Here’s what you need it to stay healthy and young, and where to find it.
Chemically speaking, collagen is a polypeptide that contains a mixture of amino acids like proline and glycine. In simple terms, this protein is what holds your body together. It’s the essential part of the connective tissue, and can be found almost everywhere in your organism, starting with bones and muscles, and ending with the digestive system and blood vessels.
While we’re young, collagen accounts for 30% of the overall protein in the body. Since its main purpose is to keep the joints flexible, the muscles strong, and the skin elastic, it seems that this protein is yet another case of youth being wasted on the young. The more we need it as time passes by, the less our body produces it. Unfortunately, it’s a natural process that nobody can avoid.
It’s not all that bad, though. However unstoppable, the terrifying slowdown of collagen production can be delayed. Being a naturally occurring protein, collagen can be found in organic foods too, not just expensive skincare products. Health begins on the inside, after all, which makes our nutrition choices that much more important.
Collagen has been recognized for its role in digestion, hormonal balance, and bone health, but what we’re really here to talk about is the way this protein affects the skin. As soon as the body stops producing it in sufficient amounts, the first wrinkles appear. Aged skin is the most reliable sign of collagen deficiency, the same as a glowing complexion is a direct consequence of collagen abundance.
So that’s why your skin needs you to restore natural balance and boost collagen production.
Let’s begin with an experiment. Having studied the rejuvenating effects of collagen on women aged 35-55, scientists confirmed that as much as 2.5-5 grams of this protein used on a daily basis over a course of eight weeks can noticeably improve the skin’s elasticity. Still, a firmer complexion is only a side-effect of what collagen actually does for aged skin.
Naturally, wrinkles are not the only sign of collagen deficiency. The skin becomes looser too, which is nothing but a symptom of the covert process that happens on a cellular level. Deep down underneath, collagen-deprived skin loses its ability to restore and repair on its own, thus gradually starting to irretrievably age.
When you boost collagen production artificially, this process slows its pace. Instead of saggy, wrinkled skin, you get a smoother, much healthier-looking complexion. The natural moisture is once again locked in, and all of this due to the collagen’s property to encourage your cells’ natural renewal. Finally, that’s why dermatologists consider this protein to be one of the most powerful organic skincare ingredients available.
Since collagen is so beneficial, it’s really no wonder that the beauty industry uses it for just about any kind of skincare products, proudly trumpeting its many benefits on the labels. A collagen cream has become a staple for beauty regimens, and can be found in concoctions with a great number of other rejuvenating ingredients for even better results.
However helpful, skincare products are not the only sources of this protein. You can find it in supplement form as well, which contains a mixture of supporting nutrients like Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, both with amazing benefits for aging skin. Be careful what you buy, though; there’s a myriad of collagen supplement products on the market, and not all of them are equally effective.
Since neither skincare nor supplement products are not always reliable, the absolute best sources of collagen are power foods. Some of them are already a part of your diet, which luckily means that you’re consuming your portion of beauty every single day. But there are still plenty of foods containing collagen for the skin that you probably haven’t discovered yet!
You can use it directly on the skin, or simply enjoy its wonderful, nutty taste. In both cases, avocado yields the same result – a healthy, radiant complexion. It certainly caters to your collagen needs too, but it also packs a hefty amount of carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and monounsaturated fatty acids.
While one apple a day keeps the doctor away, a single avocado can do so much more for your skin. Not only does it soften the cells and keep the moisture in, but it also reduces wrinkles and slows down the aging process.
The anti-aging properties of berries have been discovered a long time ago, though it wasn’t until recently that the beauty industry started to notice their potential. Today, we have blackcurrant bars, acai body scrubs, raspberry serums and goji lip balms, yet nothing can replace a bowl of sweet, fresh berries in the morning.
Besides collagen, they offer high levels of antioxidants as well, thus preventing the formation of damaging free radicals. Together, these ingredients make a rejuvenating powerhouse, not to mention their immense nutritional value. Experts say to opt for colorful berries such as black, purple and red, since they are the richest in essential nutrients.
