Have you ever met someone who looks younger than their age? There is a secret to that, and it is collagen. Collagen is among the most important proteins that your body needs. It is the strongest of all the tissue fibers that make up the connective tissues. It is everywhere in your body, from the skin, hair, bones, nails, joints, muscles, blood vessels, cartilage, cells, placenta, and other organs. Collagen is good for your health. It strengthens your hair, makes you look younger, and improves your bone and gut health, but which foods are the best for collagen in your body? Today, we will look at the top 10 foods you should eat to boost collagen levels naturally and what destroys collagen in your body. Make sure you read till the end to find out the food that is wasting your collagen
Collagen is made up of three alpha chains, and each alpha chain is made up of thousands of amino acids. Collagen is a crucial part of the connective tissues responsible for giving your body structure, elasticity, and firmness. Therefore, ensuring that you have enough collagen in your body is crucial.
When you consume collagen, it is broken down into amino acids, which are then distributed to the parts of the body where collagen can be made. Some essential amino acids that help in collagen production include glycine, lysine, proline, leucine, hydroxyproline, and hydroxylysine. Here are the top 10 foods that boost your collagen levels naturally:
No 10 Beef
One of the top sources of amino acids is beef. And as we have seen, amino acids act as the building blocks of connective tissues. Besides that, beef is also a natural source of collagen and is widely used in the extraction process for making collagen peptides. So, whenever you come across a juicy steak, you do yourself a big favor.
No 9 Fish
Nothing has so much collagen as the skin found on fish, mainly sea fish. Apart from that, the meat found in fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. And one thing about these acids is that they promote healthy
No 8 Omega-3 fatty acids
Speaking of omega-3 fatty acids, you should ensure that you consume enough to keep your ligaments in shape. According to a study held, it was discovered that omega-3 could enhance the collagen-forming fibroblasts that work in the ligaments of your body. Fibroblasts are the cells that make connective tissues. You can get your omega-3 fatty acids from some seeds, such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and chia. You can also get them from walnuts, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon. All these are excellent sources of omega-3, which in turn adds to the collagen in your body.
No 7 Copper
If you want to add to your collagen, you should increase your copper intake. Copper plays a vital role in developing and maintaining your connective tissues: Elastin and Collagen. Elastin is a necessary protein that lends elasticity to connective tissues in the skin. It is also a collagen cross-link and forms bonds, all thanks to copper availability. Some of the best sources of copper in your body include nuts, prunes, dark leafy vegetables, potatoes, black pepper, shellfish like oysters, and organ meats like liver and kidneys.
No 6 Chicken
For those who avoid lean meat and enjoy eating chicken, you can celebrate because you are supplying your body with a ton of ingredients needed to produce some collagen. The best ingredients can be found in the chicken neck and cartilage. So, if you want to prepare chicken stock, broth, or soup, use these parts mostly. They will definitely boost your collagen.
No 5 Bone broth
The bone broth comes from simmering bones and connective tissues from beef, venison, chicken, or turkey for a long time. The whole slow-cooking process helps draw out collagen into the broth. The process is quite long, but it is worth it for its quality and taste. However, if you don’t want to go through this whole process, you can buy some bone broth from the store. However, one thing about these commercially available bone broths is that they may vary in quality. Not only that, but the availability of collagen may also differ, given that they are all processed differently. Studies have revealed that as much as bone broth contains some of the essential amino acids for collagen, it may not be a consistent enough source compared to
No 4 Zinc
We all know that zinc is one of the important nutrients for stronger bones. But in addition to that, zinc is also essential when it comes to the development of collagen in the body. It has been discovered that zinc increases the performance of cells responsible for collagen production in bone tissues. Some of the best sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, oysters, chickpeas, nuts, fortified cereals, bread, and dairy products.
No 3 Vitamin C
It is vital to include foods that contain vitamin C in your diet. This is because vitamin C is not naturally produced in your body. But the question is, what does that have to do with collagen? If you look at it from the body’s perspective, it involves everything. Your body uses vitamin C to make its own collagen. If you have a vitamin C deficiency, you will have some signs and symptoms. You will not only show signs of aging faster, but you will also open yourself up to serious health issues. The best sources of vitamin C, as we all know, are citrus fruits. However, you can also get it from red and green peppers, berries, blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes.
No 2 Eggs
Eggs are the best way to incorporate healthy proteins into your diet. This is because they contain amino acids, which are important in the production of collagen in your body.
No 1 Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important in your body, even though they will not directly make collagen for you. However, they do something crucial to your skin. There are a lot of things that are responsible for collagen loss, among them being age and free radicals. Therefore, antioxidants are radical scavengers and can protect the collagen in your skin from excessive damage. You can get antioxidants from foods like dark chocolate, beans, berries, kale, spinach, red cabbage, onions, prunes, apricots, broccoli, and green tea.
We have already seen some of the best foods that add collagen to your body. On the same note, some can destroy the collagen in your body. Any food that causes inflammation results in skin irritation and damages the collagen in your skin. Inflammation results in lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Therefore, if you eat irresponsibly, you may end up causing your skin to age prematurely.
The foods that destroy collagen in your body
We all know that sugar is not suitable for your health at all. There are many reasons for this, among them, being that it can cause redness and irritation in your skin, degrading the elastin and collagen in the skin. Collagen and elastin keep your skin soft, smooth, supple, and firm. So, if you are craving something sweet, you can skip the candy, desserts, and excess sugar in smoothies, yogurt, cereal, and protein bars. Instead, look for something like dark chocolate or the natural sugars in fresh fruit.
Although it contains a few valuable substances, it is not so great for your skin. The reason is that milk can be full of artificial growth hormones which make their way into the blood, affecting hormone and insulin levels.
Caffeine gets you going in the morning, but it dehydrates your skin, which may in turn, end up destroying the collagen. The dehydration caused by caffeine can also cause your skin to have wrinkles, making you look older.
Processed or packaged foods
This goes without saying that processed foods are not at all good for your health. They can cause all sorts of problems, including destroying the collagen in your body. Therefore, go for farm-fresh products.
It is crucial to ensure you have enough collagen in your body. You do not want to walk around looking like someone in their 40s when you are in your 20s. And if you know what’s best for you, you will also avoid these foods that destroy your collagen.
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the next one!