Collagen is a type of protein that occurs naturally in the human body. It is found in the muscles, bones, and skins. Collagen literally holds the body together, providing strength and structure. This protein is often associated with youthful-looking skin. That’s because together with elastin, collagen keeps the skin smooth, plump and younger-looking. Depletion of collagen doesn’t just affect you on the inside but on the outside as well.
The good news is, you can boost the production of collagen in the body naturally! Below are simple tips to increase collagen production without using drugs or pricey beauty treatments:
Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs are abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables, and certain dairy products. These fruit acids prevent dead skin cells from accumulating on the topmost layer of the skin. It also speeds cell repair and increase collagen production. A study by the Department of Dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that AHAs effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles and aging skin.
To increase collagen production, we recommend increasing your consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like berries, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits. These foods are packed with phytonutrients that strengthen collagen fibers. Antioxidants also protect from oxidative stress. This occurs when damaging free radicals start destroying healthy cells. Studies show that free radicals can accelerate aging. Increasing your consumption of phytonutrients-dense foods help keep the skin perky, plump and clear!
Monounsaturated fats from extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, nut and seed oils help repair damaged skin cells and promote collagen production. Studies show that these nourishing oils can boost the production of type II collagen. The tendons and ligaments are 90% type II collagen. Type II collagen also creates form fibrils to tighten the skin.
Garlic, cabbage, and onions are just a few foods that contain sulfur. Sulfur helps retain the youthfulness of the skin while also promoting collagen production. Garlic in particular, is an effective collagen booster because it also contains taurine and lipid acid. These compounds help repair damaged collagen fibers and stimulates new fibrils.
Collagen fibers are made up of protein, including amino acids, called hydroxyl-lysine and hydroxyl-proline. Vitamin C is needed to convert proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine. So boosting your vitamin C consumption helps increase the production of all types of collagen in the body!
Apart from taking supplements, we recommend supplementing your diet with dark, leafy vegetables, berries, and citrus fruits. It helps if you apply vitamin C-rich skin care products but since this nutrient is prone to oxidation, seal the product very well.
Avoid Alcohol and Cigarette Smoking
Two things that break down collagen in the skin are alcoholic drinks and cigarette smoking. Excessive drinking or smoking causes the skin to loosen. These habits also cause collagen degradation. Over time, the body is no longer able to produce new collagen. The result? Weaker bones and muscles as well as dry and dull skin!
Protect Your Skin
Make a habit out of applying sun protection every time you go out. UV rays affect the skin as much as alcohol consumption and cigarette use. The harsh rays of the sun break down collagen in the skin, causing fine lines and premature aging.