Chances are you’ve never given any thought to your collagen levels before. Most folks haven’t.
And why would you? Because despite the fact that collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, and the main component in our skin and all of our connective tissues, it’s never been something mainstream medicine has focused on.
But that’s a real shame since collagen literally holds your body together, and is found all over your body including in your muscles, tendons, blood vessels, bones and skin. It gives structure to all of your organs, pieces and parts, adding strength to keep them from falling apart.
Dropping collagen causes sagging skin and wrinkles
Yet as we age, our bodies start to produce less and less collagen. And while that slowdown can start to affect the entire body, it’s most noticeable when skin begins to wrinkle and sag and hair starts to thin.
But it’s not all bad news. Emerging research suggests we can help make up for the collagen shortfall that comes with aging by making sure our diets include plenty of collagen-supporting foods.
Which could lead to:
- Smoother skin
- Stronger hair and nails
- Less painful joints
- And more!
Support your collagen levels starting in your own kitchen with these five foods:
Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, take your pick. They’re all high in anthocyanidins, natural anti-inflammatory plant pigments that protect your existing collagen by neutralizing the enzymes that destroy your connective tissues. Plus, their powerful antioxidant action helps reduce and even repair the free radical damage that breaks down collagen in the first place.
Eggs are an excellent source of lysine and proline, two amino acids your body needs for collagen production. When these two amino acids team up with vitamin C they produce procollagen, which your body then converts into collagen.
Garlic isn’t just delicious, it’s also one of the best natural sources of collagen-supporting sulfur you’re going to find. Your body uses sulfur to make collagen, and animal research stretching all the way back to the 60s has proven that when there isn’t enough of this raw material on board the body will produce significantly less collagen.
But the garlic benefits may not end there. Garlic is also a good source of lipoic acid and taurine, nutrients which some experts believe can play a role in keeping your collagen healthy.
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit are a great source of the vitamin C which is essential for producing collagen. Your body combines C with lysine and proline to form procollagen, the precursor of collagen.
Other vitamin C rich foods include peppers, strawberries and kale. And of course, vitamin C is one of the best free radical scavengers, so it can help prevent the damage that leads to the breakdown of collagen before it ever starts.
5. Red peppers:
Red fruits and veggies such as red peppers, tomatoes, beets and watermelon are high in lycopene, which research has revealed can support your collagen levels by boosting the amount of anti-aging procollagen in your skin.
As a bonus it could also help make you less prone to sunburn, protecting you against skin aging.
You can’t stop the hands of time, but you can help slow them down and make it look like you have. Be sure to eat plenty of these collagen-supporting foods.