What Is Collagen? Natural Foods To Boost Your Collagen That Are Better Than Supplements

Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons. This structural protein is naturally found throughout the human body (making up 80% of your skin).

Thanks to collagen, we’re better able to move, bend and stretch. Collagen is also behind helping hair shine, skin glow and nails stay strong.

So, what is collagen made of?

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine — all of which help our body’s connective tissue, skin, hair and nails stay as healthy as possible.

As we age, and the more stress we put on our body, the greater the impact on collagen production. Adding ingestible collagen to a balanced diet can help our bodies regenerate what’s been lost or broken down.

Collagen protein is different from whey and casein protein because of these high levels of amino acids. Muscular growth, joint health and an overall glowing appearance can be partially attributed to the amino acid blend in collagen.

Glowing skin food

What Are The Benefits Of Collagen?

Collagen is important for the skin in many ways:

• Collagen keeps your skin firm, plump, hydrated and supple

• Collagen Helps Smooth Wrinkles and Boost Elasticity in Skin

• Collagen influences your skin’s elasticity

• Collagen forms between one to two per cent of tissue which boosts muscle mass

• Collagen accounts for skin structuring, helping the wound to heal

• Collagen increases the strength of the nails

• Collagen improves gut health by impacting the lining of our gastrointestinal tract

• Collagen improves the quality of your hair

Types of Collagen

Collagen supplement

There are, however, about 16 types of collagen found in the body. The four main types are I, II, III, and IV.

Type I: Type I collagen accounts for about 90% of your body’s collagen. It provides structure to bones, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue amongst many other organs.

Type II: The second type of collagen is made of loosely packed fibres and found in elastic cartilage which provide cushioning to the joints.

Type III: The third type of collagen helps in building the structure of muscles and arteries.

Type IV: The fourth most important type of collagen helps infiltration, which is found in the layers of the skin.

Where does collagen come from?

The body naturally makes its collagen by breaking down dietary protein into Amino acids. The amino acids are what build the various types of protein in the body, including collagen.

HOW TO TAKE COLLAGEN

Collagen In Foods vs. Supplements

Experts recommend eating foods with collagen rather than taking collagen supplements.

Any supplement, have very limited research on whether or not we absorb these nutrients. On the other hand, nutrients in food are much more bioavailable to us. Therefore, my recommendation is to always try to eat your nutrients versus taking supplements.

9 Foods To Replace Your Multivitamins

Eating whole foods versus collagen supplements will allow you to intake more nutrients rather than limiting your intake to only collagen. Whole foods are functional because they have other properties like enzymes, fibers, etc. over only consuming collagen.

It’s probably safer to stick with a dietary approach to boosting collagen.

Plant protein

To produce collagen, your body puts the amino acids glycine and proline together with other amino acids including vitamin C, zinc, and copper.

1. PROLINE: egg whites, dairy, cabbage, mushrooms and asparagus

2. GLYCINE: chicken skin, gelatine and a variety of other protein-rich foods

3. VITAMIN C: citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers strawberries and broccoli

4. ZINC: beef, lamb, pork, shellfish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, milk, cheese and nuts & seeds

Why you should start taking Zinc today

5. COPPER: organ meats, cacao powder, cashews, sesame seeds and lentils

Continue reading “What Is Collagen? Natural Foods To Boost Your Collagen That Are Better Than Supplements”

Here is the SECRET for FLAWLESS GLOWING SKIN

There are plenty of cosmetics that dub themselves as “skin food,” the truth is that the key to maintaining a healthy complexion doesn’t come from a bottle. While it’s true these cleansers and lotions offer a topical fix—a beauty band-aid, if you will—gorgeous, hydrated skin starts from within. And that all depends on whether our best foods for glowing skin are on your plate.

A clean diet means a radiant you!

Whether you need to treat acne, ward off premature ageing, reduce the appearance wrinkles, or fight back against another pesky skin condition, the right diet can be a valuable aid.

Researchers have found that fitting certain healthy foods into your daily routine can help fight back against your complexion woes by turning off inflammatory genes and providing your body with the proper tools to strengthen and build healthy tissues.

What to eat for glowing skin is a question you simply can’t ignore.

Just about every woman desires to have glowing, flawless skin and would go to any length to achieve a clear complexion.

However, there are a number of factors such as the scorching sun, stress (both emotional and physiological), your hormones and even everyday pollution that prevent your skin from achieving the desired levels of skin perfection. You could try a million different means and ways to get soft and supple skin, especially one with that naturally brilliant shine, but none of them is going to help unless and until you start eating healthy.

