In today’s video, we’ll be looking at the top 7 foods you can eat to naturally boost collagen production in your body.
Collagen plays an important role in the body and acts as a glue that helps ensure the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of skin, joints, tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscles.
As we age, our body’s ability to produce collagen decreases with each passing year. This results in having more wrinkles, sagging skin, thinner hair, and weaker joints.
While growing old is inevitable, research shows that your diet plays a much bigger role in the aging process than your genetics.
This means that eating the right collagen-boosting foods can make you look a lot younger than your actual age.
Let’s start with Number 7 “Protein-rich foods”.
Think of amino acids as raw material that’s needed by the body to make collagen. When you ingest proteins, your body breaks them down into amino acids. Among these amino acids, your body uses mainly lysine, glycine and proline for collagen production.
Lean meats, bone broth, fish, eggs, and also legumes are some of the best sources of protein you can add to your diet, to make sure you get all the amino acids you need to produce collagen.
Coming up next is Number 6 “Dark Leafy Greens”.
If you aren’t already doing this, adding dark green leafy vegetables to your diet can be a game changer.
Spinach, swiss chard, and other greens get their color from chlorophyll, which has been well-documented for its antioxidant properties. Some studies have even shown that consuming chlorophyll increases the precursor to collagen in the skin.
Dark leafy greens are also excellent sources of vitamin C, which is a critical component of collagen synthesis.
Next, add this category of foods to your diet to boost collagen production.
Number 5 is “vitamin C-rich foods”.
To build collagen, our body produces procollagen, a precursor to collagen. Procollagen is made by combining the amino acids glycine and proline, along with vitamin C.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that without vitamin C, the body is literally unable to produce collagen.
It’s the reason why sailors in the past who were deficient in vitamin C for prolonged periods of time developed scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease associated with collagen degradation and can cause visual blemishes on the skin and bleeding gums.
Additionally, vitamin C is also critical for the synthesis of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a gooey, slippery substance that your body produces naturally.
It’s found throughout your whole body, especially in the eyes, joints, and skin. Its primary function is to serve as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues.
Eating foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids can increase the levels of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the body, which are both important for skin health and joints.
On top of that, vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and helps fight off free radicals caused by environmental pollutants that can damage the collagen present in your skin.
Popular sources of this nutrient include citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and tropical fruits like mango, kiwi, pineapple, and guava.
Berries are another excellent source of vitamin C that are also naturally high in antioxidants.
While we’re on the subject of colorful foods, here’s one you don’t want to ignore.
Number 4 is “Red and Orange whole foods”.
Carotenoids are a class of more than 750 naturally occurring pigments synthesized by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria.
These molecules are the sources of the yellow, orange, and red colors you see in many plants.
Fruits and vegetables provide most of the 40 to 50 carotenoids found in the human diet. Among the most important carotenoids for humans, beta-carotene and lycopene stand out from the rest when it comes to slowing down the signs of aging.
Both lycopene and beta-carotene can help boost your skin’s defenses against UV radiation and help maintain skin health and appearance.
Most of you probably already know this, but beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A according to its needs.
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin at any age, including for cellular health and vision.
Additionally, vitamin A also plays an important role in stimulating collagen accumulation in your skin.
It can also inhibit something called the matrix metalloproteinase, which is an enzyme that chews up collagen as a result of exposure to environmental stressors.
Next up is a nutrient most of us don’t get enough.
Number 3 is “Omega-3 fatty acids”.
Every single one of your cells is coated with a membrane that contains omega-3 fatty acids. Yet, the majority of people eating a western diet don’t get enough of this powerful anti-inflammatory.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help reduce UV-induced damage, as well as inhibit wrinkle formation through collagen synthesis.
Excellent sources of omega-3s you should consider eating include fatty fish, walnuts, flax seeds, and shellfish.
If you don’t like fish, then supplementing your diet with a high-quality Omega-3 is always a viable option.
Coming up next is something you should probably eat every day.
Number 2 is “Garlic”.
Garlic can do more than just add flavor to your stir-fries and pasta dishes. It can also boost your collagen production.
Garlic is high in sulfur, which is a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent the breakdown of collagen. Garlic is also high in taurine and lipoic acid, which are essential for rebuilding damaged collagen.
While not everyone may like the smell of garlic, its many health benefits make it a worthy ingredient to add to your regular diet.
First on the list is the perfect snack to boost collagen production.
Number 1 is “Cashews”.
Next time you’re thinking of a snack, reach for a handful of cashews. These satiating nuts are loaded with zinc and copper. Both of these minerals have been found to boost our body’s ability to create collagen.
Zinc serves as a co-factor for collagen production, which means that it activates proteins essential for collagen synthesis.
It also activates a protein called collagenase that allows your cells to remodel collagen during wound healing.
Zinc is also essential for cell repair and helps protect collagen in the body from damage.
Copper also plays a role in collagen production. It activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase that’s required for collagen maturation. In addition to increasing collagen production, copper also helps boost elastin proteins, which can help create firmer and smoother looking skin.
There you have it, the top 7 foods to eat to boost collagen production.
But eating the right stuff isn’t the only thing you can do to slow down the signs of aging.
If you want life-changing results, you’ll need to avoid eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can cause inflammation and damage collagen.
You’ll also want to reduce your exposure to advanced glycation end products also known as AGEs.
AGEs are inflammatory compounds that are formed when a protein or fatty-acid combines with sugar in the bloodstream and are linked with chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes.
This process is called glycation and is not something you can completely avoid. It’s a natural part of your metabolism and fortunately, your body has different mechanisms in place, such as antioxidants, to keep AGEs under control.
However, things can get out of hand if you eat a diet high in added sugar and ultra-processed foods. That’s because AGEs can also accumulate in the foods you eat, depending on how it’s prepared.
Fried foods or anything that’s cooked at high heat are some of the worst offenders. One simple way to lower the amount of AGEs in the foods you cook is to change the method of preparation.
Instead of always frying or roasting, try boiling and steaming. If you like steaks, you can try making them with the sous-vide method. Lean towards cooking with low heat as opposed to high heat. Slow cookers are also a great way to limit the production of AGEs.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a barbecue or french fries, but if your diet is solely based on these things, it’s not going to bode well for the health of your skin in the long-run.
Other things you’ll want to avoid doing is excessive drinking and smoking cigarettes. These speed up the formation of wrinkles, sagging skin and reduce collagen production.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
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And now, over to you. What foods are you eating to boost collagen production?
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