Let’s talk collagen.
At age 25, your body’s natural production of collagen begins to decline. Collagen is responsible for more than just your skin’s elasticity and hydration; it’s also important for keeping your joints healthy. Collagen is found in your blood, bones and muscles, and it makes up 75% of your skin and a third of protein found in your body.
The building blocks of producing collagen naturally are: proline, glycine, vitamin C, zinc, and copper. There are many collagen supplements and other collagen products on the market, but we’re not here to promote any of those. If you decide to incorporate collagen supplements into your regimen, we recommend doing your research, comparing products, reading reviews, and carefully reading through the ingredient list.
Instead, we’re here to talk about natural ways to help your body boost its collagen production. Here are some food and plant-based suggestions for increasing collagen:
- Vitamin C: Foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids, such as oranges, red peppers, kale, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and strawberries, are a staple for collagen production.
- Ginseng: There have been many studies that point to the anti-aging properties of ginseng and its role in stimulating collagen production. You can apply ginseng directly to the skin, take in the form of a supplement, or drink tea infused with ginseng.
- Egg whites: Egg white contain large amounts of proline, which is one of the amino acids essential for collagen production.
- Beans: Beans often contain amino acids that are necessary for collagen synthesis. Many beans are also rich in copper, which is another nutrient necessary for collagen production.
- Cashews: Cashews contain zinc and copper, which are needed to produce collagen.
- Algae: This marine plant can help prevent oxidation (damaged cell growth from the skin’s exposure to elements like pollution) from reducing your skin of its elasticity and collagen levels.
- Cilantro: This common herb contains vitamin C and linolenic acid, and studies have shown that this can be a powerful anti-aging tool for your skin. Antioxidants are found in linolenic acid, and antioxidants fight free radicals in your bloodstream, which break down healthy skin cells.
As you can see, there are many natural options to try incorporating into your diet and regimen before running to grab a collagen supplement at your nearest drug store--and this list only scratches the surface.