Unlike other nutrients, it’s rare to come across information about the importance of mindfully including collagen in your diet. Perhaps this is because we typically don’t notice a need for more collagen until we’re about 35 years old. Without going any further, let’s backtrack for a moment…
Just below the outer layer of skin (i.e., the dermis) is the substance we refer to as “collagen.” Collagen is naturally produced by the body—until a person leans on the line of middle adulthood—which supports the skin’s structure by stabilizing its connective tissue. Collagen is the substance that is responsible for the supple structure of youthful looking skin. However, as we age, collagen production slows down causing the skin to crease, wrinkle, and sag. This is the very reason why so many anti-aging and reverse-aging products focus on collagen!
Now, in addition to the body’s natural mechanism that slows production, there are other factors responsible for the destruction of collagen; other factors include the sun, smog and air pollution, free radicals, and smoke, just to name a few. Granted, we come in contact with these deterrents all throughout our lives, which is why the body works so hard to fill the in any void. However, when the body is no longer producing collagen and we come in repetitive contact with such deterrents, what’s lost is lost. In theory, of course.
Luckily, advancements in the health and beauty industry allow us to access products that stimulate collagen production at home and even seek out the medical help of a dermatologist for in-office treatments. However, the one way to really harness the skin’s natural collagen production for years to come is by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that includes ample amounts of collagen. Since we know how exhausting it can be to distinguish the potency of nutrients in one food from the next, we’ve made things easier for you! Read on for a list of specific foods to eat to incorporate more collagen into your diet.
Think of your favorite soup base as a dose of goodness for the integrity of your skin. That’s right, sipping on a warm bone based broth is the next best thing to consuming collagen, plus it’s a surefire way to restore the missing collagen. While there are many products that allow you to apply collagen topically, nothing will deliver greater results than bone broth. That’s because when you consume and digest the broth, it’s nutrients are sent to the cells in need.
Interestingly enough, this kitchen staple works wonders in the reparative process of lost collagen. Although garlic isn’t composed specifically of collagen, it does contain high levels of lipoic acid and taurine; don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know anything about either one. All you need to know is that both lipoic acid and taurine assist in the rehabilitation of damaged collagen. Additionally, garlic is a premium source of sulfur, which happens to be a vital component in the production of new collagen.
Just in case you needed one more reason to eat your veggies, here it is: vegetables, specifically dark, leafy greens provide your body with antioxidants (which defend against those nasty free radicals that would otherwise break down collagen). If greens aren’t your thing, that’s okay too. Red veggies, such as tomatoes and peppers, are packed with lycopene, which encourages the health of collagen cells.