Hello Friday Scoopers! Today we will be looking at foods that are best and richest in collagen and thus will help us with a better looking skin. Before we get into it, I would like to point out that food, although very important, is not the only thing that influences our collagen production. Eating foods with essential amino acids and ingredients which promote collagen is not enough to slow down fine lines and wrinkles. Other important factors are overall lifestyle, like sleep, stress and level of activity play a role as well. Lastly, genetics are also a role player. Let’s start with the basics!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that our body is naturally producing. It is crucial for skin suppleness, firmness, structure and stretch. As we move along in life and we age, our body produces less collagen every year. That is why after a certain age, we start seeing the appearance of fine lines, which in time turn into wrinkles. And I know what you’re thinking, my facial expressions are to blame! I frown too much; I smile to much! But no, you’ve been doing this all your life. The problem comes when at some point your skin stops producing the same amount of collagen, hence your lines go deeper and deeper into the skin. At some point they become permanent without you making any facial expression at all, and that’s what sucks!
Why Lifestyle Matters!
If you would have asked me few years ago, I would have probably still be in my oblivion phase and say it doesn’t matter. Heck, they even have collagen supplements in the pharmacy, so why would I care? Wrong! I would have been so wrong!
Growing in age is not only a number, but thankfully this time it also gave me some wisdom. To be frank, it was about time!! I came to discover that overall, there is no amount of supplements you can ever take, to replace a healthy diet. The foods that we will be discussing here are not only good for collagen, but also for amino acids that our body and skin needs. It is not only good for your skin but for the overall body health. Even when we look at foods that damage our collagen, like carbs and sugar, they are not only affecting our skin, but our overall body!
So bottom line, the healthy glow you get from a healthy life style. Supplements are only masking a problem, but not necessarily solving it.
Your protein intake comes in general from lean meats, fish, veggies and eggs.
Chicken stands out when it comes to collagen production and it’s been a recognized source for long. Fish is also a very important source, as it’s rich in the amino acids needed to produce collagen.
Eggs are also a wonder for your overall body and skin. Especially the egg-whites here, which are very high in amino-acids that are crucial for collagen production. If the eggs are free range and naturally fed, then their eggs will also contain omega-3 fats, which are also very important for overall health.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Ok, I know what you’re thinking… Fatty what? No thank you!
Just kidding. These are fatty acids which are very important for our skin. Our skin cells are coated with a fatty membrane, so the Omega3 helps the membrane sustaining that. It is also fighting against the damaging of the collagen we have in our skin.
You can get it from walnuts, chia seeds, fatty fish. Make a habit of snacking on these on daily basis!
3. Leafy Veggies
You know what they say… The greener the better! Mother nature is sometimes playing with us, by making the least appealing foods, the richest in benefits. I mean, couldn’t a French fry have all these antioxidants and vitamins?? Ney ney..
Back to green leafy veggies, they are very rich sources of Vitamin C, which is critical for collagen production. They also have antioxidants and folic acid; all wonders for the skin. Kale, spinach are a great example for that.
4. Red Fruits & Veggies
A while back I discovered the benefits of berries and I started eating every morning for breakfast raspberries. It was later on when I discovered its’ benefits for collagen production as well and here is why.
Red fruits & veggies contain lycopene. This is a great antioxidant that promotes protection against skin damaging factors and it contributes to the production of collagen. In doing so, it helps with skin elasticity and skin texture. All in all, by simply adding this in your diet, you help your skin from free radicals (pollution and UV) and you preserve the skin smoothness.
5. Orange Veggies
Food wise, everything orange contains Vitamin A, which is really important for collagen synthesis. Helps to restore damaged collagen and promote new one. Carotene is also a good protector against UVA.
You can get this in your diet from carrots and sweet potatoes.
6. Citrus Fruits & Kiwi
Even if you are living under a rock, you may have been associating Vitamin C with Citrus by default. It was told to us by our parents, in sickness and in health, have an orange! Have a grapefruit!
They were not 100% wrong, Citrus fruits do contain Vitamin C, so it’s good to have them in your diet. But for some people this is irritating to the stomach and so Kiwi is your next best alternative.
Kiwi fruit firms tired skin with its high vitamins C and E components. It also contains good amounts of antioxidants & amino acids, which as we covered above, protect from free radicals and UV damage. Vitamin E is also known for boosting collagen production, so helps out with smoothing wrinkles and fine lines.
Let me start by saying I was devastated when I learned this particular food is so important for collagen production. Mortified really. If there is one item I can never eat or even stand, is Garlic. According to Healthline, Garlic is high in sulfur, which is a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent the breakdown of collagen. So that sounds good.. The downside tho is that you need to eat a lot of it if you want to get the benefits. I guess wearing a mask came at the right time, cuz with all the garlic, only this can help!!!
So Friday Scoopers, we have reached the end of our article. I hope the information helpes you in making good choices for your health and ultimately for your skin. I didn’t cover the foods that are bad for collagen production because then we get into the sad things. Anything fried is bad for you unfortunately and I don’t need to remind you of that. Deep down we all know, but then again, it is called ‘comfort food’ for a reason. There are times when you need a tray full of cheesy nachos, but don’t overdo it.
Keep healthy and keep glowing!