What is collagen and why does it matter?
Collagen is commonly recognized throughout the supplement industry for its anti-aging and beauty benefits. While these are certainly great perks, it’s important to note that collagen is far more than a beauty supplement. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body (present in all animals; most abundant protein in mammals). It’s the primary component of connective tissue in our skin, bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and gut. Due to its prevalence throughout the body, our quality of life largely depends on our ability to produce collagen. In fact, the reason why collagen is commonly glorified as an anti-aging supplement is because our body’s natural production decreases with age. In turn, the hallmark signs of aging (i.e., wrinkles, hair loss, joint pain, etc) are linked to a lack of collagen production.
Let’s take a look at some of the most potent sources of foods we can eat to boost collagen production.
Kiwis are exceptionally high in vitamin C, a nutrient our body needs to execute the pre-collagen production phase. They also contain lots of Potassium which is an electrolyte, which means it holds an electric charge, which is needed for cells to function normally.
While vitamin C is crucial for pre-collagen production, it also serves as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect against the breakdown of collagen cells caused by free radicals (toxins) present in our air, food, and water supply. Like kiwi, berries are another great source of vitamin C. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are potent sources of antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to your skin.
Almonds contain a healthy dose of vitamin E, the most abundant antioxidant in our skin; it serves to neutralize free radicals that are damaging to collagen cells. Vitamin E also coordinates with vitamin C to stimulate collagen formation. They are a great source of copper, an essential trace mineral required in the formation of collagen fibrils. In short, our body needs copper to complete the final step in collagen synthesis.
Avocados might not be quite as rich in vitamin E as almonds, but they contain an adequate amount of the antioxidant and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturize your skin.
Carrots are a plentiful source of vitamin A, which helps repair and restore collagen in damaged skin.
6. Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense superfoods our planet has to offer. For starters, they’re potent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E; all of which are vital nutrients for collagen synthesis. Also, dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, green beans, and broccoli — amongst others — contain chlorophyll (pigment that gives plants their beautiful green color). Studies have shown that chlorophyll increases procollagen (precursor to collagen formation) in our skin, so you reap its beauty benefits as well.
Garlic is rich in sulfur, a trace mineral that has been shown to enhance collagen synthesis. Sulfur also helps prevent the breakdown of collagen fibers, so it’s particularly beneficial towards preserving healthy skin and joints.
Oysters are a rich source of zinc, an essential trace mineral that stimulates collagen synthesis and is required for bone formation. Zinc has been shown to slow down the breakdown rate of collagen cells in granulation tissue, which enables wounds to heal more quickly. It helps the body produce testosterone, a hormone critical in regulating women's and men's libido and sexual function. Research suggests that zinc can improve sperm count and swimming ability, and increase sexual potency in men.
9. Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t have time to prepare a fancy seafood dinner? No problem. Most seeds and nuts are high in zinc, especially pumpkin seeds and cashews. Both of these quick-and-easy snacks can provide a boost of collagen while on-the-go.
Tomatoes contain a healthy dose of lycopene, an amino acid that protects our skin from sunlight. High sun exposure damages collagen fibers in our skin, which speeds the process of aging (i.e., wrinkles) and can even lead to skin cancer. Adding tomatoes to our diet can help preserve youthful skin.
So, to sum it up: here are the top 10. We hope you find this useful. Please let your comments below.
~ Voss Botanicals