Collagen is the largest protein bank in our body. It is found in bones, tendons, muscles and skin. It is the scaffolding that holds the body together. They have the tenacity of steel and the elasticity of rubber. Though to the layman collagen is associated mainly with youth and beauty, it has much more value to the body than that. It acts as a protective covering for the delicate organs, provides a platform for regeneration of new cells, promotes healing by helping to restore and replace dead cells, and even keeps the walls of your arteries in optimum condition.
Certain foods help make collagen naturally by the body.
1 Soy products : They contain an element known as genistein which blocks enzymes that age the skin.
2 Dark green vegetables: They contain an enzyme called lutein, which boosts hydration and elasticity of the skin and fights wrinkling. Leafy greens such as Kale, spinach and collards strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and use it effectively.
3. Beans : They help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance called hyaluronic acid.
4 Red fruits and vegetables : These have lycopene which helps to increase collagen production. Carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, beets and sweet potatoes are prime examples. They also provide protection against UV rays, becoming a natural sunscreen for the skin.
5 Berries and Citrus fruits : These contain high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants which neutralize free radicals that cause aging. Oranges, lemons, strawberries, prunes, blueberries etc are examples
6. Omegas : They are the good fat which provides ideal environment for collagen production. Fish such as Salmon and Tuna, Nuts like Brazil nuts, Almonds and cashews, Flaxseed and Avacados are prime examples.
7 Chocolate: Dark chocolate packs the highest amount of antioxidants second only to the blueberries. They protect against UV damage and help in moisturizing the skin.
Collagen can also be exogenous that means administered externally for cosmetic or medical reasons. Since beauty and health go hand in hand, experts might help their clients retain their youth by means of fillers along with supplements which help them increase their vitamins and antioxidant levels. Sometimes collagen therapy is also used to heal wounds, remove scars and help rebuild tissues and cartilages in patients having osteoporosis.
So boost your collagen to keep youthful. Eat well, eat right.