of protein? Say hello to soy milk. Apart from being a healthy source of protein, soy milk is packed with isoflavones, a special antioxidant that help the skin preserve collagen4. Beside, soybeans contain a lot of protein and amino acids which are helpful in collagen formation. Therefore, don’t hesitate to include soy milk in your diet to slow down the aging process. To jazz things up a bit, give edamame (immature soybeans in the pod), tofu or tempeh a try as these soy products are also loaded with similar goodness from soy milk.
6. Citrus fruits
Zesty lemons, juicy oranges, tart grapefruits, sweet mandarins, these good old citrus fruits are rich natural sources of vitamin C, which helps to “link” the amino acids that are needed to form collagen together. That’s why vitamin C is an essential nutrient during pre-collagen production5. So be sure to include more lemons, oranges, grapefruits and mandarins into your salads or smoothies to bring back a radiant glow to your skin and rejuvenate skin from the inside.
I used to hate eating carrots when I was a kid. As I grow up, I still don’t like to eat carrots, but I often crave for a cold-pressed carrot orange juice during hot summer days. Carrots are excellent sources of antioxidants and vitamin A, which help your body fight free radicals and skin cell damages. They are also loaded with vitamin C, which stimulates collagen production and maintains skin elasticity6. If you are looking for a simple way to revitalise your skin, give carrots a try. Don’t like to eat them? Drink carrot orange juice instead to double the collagen-boosting effect.
Throughout ancient and modern history, garlic has been used as food and medicine for centuries. But do you know that garlic is a sulfur-rich food which has been shown to increase collagen production in both the skin and joints7? What’s more, taurine and lipid acid found in garlic also helps to support damaged collagen fibers. So never hesitate to include garlic in your grocery shopping list because this is a must favour booster and collagen booster that you need to try.
9. Pumpkin seeds
These green flat oval seeds might be small in size but they pack a punch in terms of healthy fats, magnesium and especially zinc. A good dose of zinc from pumpkin seeds can be a good head start for your body to start synthesising collagen8. Enjoy it as a quick-and-easy snack on the go, or sprinkle them into salads and breakfast granolas. It’s so easy to incorporate more pumpkin seeds in your diet.
The good old mighty eggs have the power to be the great source of inexpensive protein as well as the natural collagen booster. When we eat eggs, the abundant choline from egg yolks will be converted to glycine, which is one of the amino acids involved in collagen production9. As a result, consuming choline-rich foods like eggs can help with collagen formation. To top things off, eggs are cheap, tasty and so easy to cook.
How about collagen supplements?
No time to shop and cook but still want to rejuvenate your skin and joints? Want to have a convenient and non-perishable collagen booster to keep in your cupboard? I totally can understand it because sometimes we all need an easy option such as collagen supplements to supply ourselves with a good dose of collagen amidst our busy lifestyles. However, not all collagen supplements are the same. So here are my 3 tips for you when choosing collagen supplements.
Firstly, go for hydrolysed collagen. When hydrolysed, collagen molecules are reduced to smaller peptides, which can be absorbed more efficiently than collagen in its native form.
Secondly, choose a quality collagen which contains vitamin C. This would enable our body to use amino acids glycine and proline (from the hydrolysed collagen) to produce more collagen.
Finally, avoid any products with added sugars, preservatives or artificial favours as these additives will do more harm than good to collagen production in our body.
Want to know more about hydrolysed collagen? You are welcome to check out 100% grass-fed hydrolysed collagen powder, the best selling product from Perfect Supplements Australia on our Naturely Shop platform.