Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body & one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You can think of it as the “glue” or protein that holds all these things together & provides structure to much of your body. When collagen levels are healthy, cells that contain collagen take on a strong and youthful appearance.
Hard workouts put stress and strain on the body & as you age your body actually produces less collagen. The interesting thing about collagen is that stimulating its growth causes a flow on effect. This means the more collagen you have, the more your body is able to produce and maintain.
On the other end of the equation, inflammation cause by excess consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates can damage your collagen so is important to stay away from processed foods with high levels of these ingredients.
Different types of supplements and foods can be taken to support the body’s production of collagen and keep you active for longer.
Type I and III Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Type I and III hydrolyzed collagen peptides can support healthy skin & the vitality of nails. This type of collagen can be found in foods like bone broth and fish skin.
UC-II is a patented form of collagen with undenatured type II collagen that works with your body’s immune system to support healthy joints. This is mainly derived from chicken cartilage.
Vitamin C aids in collagen formation and without adequate amounts of vitamin C, the body cannot actually form or store collagen, making it a pretty important co-factor for collagen supplementation. Fruits and berries are high in vitamin c and your body can’t store it so an apple a day can keep the doctor away.
Zinc not only helps to support the immune system, the body relies on zinc to produce collagen. Zinc is also the activator for a protein called collagenase which is used to allow cells to reorganise themselves for effective wound healing. Whole food sources of zinc include shellfish like oysters, liver, nuts and beef.
Garlic can help boost your body’s collagen production as it is high in sulphur which helps synthesise and prevent the breakdown of collagen.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are high in chlorophyll which studies have shown it increases the level of a precursor to collagen.
Egg whites don’t contain collagen rich connective tissues like other animal products. However egg whites do contain a large amount of proline which is one of the amino acids necessary for the body to produce collagen.
Tomatoes are not only a great source of vitamin c but they also have the ability to boost a large amount of a specific skin supporting antioxidant called lycopene.
Capsicum is a vegetable not only high in vitamin c but contains an anti-inflammatory compound called capsaicin which can help combat the signs of aging.