When it comes to anti-aging, there are many who try and wind back the beauty clock with plastic surgery, but little do they know that the most effective way in tackling aging skin is with a healthy diet filled with collagen-rich foods, among others.
Don’t know what collagen is? Simply, it’s the most abundant protein in our skin, giving it its elastic, firm and smooth texture. Here’s an article that breaks down what collagen is in greater detail, if you’re interested.
The problem is, when we age, our skin’s abundance of collagen turns into a troublesome situation of depletion, causing general signs of diminishing and aging skin.
So, if you’re like us and prefer a less invasive and more natural approach to restoring skin, there are a number of affordable anti-aging foods, specifically foods high in collagen, you can include in your daily diet today.
Here are 6 natural sources of collagen to get you started on your journey towards more youthful skin!
6 Collagen Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet Today!
1.) Vitamin C from Dark, Leafy Greens
Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis, and foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits and broccoli are filled with it. Beyond broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale offer antioxidants that protect against free radicals that breakdown collagen. We know green vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, but they may also be one way to help with the degradation of collagen in the skin.
These vegetables contain two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, shown to defend skin against the effects of UV exposure. This study reveals the effects of these antioxidants protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays, while other studies have shown that women who consumed a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables had a lower incidence of wrinkles in the crows-feet area. Simply, spinach and kale are collagen-rich foods you should add to your plate if you have any desire of turning back the beauty clock!
2) Collagen from Bone Broth
Celebs like Halle Berry, Salma Hayek and Gweneth Paltrow have talked about bone broth for promoting skin, nail and hair health. But beyond all the he-say and she-say, does the science support their claims?
There are very little studies on whether bone broth is directly related to better skin, nails and hair health, so the answer is still a mystery, but that’s only through a scientific lens. One thing that’s for sure is that bone broth is an extremely collagen-rich food that’s also proven to be a great source of protein.
And given the occasional lag in science supporting new health claims, maybe one day it’ll catch up with all the he-say and she-say rhetoric of bone broth being a great source for healthier joints, nails, hair and skin.
The question is — are you willing to wait? Many aren’t, and it could be for good reason (hence, the science lag in cannabis).
3) Foods High in Vitamin A (Red, Yellow and Orange Foods)
Orange and yellow fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A within the body — this is important as it helps encourage healthy vision and cell growth, while also restoring collagen.
Red veggies like beets, tomatoes and red peppers are full of lycopene, which boosts collagen and protects against sun damage. Fruits and vegetables to look out for, that are high in carotenoids, include carrots, grapefruit, oranges, apricots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, tomatoes, squash and bell peppers – think orange, yellow and red hued foods as great natural sources of collagen.
4) Foods High In Polyphenols
Although not exactly collagen-rich foods, a diet that’s filled with high polyphenol content has been shown to help protect skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays, thus being great natural sources for collagen production. Think green or black tea, olives, grapes, soybeans, and some berries like blackcurrants, blueberries and cherries!
Polyphenols belong to a group of antioxidant compounds known as catechins. Including foods in your diet high in polyphenols may be another way to eat your way to healthier skin because of the ability of polyphenol-rich foods to prevent the spread of free radicals, provoked by external factors such as sun damage and pollution.
The more antioxidants we eat, the better our skin will be armed with the ability to deal with oxidative stress from the environment, our lifestyle and from aging.
5) Vitamin C and Vitamin E – Avocados, Citrus Fruits, and Green Vegetables
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant whose main job in the body is to protect against cell damage. Vitamin E may also play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system and protecting against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain both vitamins E and C, a great addition to any diet that’s oriented around having foods with collagen (while also being delicious substitute for butter!).
6) Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish and Red Vegetables
It’s been shown time and again that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for increasing collagen synthesis and production, therefore, improving the barrier function of our skin, protecting against UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, while also preventing the development of skin cancer.
If you’re interested in omega-3’s anti-aging benefits, you’d need to include fish like tuna and salmon into your diet, as they’re loaded with them. Red vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and beets also contain the antioxidant lycopene that will help with protecting your skin against sun damage (our skin’s worst enemy!).
And like fish, nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin E — nutrients that are vital in keeping your skin radiant and firm.
Omega-3 fatty acids are not exactly collagen-rich foods, but they’re definitely great natural sources of collagen production.
Eating Collagen Rich Foods Focuses on Prevention
Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against skin aging effects. A prevention strategy is a well regulated lifestyle with physical exercise, regularly use of sunscreen and a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative and collagen rich foods.
Aging is going to happen, whether we like it or not, but as we know prevention is the best method of defence and finding natural sources of collagen is a great way to start!
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