Collagen Boost: Stimulate Yours Naturally

From supplements to Botox treatments to beauty products – it seems that one has to break the bank just to ensure that your body gets enough collagen.

This skin element is a type of protein found in the in the second layer of the skin that, along with other proteins strengthens the skin. Elastin is a form of protein in the body that works with collagen to give skin its texture and shape making it youthful and
stronger. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient present in many tissues in the body and it helps to maintain moisture in the skin, speed up recovery time and help with pain relief in joints. Like collagen, the amount of hyaluronic acid decreases as we age.

Click here to find out more about how this element fits in to the rest of our health.

Collagen loss

Our bodies are full of this element when we’re young but as we age, collagen production declines and the skin weakens. This leads to wrinkles, sagging of the neck and upper chest as well as frown lines. Aside from aging, factors such as environmental pollutants, smoking and a poor diet that consists of processed foods can lead to a decrease. This affects more than just your skin. It also leads to hair loss, arthritis and other issues. Using skin products to increase your collagen production isn’t necessarily the best way to go. As this element’s molecules are large, the skin’s inner layer will be unable to completely absorb them and so your wrinkles and fine lines will only be temporarily covered.

Instead of spending a fortune on the latest anti-aging cream – you can help stimulate your skin cells to boost this ingredient-production by eating the right foods and living a healthier lifestyle. The following nutrients work together to encourage the production of collagen in our bodies as well as maintain its production against environmental factors.

Vitamin C

Citrus foods are a great source for collagen production as they are filled with Vitamin C and the body needs this ingredient. Vitamin C works with the amino acids to produce it, whilst protecting your skin and body against toxins and helps with the production of hyaluronic acid.

Protein

Protein is full of amino acids. A good source of lean protein is turkey, which contains an amino acid that is part of collagen production – lysine. Aside from enjoying a great turkey meal, lysine can be found in soybeans and cashews.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids provide the body with the ability to increase its collagen-production. As our bodies can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, the best way to get is from our food. Omega-3 fatty acids contain properties that can not only protect your collagen but are anti- inflammatory. Omega-3 fatty acids are most dominant in seafood such as salmon. For a great twist on salmon – you can try this honey and soy salmon recipe here. If you’re not a fan of seafood, chia seeds are great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids as are nuts and avocados. Speaking of which – avocado oil can stimulate collagen production as it is compatible with the natural oils in our skin so be sure to swap out your olive oil for it.

Vitamin A

This is a crucial ingredient when it comes to the functioning of your skin – one of its main roles includes encouraging the body to produce more collagen. Aside from retinol, vitamin A can be found in apricots, carrots, cantaloupe, kale and
spinach.

Lycopene

Tomatoes are high in lycopene- an antioxidant that gives them their shiny red color- and it helps to maintain the body’s collagen production in spite of environmental factors such as pollution and sun damage.

Lutein

According to a 2012 study, lutein can boost skin hydration, elasticity and collagen production as well as prevent fighting wrinkles. It can be found in dark green vegetables.

Genistein

Genistein is an ingredient that blocks enzymes which age and break down the skin. It can be found in soy products such as soy milk and cheese.

Collagen and lifestyle

Aside from changing your diet- following a healthy skincare routine that includes cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing can help to protect your skin against pollutants. Getting enough sleep is important when it comes to your body’s collagen-production. Sleep is the time the body uses to restore and repair itself and if we do not get enough sleep- at least 7 to 8 hours- it limits the body’s capability to produce collagen. Lack of sleep can increase your stress levels which can lead skin problems
such as the breakdown of collagen.

There are ways to naturally boost your collagen without spending an absorbent amount of money on the latest product or injections. Furthermore, enjoying this nutrient rich diet can not only be great for your skin but for your health as well.