Have you seen all the information spreading across social media about the health benefits of collagen? There’s a number of ads promoting creams, pills, and even powders to aid in collagen loss. But is that the best way to increase collagen?
You are what you eat, right? We’ve heard this saying our entire life. But, did you realize that sometimes the things we aren’t getting enough of also promote aging?
Collagen is the protein responsible for skin elasticity; in plain terms, this means it prevents wrinkles, but did you know it also plays a role in joint and bone health?
The human body creates collagen naturally. But, over time, the production of this protein starts to slow down. This results in a person’s skin losing some ability to bounce back, which then causes wrinkles to begin to form. No one likes when this starts to happen!
Collagen contains the amino acid hydroxyproline that’s unique in youthful skin. Nutrient-rich foods don’t provide enough of the amino acids needed for the body to naturally produce collagen. You may want to speak with your physician about supplementing your diet with ingestible collagen to support your wellness goals.
There are certain foods, such as bone broth, that contain collagen, but often, it’s not enough to encourage skin elasticity.
What are some of the benefits of getting more collagen??
- Taking a collagen supplement will help to replace what you start to lose naturally as you start to age. Think of collagen-like glue. Just like glue holds things together, collagen's versatile fibers hold your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, and skin together.
- Collagen will help to smooth out wrinkles. If you want to improve your skin, then taking in more collagen may be a smart step.
- Collagen may help reduce aches and pains in your joints. We hate to admit it, but as we start to get up there in years, we start having aches and pains in our joints. Collagen supports tissue which helps improve joint pain.
- Sleep quality may be improved with more collagen. Since collagen contains a high amount of glycine, it may help improve your sleep. Glycine has been known to help people fall asleep faster, maintain sleep for longer hours, and optimize their quality of sleep.
- Collagen can help you digest food better. Inflammation is caused in your gut when toxins pass through your digestive tract and into your gut. Glycine found in collagen will help to reduce inflammation by forming connective tissue, which protects the mucosal barrier of your gut.
Let’s look at some foods that help your body produce more collagen.
- Bone broth
- Fish and shellfish
- Egg whites
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
Some nutrients aid in the process of collagen production, like zinc, vitamin C, and copper.
If you haven’t been pleased with fast-appearing wrinkles, it may be wise to add some of these collagen-producing foods in order to bring back your youthful appearance. It’s also smart to limit sun exposure. Skin damage is most often brought on by years of sun damage.
How can I protect my skin from the sun?
- Use sunscreen daily, even if there are a number of clouds. It’s best to apply sunblock for about thirty minutes before going out in the sun.
- Limit the amount of time you are in the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, and try to stay in the shade if you do need to be out during that time.
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen so that it is protecting your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation. Water resistance is also an important benefit to watch for when shopping for sunblock and sunscreen.
- Wear clothing that will cover your skin, like long-sleeved shirts and pants. Some clothing is made with special sun-protective material blocking out UV light.
- Check your prescriptions. Some medications can make you more sensitive to the sun, so speak to your pharmacists if you aren’t sure.
You only get one body, so protect it and fill it with nutrients that will keep you strong!
Don’t forget to keep those annual exams, and speak to your doctor about any concerns you might have about your skin.
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