Collagen is the protein that gives skin elasticity and structure. When a person starts to age or experience sun damage, this protein can start to break down. This article will show you how you can increase your collagen production in the skin!
Collagen is a protein that is found in our body and that represents 30% of the total proteins in the human body. Present in all organs and connective tissue, it also constitutes 75% of the composition of the skin. Therefore we could say that when we talk about the skin, we are actually talking about collagen pills in a natural form or in a medicated form as you can take it, it’s up to you.
There are more than 16 types in our body, but types 1 and 3 are especially important for the skin:
- Type 1: It is the most abundant and essential in the wound healing process as well as in ensuring that the tissues do not tear. It is also responsible for maintaining the elasticity of our skin.
- Type 3: It is usually found next to type 1 and is present in the formation of blood vessels and heart tissue. Like the previous one, it also plays a very important role in the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
How Can We Delay Or Counteract Collagen Loss?
As we have already mentioned, collagen is the protein in our body that keeps the skin firm, smooth and elastic. However, as you age, the natural production inevitably begins to decrease and, when this happens, the so-called fine lines or wrinkles appear, sagging of the skin and other signs of aging.
There are also external factors that have a negative effect on our skin and that can contribute to the acceleration of the loss of this protein, such as smoking, excessive exposure to the sun and a diet rich in sugar and fried foods.
To counteract this loss there are different treatments in cosmetology and aesthetic medicine, such as anti-aging creams or supplements and injectable. But in addition, you can help your body to produce collagen naturally through a diet rich in foods that contain this protein or nutrients, which help its production.
Foods That Promote Collagen Production
Nutrition is directly related to collagen production.
If you incorporate certain foods and nutrients into your diet, you can increase the level of collagen in your skin and give it a more youthful appearance, in addition to providing numerous benefits to your body.
When cooking vegetables or meat, much of the collagen is concentrated in the broth. The protein of the legume and likewise, of the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the meat are released into the cooking water, especially if it is cooked slowly, in the style of our grandmothers, it will also provide a large amount of valuable nutrients. The proteins in the broth are immediately bioavailable, that is, when consumed, the body can absorb and use it immediately.
Fish also offers abundant amounts of bioavailable collagen. It tends to be rich in zinc, a mineral that has many functions in cell metabolism and stimulates collagen synthesis. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, very beneficial for the body.
The chicken egg is an impressive source of collagen. This is found in the yolk of the egg and between the membranes between the eggshell and the white. In addition, eggs also contain other nutrients that act on collagen formation, such as vitamin B, E, amino acids, sulfur and hyaluronic acid, essential to help repair and replace damaged or destroyed collagen.
Kelp or kelp is a type of brown seaweed, rich in hyaluronic acid. It also helps improve the appearance of skin damaged by exposure to UV rays, reducing water loss in the epidermis. It also contains a large amount of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Foods High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an integral role. Without it, the body cannot convert lysine and praline into the amino acids that make up collagen.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It also protects the skin from pollutants and UV rays that break down collagen.
Some foods rich in vitamin C are:
- Brussels Sprouts / Cauliflower
- red and green peppers
- Citric fruits
- Strawberries / Raspberries / Blackberries
- Dark green leaves
Cashews, peanuts, almonds, and walnuts are good sources of lysine. Lysine and vitamin C are converted to the amino acid hydroxylysine, which is key to collagen production.
Gelatin has almost 90% of the collagen protein, in addition to its low caloric intake. Gelatin is the way by which we can ingest the amino acids and other nutrients that are located in the joints and tendons of animals, rich in collagen, in a cooked way.
High Sulfur Foods
Sulfur is an essential element to help stimulate the creation of collagen that we can find in foods such as celery, black or green olives, cucumbers, garlic, onions, bananas, tofu, etc.