The way to glowing skin, quite like the way to a person’s heart, is truly through the stomach! Your dietary habits impact your overall health and your skin is equally affected, perhaps the most affected by what you eat. Having a healthy stomach, bowel movement, gut and liver are imperative to having clear, unblemished skin, amongst a host of other health benefits.

For which you need to include certain foods in your diet. Basically, you need to follow a diet for glowing skin. Here’s a list of some of the healthy foods that will nourish your skin and get that healthy glow you’re after, within a few days…

1.Cooked Tomatoes

Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps boosts collagen strength—a protein that gives skin its taut, youthful structure—and fights off the oxidizing effect of UV rays by eliminating skin-ageing free radicals.

Why is tomato paste one of our best foods for skin? It’s because cooking tomatoes ups their lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, gazpacho, and even ketchup pack on the protection.

2.Carrots

Think of carrots as your very own wonder wands—good for the eyes and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A, an antioxidant which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer flaky dead cells that otherwise could combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, vitamin A plays an essential role in reducing the development of skin-cancer cells. It’s a win-win with this best food for the skin.

3.Turmeric

When the question—what to eat for glowing skin, arises turmeric is easily the most age-old answer. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, ‘anti-all bad things’ superhero of an ingredient is one you can add to everything right from your soups to your smoothies. The curcumin present in turmeric helps fight any bacterial infection both inside and outside your body, whether the turmeric is ingested or applied externally.

Plus, this spice can also be used to lighten dark pigmentation blotches or scars caused by ageing, hormone imbalance, or sun exposure by inhibiting an enzyme in the skin that produces pigment—just combine with honey to create a healing facial mask!

4.Salmon

Besides being one of the most potent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s, salmon also contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). DMAE promotes healthy skin because it protects the integrity of cell membranes. Strengthening the cell membranes guards against their deterioration that causes premature ageing. This nutrient also helps to prevent the production of arachidonic acid (AA), an inflammation precursor that leads to wrinkle formation.

And that’s not all. DMAE works in conjunction with B vitamins to increases levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for proper muscle functioning that can keep your face looking toned and firm.

5.Papaya

This tropical fruit contains a plethora of active enzymes which pass on their health benefits. One enzyme, chymopapain, has been used to relieve inflammation—a common source of skin conditions. And another enzyme, papain, can help remove blemishes and even treat acne when applied topically as the enzyme dissolves pore-clogging fats and cleanses the skin.

Not to mention, just a single cup of fresh, ripe papaya packs a whopping 144 per cent of your DV of collagen-strengthening vitamin C.

6.Bell Peppers

Vitamin C is essential to the formation and growth of skin and muscle tissue as well as to building collagen—the protein which provides strength and structure to your skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. But instead of grabbing an orange to get your dose, much on some vitamin C-rich yellow bell peppers instead.

7.Eggs

Here’s another reason you should eat the whole egg. The yolk is rich in vitamins that are essential for proper cell function, as well as contain the “beauty vitamin,” biotin. This B vitamin is more commonly known to help hair grow and strengthen fingernails, but research has shown it also helps protect skin from acne, rashes, and even dryness.

In addition to giving your body a dose of healthy protein that it needs, egg whites are high in both the lysine and proline (amino acids), as well as collagen itself. So adding an egg to your diet could help support your body’s natural production of collagen to help fight fine lines.

8.Detox Water

Be honest. How many products and concealers have you purchased to cover those pesky, puffy, dark circles under your the eyes? They may be a sign of lack of sleep, but it can also indicate another more common issue: dehydration. Salty foods, alcohol, exercise, hot weather and just plain not drinking enough water can create inflammation, which results in those raccoon eyes.

Start replenishing your body with these detox waters. Cut up some citrus fruits (rind included), soak in a pitcher of ice water, and drink up. The vitamin C in the citrus will help balance levels of electrolytes and expel excess water weight while the d-limonene in the rinds acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory compound which helps the liver flush toxins from the body.

9.Avocado

Avocado dip

Instead of investing in a slew of questionable anti-ageing products, head to the store and grab an avocado. The fruit is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been proven to hydrate and shield the skin by lowering the risk of premature ageing caused by ultraviolet radiation. Avocados’ potent source of fats also helps you absorb many of the fat-soluble vitamins that also help protect your skin from sun damage.

