Talk about maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin and one simply cannot forget the foods that boost collagen. Collagen is a major structural protein that provides support and springiness to the skin. Read the following NutriNeat article to know more about foods that increase collagen production.
Apart from eating collagen-boosting foods, avoid smoking and alcohol. Also, exercise daily. That will aid in keeping your skin healthy.
Eating foods that boost collagen – the insoluble fibrous protein that imparts structure and strength to the skin – can go a long way in keeping the skin healthy. Collagen is a major component of the connective tissue of the skin and lies below the epidermis. Although collagen naturally occurs in our body, its production reduces with increasing age, which negatively affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin. These signs of aging can be delayed and even reversed, by having foods that help boost collagen.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (examples include flaxseed, nuts, and cold-water fish), foods rich in antioxidants (like beans and berries), and foods with high amounts of vitamin C (citrus fruits), are among the top choices when it comes to collagen-boosting foods. Here, we give you examples of these, along with an explanation of how they boost collagen production, thus helping us maintain our skin healthy.
Celebrated for their high vitamin C content, citrus fruits can contribute to collagen production. Vitamin C, with its antioxidant activity, scavenges on free radicals that are known to weaken the collagen. So, having vitamin C-rich fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and sweet lemon can help protect collagen and maintain skin health. Vitamin C also facilitates the conversion of lysine and proline into hydroxyl lysine and hydroxyproline respectively, which works to strengthen the collagen tissue.
Lycopene and anthocyanins, the two powerful antioxidants found in red vegetables such as beets and tomatoes, help increase the levels of pro-collagen (precursor of collagen), deficiency of which, is responsible for loss of elasticity and firmness in the skin. So, these vegetables indirectly promote the production of collagen and reduce wrinkling of the skin. Moreover, these antioxidants also keep the skin safe from the damaging effects of UV rays, a factor known to speed up the aging of skin.
Regularly eating berries, be it strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries, can also help keep the skin supple and soft. This is because berries are exceptionally high in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that protect collagen from free radical damage. In other words, they deliver a powerful antioxidant punch that not only neutralizes free radicals, but can also contribute in optimizing the function of collagen.
Orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, squash, and yams are rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that helps boost collagen production. Dull skin, and the formation of wrinkles and lines has been linked to vitamin A deficiency. So, for a smooth supple skin, make sure you have an adequate intake of orange vegetables.
Bromelain, a natural enzyme present in pineapples, is also found to be effective to support collagen formation. This anti-inflammatory enzyme, when taken orally, is found to reduce tissue swelling associated with wounds. It can also help to rebuild collagen and the healthy connective tissue of the skin. So for a firm, strong, and healthy collagen, make sure you have generous servings of pineapple everyday.
Garlic is an excellent source of organosulfur compounds that help in collagen synthesis. Sulfur supports the connective tissue function of the skin. So, adding a few cloves of raw garlic to your meal can give you some of the most highly valued sulfur compounds that can help boost skin health.
A collagen-boosting diet is incomplete without dark green veggies, considered to be one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Dark green vegetables such as asparagus, kale, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and collard greens, owing to their high vitamin C content, prevent the free radicals from harming the collagen fibers of the skin. Free radicals are known to cause damage to this major structural component of the skin. However, vitamin C combats free radical damage and preserves the collagen, in turn keeping the skin healthy.
It is observed that lysine and proline are the two essential amino acids that play a major role in forming healthy collagen. In fact, they are the building blocks of collagen and so upping their intake through natural sources is one of the best ways to increase tissue firmness. Egg whites contain both lysine and proline in substantial amounts, hence their inclusion in your diet can work wonders to improve the skin appearance.
Fish contain a great deal of omega-3s that block the production of certain enzymes, known to attack and damage the collagen. Moreover, omega-3s well-known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, can contribute in reducing inflammation. This anti-inflammatory activity also supports collagen function, as unchecked inflammation is responsible for weakening the collagen. Thus, one can say that omega-3s act as a supportive ‘sidekick’ in building collagen. So, make sure you boost your intake of omega-3s by having a few servings of salmon and sardines regularly in order to keep the skin smooth and radiant. However, if you don’t like eating fish, having walnuts and flaxseeds is a ‘fish-free’ way of obtaining omega-3s. Just 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily can assist to boost collagen.
Oysters are an excellent source of zinc and copper that help in the formation of collagen. These minerals are known to boost the synthesis of collagen fibers. High levels of MMP (certain type of enzymes) cause excessive degradation of collagen. The minerals in oysters keep MMP in check and reduce the breakdown of collagen. Moreover, oysters are a good source of proteins and calcium, making them a great addition to your meals.
Apart from eating collagen-boosting foods, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the skin well-hydrated. On the whole, if you want to maintain the elasticity of your skin, make sure you include these collagen-boosting foods in your diet.