|11 Natural Ways to Boost Collagen Production|
You may have already heard the term collagen from your skin care products. Collagen is phenomenal because it's what gives the skin it's smooth firm youthful wrinkle-free appearance.
Think of collagen like a glue that holds everything in place. Collagen provides support and strength. Without collagen, structures will crumble apart.
@healthbiztips by Arlene Gentallan
What is collagen?
Collagen is actually a protein that makes up 20% of proteins found in the human body, making it the most abundant type of protein in our body. Collagen is not just in our skin, in fact, it is found throughout the body including the nail, hair, blood vessels, muscle, tendons, ligaments, lungs, internal organs, and teeth.
Did you know that there are about 25 kinds of collagen found in the human body? Approximately 12 kinds of collagen is exclusively found in the skin.
Collagen makes up a huge portion of our skin-- about 75%.
As we age, our body produces less collagen, thus resulting to wrinkly and saggy skin. Once we reach our mid 20's, we loose approximately 1% of our body's collagen per each passing year. There’s also a decrease in production of new cells which supposedly would have replaced dead or worn out cells.
While we can not turn back the hands of time, there are steps we can take to naturally promote collagen production and prevent unnecessary damage and loss.
Diet plays a crucial role. What we take in our gut can literally radiate on our skin. An unhealthy diet can give a dry flaky appearance, while an antioxidant rich diet can reveal a plump youthful glow.
1. Vitamin C
Without vitamin c, collagen production will not be possible. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which fights damaging free-radicals from the environment and diet. This is an important vitamin you can not afford to neglect in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of this vitamins:
- Bell pepper
- Cayenne pepper
Did you know that sulfur is the third most common mineral in the human body? Research has shown that foods containing sulfur enhances the body's production of collagen. The richest source of sulfur includes:
Lycopene is an antioxidant commonly found in tomatoes. It's what gives the reddish orange color. Lycopene forms a protective barrier on the skin which prevents sun damage, while increasing collagen production. Fruits and vegetables high in lycopene includes:
Have you ever heard of the prescription retinoid and the milder form retinol? These are popular ingredients in anti-aging line of skincare products. Both are variants of Vitamin A. How does vitamin A act on the skin? It increases collagen production, promotes cell renewal, and prevents collagen degeneration.
Vitamin A rich sources includes:
- Sweet potato
5. Vitamin E
Another vitamin that promotes collagen production while reducing degeneration is Vitamin E. Vitamin E rich foods includes:
- Sunflower seed
6. White tea
White tea is high in phenolic acid, a polyphenol which serves a protective purpose in the body. Research proves that white tea protects collagen from degeneration and damage by counteracting the enzymes that degrades collagen and elastin.
As we age, our collagen production normally decreases. So, as much as possible, we want to preserve it by preventing damage.
7. Sun Protection
The sun is Earth's major source of ultraviolet light. While it may be impossible and unhealthy to completely avoid sun exposure, at least use products with spf protection.
If you want to fight skin aging, you can still enjoy the sun but always make sure to use wear your sunblock even if it's cloudy. Use umbrella. Avoid sun exposure during late morning and noon, especially if you live in tropical counties.
8. Quit Smoking
Tobacco contains thousands of harmful chemicals that decreases collagen production. Once these unfriendly ingredients enters your body, it will accelerate skin aging.
It's not just the free radicals, but the act of blowing the tobacco smoke from the mouth can lead to wrinkling.
9. Cut off excess Carbohydrates
Sugar may be sweet, and yes our body does need sugar for energy, but if your diet contains a lot, it will take it's toll on you. Unused sugar in the body undergoes a process called glycation in which sugar in the form of glucose bonds with protein and fats to form harmful molecules called AGE (advanced glycation end products). AGE damages collagen.
10. Stress management
Stress damages the body and prevents cell renewal. In today's modern era, we are bombarded by tons of stress. While it may be impossible to remove things that brings stress, it's possible to manage them. Exercise, meditation, vacation, time management, and prioritization can do a whole lot for your health.
11. Get enough sleep
Your body repairs itself while you are sleeping. It's crucial to every human beings. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. If you have difficulty sleeping, why not try natural ways to correct it.