Collagen: Beauty Products We Love and What to Eat

We’ve written about it before and it’s safe to say that our crush on collagen has only gotten more intense. 

Why’s that? The benefits of this fibrous protein are truly skin deep. Perhaps the most crucial role collagen plays for our body is its gut-healing properties.  Found in our body’s connective tissues (skin and gut lining), collagen not only makes up 25 - 20 % of our bodies’ natural protein content, but it’s who we should call and thank for our ability to build healthy nails, hair, skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and more. From our flexibility to our skin's elasticity to basic movements such as walking down the stairs,  all of that is possible because of collagen. Think of it as the “glue” that holds our body together.

As with many natural happenings overtime, our body's production of collagen unfortunately begins to decline as we age. This lack of production can be detrimental to our skin health causing lines, wrinkles and less elasticity.  Luckily, there are countless ways to support collagen formation. Both a healthy diet and beauty routine can support the production of collagen as well as efficient absorption and benefitting properties.

Beauty Benefits:

  • Supports a healthy glow and vibrant complexion

  • Enhances skin clarity and smoothness

  • Increase body’s natural moisture levels, improving hair, skin and nails

  • Helps maintain firm skin, improving fine lines, loose skin and dryness

  • May improve the appearance of cellulite  

Health Benefits:

  • May improve digestive health - strengthen and protects the lining of our digestive tract

  • May help build muscle and burn fat

  • Improve joint health

  • Improves liver function

So, if you’re looking to increase your intake of collagen for your overall health, wellness and beautifying goals, we’ve sussed out the cleanest products for your vanity, refrigerator and more.

Collagen-boosting nutrients for strong, healthy skin.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants fight against free radicals in the body that break down healthy skin tissue, resulting in rapidly-aging skin.

What to eat: Berries, red grapes, and cherries, protect your connective tissue from free radicals. Vitamin C can be found in  leafy greens, citrus fruits, green peppers, tomatoes and pineapple.

CHROMIUM

Chromium can impact skin health by preventing the breakdown of collagen. A diet high in sugar raises insulin levels and disrupts collagen production.

What to eat:  Brewer's yeast, sweet potatoes, whole grains and peas. You might also optimize chromium levels by taking it in supplement form.

COPPER AND ZINC

Copper and zinc maximize the function of antioxidants, leading to the enhanced production of collagen and elastin. These minerals may also contribute to the regeneration of elastic fibers that lead to wrinkles.

What to eat:  Nuts, kidney beans, raisins, and pumpkin seeds.

OMEGA-3S

Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy fats that also have healthy age-promoting, collagen-boosting qualities. Consuming a diet rich in omega-3s supports ligament healing, reduces inflammation and enhances collagen production.

What to eat:  Walnuts, pecans, soybean, flaxseed, and spinach.

PROTEIN

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Therefore, a diet with adequate protein provides essential amino acids like proline and lysine necessary for collagen formation. Including these amino acids as a part of a balanced diet helps maintain skin's elasticity and smoothness.

What to eat:  Legumes, cabbage, asparagus, spinach and lean sources of protein.

SILICON

Often referred to as silica, silicon is instrumental in the development of healthy skin, hair, and nails.

What to eat: Bananas, carrots, green beans, cucumbers (with the skin) and brown rice.

SULFUR

Sulfur is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. Instrumental in collagen production, sulfur supports the structure and strength of the body's connective tissue. A diet deficient in this essential nutrient can result in a host of skin problems such as acne and dermatitis as well as  wrinkle formation.

What to eat: Food rich in sulfur like brussels sprouts, kale, fermented vegetables, and onions. 

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