10.Green Leafy Vegetables

Popeye’s favourite veggie triumphs again. People who ate the leafiest greens had prevented squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Researcher speculates that the high levels of folate, an essential B vitamin which helps maintain and repair DNA, in these veggies may reduce the likelihood of cancer-cell growth. Just a single cup of spinach contains 65 per cent of your DV of folate.

Similarly, kale has proven that it earned its spot as a superfood. This cruciferous veggie is loaded with the skin’s favourite anti-ageing vitamins A, C, E, and, uniquely, vitamin K. Leafy greens are one of the most potent sources of vitamin K, a vitamin which helps with blood clotting and faster healing when ingested. And when applied topically, it can minimize the visibility of bruises, scars, stretch marks, and spider veins.

11.Green Tea

Pour yourself a cup of this green elixir and watch your skin glow! Green tea contains catechins, an antioxidant with proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

This food (especially of the Matcha kind), being full of natural antioxidants, is rich in the phytonutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and is extremely efficient in protecting your skin from the harmful free radicals that are majorly responsible for skin problems such as dark spots, premature ageing and even spots.

Since green tea also helps lower levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for your acne issues, it is also extremely efficient in keeping your skin clear and free from any blemishes. Just be careful to not overdo it. Too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, which may have the opposite effects on skin health.

12.Blueberries

Blueberries are one of nature’s finest superfoods. Brimming with antioxidants, blueberries help your body quash cell-damaging, skin-ageing free radicals. These berries also help boost the strength of collagen fibers thanks to their high concentration of anthocyanins: phytonutrients that give these berries their bright blue hue. Not to mention, this fruit is also a great source of prebiotics —fiber-rich foods that your gut bugs ferment into anti-inflammatory fatty acids—which can help heal your immune system and alleviate inflammation-induced skin conditions.

13.Oats

Oats

A nutrient-dense whole foods diet won’t just help you lose weight—it’ll also brighten up your skin. That’s because introducing high fiber foods like oats will feed your inflammation-reducing gut bacteria, minimize spikes in blood sugar that can contribute to skin problems, and strengthen and firm up your body tissues. That last benefit is because of oats’ high source of silicon, a trace mineral that also helps skin retain elasticity, slowing the signs of ageing.

14.Nuts

Over time, skin loses collagen and thins, which makes the veins beneath the eyes more visible. Luckily, all you have to do is grab Brazil nuts. That’s because one brazil nut has over 135 per cent of your DV of selenium, a nutrient that can boost the production of collagen. This mineral helps preserve elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight and acts as an antioxidant, stopping free radicals created by UV exposure from damaging cells. They’re also full of vitamin E to keep your skin moisturized and copper to support the production of melanin, a compound that also protects your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Almonds are full of one of the most oft-associated vitamins with skincare, vitamin E. That’s because this vitamin helps repair scarred cells and defends against sun damage. And because vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant, it also works to keep your body free of dangerous free radicals. Almonds are also one of the best sources of dairy-free calcium.

Walnuts? Didn’t come to mind. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent skin cancer by inhibiting the formation of the chemical COX-2. Walnuts are a prime source of healthy fat.

15. Honey

Speaking of honey, this is another ingredient that does wonders for your skin. The best snack to eat is raw honey, and the best part is that you can top it on almost any fruit. Raw honey contains five enzymes, six different vitamins, eight distinctive lipids, 12 minerals, 17 trace elements, 18 amino acids (proteins), 18 bioflavonoids (also known as antioxidants), and 26 aroma compounds, making it a special healing ingredient that works its magic inside and out.

15.Dark Chocolate

Forget the sunscreen—pack a bar of chocolate in your beach bag. That’s because the antioxidants in dark chocolate known as flavanols reduce roughness in the skin and provide sun protection. According to a study in nutrients, cocoa’s antioxidants can protect the skin from oxidative stress, which can lead to premature skin ageing. Chocolate is also a great source of pre and probiotics to help heal your gut and reduce inflammation.

16.Yogurt

Yoghurt is easily the best food for glowing skin. Most of the skin ailments that we have are caused on account of having an unhealthy stomach, bowels and gut. Yoghurt is known to contain probiotics that aid in the process of digestion, thereby ensuring that problems such as breakouts and skin dryness, do not bother your radiant flawless complexion. Consume as much yoghurt as you like, after every meal and with smoothies and fruits salads. As the Turks would say, yoghurt is the cure for absolutely everything!

It’s not an instant fix but an investment that will benefit you long—term...

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar