The Benefits of Collagen (and Foods That Boost Production!)
Collagen is a special protein that plays an important role in your body’s overall structure. It has, in fact, been called the “glue” that holds your body together. Collagen also provides your body hydration and helps it remain flexible.
Most people know that as we age, the production of collagen decreases, which is what gives us fine lines and wrinkles, and aching joints. If we can somehow boost the production of collagen in our body, we can plump and rehydrate our faces, and tone and firm our skin.
How is Collagen Produced?
Collagen is a protein composed of a chain of amino acids. These amino acids are either produced naturally by your body or obtained through the foods you eat.
The amino acids travel to your body’s cells. When they reach special cells in your connective tissues called fibroblasts, they are assembled into collagen.
Connective tissues actually make up 80% of our body and consist of tendons, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, muscles, and organs like the skin and eyes. But again, as we age, collagen production decreases significantly, leading to joint and muscle stiffness, lack of muscle tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and slower healing of wounds.
Food VS Supplementation
Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve most likely seen the boom of collagen supplements hit the market in recent years. And you may think that this is the best way to boost collagen levels in your body.
But the truth is, there are certain foods that give your body the collagen or amino acids it needs to make collagen, and these sources are far more bioavailable than supplements. So diet is really the best way to approach when trying to get your body to produce or have more collagen.
The following are the best foods you can add to your diet to have youthful glowing skin and pain-free joints:
- Bone broth
- Citrus fruits (vitamin C plays a big role in collagen production)
- Leafy greens
Also, be sure to cut down on the number of refined carbs and sugars you consume, as these are notorious for damaging collagen! Happy eating!