We know them for their eyesight-enhancing capabilities, but did you know that carrots are very protective of your skin too? Thanks to the beta-carotene that they contain in abundance, all orange veggies are great for an attractive skin color and radiant glow.
But the latest findings claim that carrots may also help with oily skin. As beta-carotene transforms into Vitamin A in the body, these orange delights tend to scoop the problematic sebum that greases your T-zone. And, of course, they reduce the appearance of wrinkles, all thanks to collagen.
Being packed with fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, and potassium, dark leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach possess some truly astonishing antioxidant properties. Both your heart and your skin need them for staying healthy, resistant, and young.
Look for those that look and smell the freshest, since browned and yellow leaves are a sign of veggies losing their nutritive potency. Just like your cells, they become less healthy as they age, and you want nothing but the best for your skin and body.
Be honest – how many times have you decided to make an egg mask, but somehow forgot all about it in the morning? DIY recipes are all over the net, and for good reason. Needless to say they boost collagen production – otherwise, they wouldn’t make it to this list. But that’s not all.
Egg whites tighten and shrink large pores, which makes them an amazing dietary choice for people with problematic and oily skin. Collagen deficiency contributes to crinkly skin around the eyes and sagging cheeks, both of which can be prevented with this protein-rich food.
Nothing can fortify skin cell membranes better than omega-3 fats, found in abundance in anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon. Fish is arguably the best nutrient for just about everything, but its ability to improve skin is simply fascinating.
Apart from boosting collagen production, fish also keeps the toxins out, thus fighting inflammation and reducing the risk of cancer. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t fry it – in order to retain its benefits, fish has to be properly prepared. Roasting, grilling, and baking are much healthier ways to go.
In case fish isn’t exactly your first choice, you can find omega-3 fats in flax seeds as well. In combination with lignans, this ingredient promotes healthy bowel movements, thus preventing skin diseases. It’s really a crime that flax seeds aren’t more popular, since this perk is certainly not the only one they have.
They control acne, for starters. You can use them as a scrub, but they still won’t rob your skin of the much-needed moisture. With flax seeds, irritation, redness, rashes and breakouts are a thing of the past, and so are wrinkles and saggy cheeks. For all this, nutritionists recommend as much as 1-2 tablespoons a day.
There’s a piece in every corner of your kitchen, so don’t try to avoid it. Our grandmas have been using it for everything from hair growth to cold cores, while its remedying effects on the skin have been glorified for centuries. It smells stingy, sure, but health-wise, it truly pays off.
As an antioxidant, garlic is a brilliant treatment for acne and blemishes. It also cures psoriasis, which means that it certainly does something magnificent on a cellular level. Since it’s so powerful, this traditional remedy increases collagen production too, keeping various signs of skin aging away.
Garlic will give you bad breath, but that’s one reason more to eat some citrus afterwards. Like all other fruits from this family, oranges offer innumerable benefits for your entire organism, including a younger, firmer complexion.
Whatever it is that your skin has been struggling with – dark spots, blemishes, acne, blackheads, dull tone, wrinkles or fine lines – oranges will help you restore it to perfection. Just squeeze them into a juice you can drink each morning, or apply peels on your face and say goodbye to dead cells.
We’ve become so obsessed with state-of-the-art cosmetics and skincare regimes that we’ve forgotten all about the ancient beautifying art of relaxation. A silent moment can rejuvenate both your body and mind, and if you take it over a hot cup of white tea, your skin as well.
From antioxidants to tannins, this nature-given remedy provides everything that your tired, mature skin has been looking for. White tea is an organic aid in the treatment of acne, while its anti-inflammatory properties strengthen the connective tissue, helping to reduce allergies like eczema.
So, whether you’ve been wondering how to restore collagen to reduce the wrinkles on your face or boost collagen production for the benefit of your overall health, balanced nutrition is the best answer you can find. Keep your plate fresh and colorful, and there’s a great chance that you won’t be needing any additional skincare treatments any time soon.
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