Diet plays a vital role in the appearance, maintenance, elasticity, and youthfulness of the skin. Nutrition and its effect on the skin have always been hot topics for researchers.
In this article, we will highlight what collagen is and the foods that promote collagen production.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is present in sufficient quantities in connective tissues such as bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin.
The main task of collagen is to maintain the elasticity, cell regeneration, and strength of the human muscular skeleton.
In short, collagen helps to increase skin elasticity and firmness and also keeps the skin smooth.
As we get older (chronologically), the collagen levels drop significantly, leading to
- Wrinkled and puffy skin losing skin’s elasticity and agility.
- Tendons and ligaments losing flexibility and agility
- Osteoarthritis, as the covering of the bones (cartilage) worn-out with the passage of time. Cartilage provides cushion to the covering ends of bones.
- GI problems due to thinning of the lining in your digestive tract
Reasons why you need to eat collagen-rich Foods
Collagen-rich foods are considered to improve skin youthfulness, anti-aging, and help joint pain.
Besides rejuvenating the skin tone, people need a collagen-rich diet for
- Supporting bone, tendons, and ligament health, avoiding the chances of fractures and osteoarthritis
- Improves gut health
- Increasing the antioxidants level prevents the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to DNA damage, skin aging, and other detrimental effects.
- Help in reducing joint pain.
- Taking hydrolyzed collagen also protects skin from UV-induced photo-aging.
Here are foods that help your body produce more collagen
1. Bone Broth
Since bone broth is made up of simmering bones and connective tissues, it contains essential nutrients and amino acids such as collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, etc.
Notwithstanding, bone broth by far is the most valuable source of obtaining collagen without supplements. Made up by simmering bones in water, this process extracts collagen from bone and skin.
2. Fish with the skin on
Fish is a great source of collagen as long as you leave the skin on. This is because they are rich in amino acids needed to produce pro-collagen (precursor of amino acids).
Besides, fish have bones and ligaments made of collagen, making them a valuable option.
A recent study claimed that fish collagen is absorbed more efficiently than other dietary sources readily available into the bloodstream. Apart from the best collagen source, they also contain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA, and Vitamin D.
3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pomelo, and limes are rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin C stimulates the production of pro-collagen and reduces oxidative stress that may halt the production of collagen.
In other words, Vitamin C exerts its action through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, preventing collagen degradation, and has the potential to stimulate the production of pro-collagen.
Vitamin C also promotes hyaluronic acid synthesis, role in relieving joint pain, and rejuvenating skin tone.
Research published by Health Line suggested that hyaluronic acid can boost collagen production in the body. That’s is to say, consuming Vitamin C-rich foods can boost the level of hyaluronic acid and collagen in your body.
4. Egg Whites
Egg whites contain 18 essential amino acids, especially proline (amino acid) necessary for collagen production.
In a Journal published in 2015, researchers found out that eggshell membranes can protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and protect the body from skin aging signs.
5. Ginseng, Panax ginseng
Ginseng herb has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. A study published in the Journal of Ginseng Research observed that ginseng increases the amount of collagen in the bloodstream.
Additionally, ginseng is well-known for its anti-aging effects. This is because it possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in rejuvenating skin and supporting overall health.
6. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach are rich in vitamin C, Zinc, and copper, which in turn boost collagen production.
Therefore, a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients encourages the body to make its own collagen and keeps you healthy and strong.
Other foods which are a good source of collagen are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Aloe Vera gel