Boost Your Body's Collagen Production Naturally
30% of the protein in your body consists of collagen. Having an adequate quantity of collagen gives rise to a plethora of benefits. Collagen provides structure and support to your skin. Not only that, but it also strengthens bones, muscles, and connective tissues.
Most people are well-acquainted with the slew of benefits offered by collagen. A common way to take collagen is to use off-the-shelf collagen supplements. However, a better way to get your collagen fix is to encourage your body to produce collagen naturally.
Yes, you can boost collagen production in your body by making a few minor dietary and lifestyle changes. In this article, you can learn how.
What is Collagen, and How is it Produced?
First thing first, let’s learn about collagen. Made of arginine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine, collagen is a protein that plays an important role in maintaining various bodily functions. The most celebrated functions of collagen include its positive impact on skin and hair.
Naturally present in the human body, collagen is a glue that holds everything in place. It provides the foundation not only for your skin and hair but also keeps your nails, bones, connective tissues, joints, and blood vessels together.
Your body is capable of producing collagen, but it needs the amino acids proline and glycine to form collagen. When these amino acids combine with vitamin C, procollagen is created. This process of making collagen within the body is called collagen synthesis.
You can boost collagen formation by nourishing your body with vitamin C and these amino acids. There are also some foods and supplements that can increase collagen production.
It is also essential to also know what factors can damage collagen. For example, poor nutrition, stress, and hormonal imbalance can affect collagen over time. Other factors that affect collagen levels in the body include sun exposure and pollution. However, certain nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and iron can protect collagen and maintain its benefits.
Natural Ways to Boost Collagen Production
Hyaluronic acid aids collagen production in the body. Naturally present in the human body, hyaluronic acid has been linked with relieving joint pain and speeding up recovery. Unfortunately, as you age, the hyaluronic acid in your body reduces, and its benefits decrease as well. One way to increase it again is to take plenty of vitamin C.
Vitamin C and amino acids enhance hyaluronic acid in your body. This, in turn, can boost collagen production. Incorporate red peppers, oranges, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and strawberries to increase vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and collagen in your body. Apart from this, you can also take natural vitamin C supplements or apply vitamin C serum directly to your skin to ensure you get enough of it.
Want to boost collagen production naturally? Increase the amount of the amino acids lysine, glycine, and proline in your diet. Each of these amino acids has unique benefits. Proline is good for healing wounds and enhancing skin. Lysine promotes bone growth and connective tissue synthesis. Glycines help balance blood sugar, repair tendons, and promote restful sleep.
While proline and glycine can be made in the human body, the essential amino acid lysine needs to be obtained through foods rich in Vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, iron, and glutamic acid. You can get lysine from green peas, beans, tofu, beets, quinoa, cashews, oats, etc. Sources of proline include yoghurt, seaweed, bamboo shoots, and sunflower seeds. Glycine-rich foods include watercress, apple, pear, legumes, etc.
Increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake is a great way to boost collagen production naturally. In addition to providing your skin with a healthy glow, omega-3 can delay wrinkle formation and reduce UV-induced damage to existing collagen.
Of all sources of omega-3, marine collagen is considered best for collagen formation. This is because marine collagens are easy to absorb. Some meat sources also offer collagen, but they come with several drawbacks. For example, many fish oil supplements contain filler ingredients, preservatives, or thickeners like carrageenan, which may contribute to inflammation and bloating. Hence, consider supplementing your diet with a high-quality natural omega-3 supplement instead.
Sea kelps or algae are superfoods rich in omega-3s, amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and antioxidants. They also provide the goodness of calcium, folic acid, iron, and potassium. You can include algae in your diet: seaweed, chlorella, and spirulina. In addition to increasing collagen synthesis, algae can protect existing collagen from the wrath of harmful toxins.
The soothing and healing properties of aloe vera are unmatched. You will find that aloe vera is often used to heal burns and cuts. This property of aloe vera works by increasing collagen production. Aloe vera can boost collagen in your body not only when taken orally but also when applied topically. Aloe vera gel offers a cell-growth stimulating property which improves collagen production. You can reap this benefit by applying aloe vera in its pure form or with the different natural aloe vera-based products available. In addition, oral organic aloe vera supplements are also known to enhance skin quality.
There is no doubt that greens are good for health. Alongside all other health benefits, green vegetables have impressive collagen-boosting effects. Include more dark leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, collard, kale, and swill chard. These leafy greens are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein.
In addition to aiding collagen production, green vegetables can protect against free radical damage. Green vegetables get their colour from chlorophyll, which has antioxidant properties. Chlorophyll can give a boost to the precursor to the process of collagen production within your skin.
There is a known correlation between good skin and sound sleep. Ever wondered why sleep quality is linked with skin health? Well, getting enough rest can improve the collagen levels in your body, which in turn can do wonders for your skin.
When you get your beauty sleep, it can boost growth hormones and enhance collagen synthesis. Try to get uninterrupted good-quality sleep at night to get glowing skin. At least 7 hours of sleep is recommended for optimum collagen production. If you have difficulties getting sound sleep, you can always take natural sleep aid supplements. Organic ingredients in these supplements would help relieve stress and anxiety and calm your nervous system so you can sleep peacefully without any side effects or addiction.
Can Supplements Increase Collagen Production in Our Body?
Sometimes, eating a balanced meal rich in collagen-boosting food may not be possible. In that case, you can take collagen supplements to boost collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is essential for the body, so you should try to increase it in every possible way.
While improving collagen levels naturally is relatively straightforward for those who eat non-vegetarian food and fish, vegans and vegetarians may struggle to eat enough collagen-enhancing foods. As such, if you fall in the latter category, you can rely on natural collagen supplements available in different forms, like powder or tablet, to increase collagen levels quickly. This will improve your overall health, especially that of your skin.
You can also take collagen in liquid form to replenish the collagen supply in your body. When collagen peptides are consumed through a supplement, the peptides activate fibroblasts, special cells that form more collagen.
When selecting a collagen supplement, check the source of collagen to ensure you are taking the type that is best for optimum health. For example, marine collagen is considered best for skin improvement. Also, check to ensure the tablet, powder, or liquid collagen you choose contains hydrolysed collagen peptides. Supplements containing hydrolysed collagen peptides are processed and can be absorbed and used efficiently.
By now, you are well aware of the many benefits of collagen. An adequate collagen supply in your body is essential for the healthy functioning of skin, hair, nail, muscles, bones, etc. Unfortunately, even though collagen is naturally abundant in the human body, collagen production can slow down due to various factors.
Thankfully, you can do a few things to increase collagen synthesis naturally. This includes increasing your intake of collagen-boosting foods and nutrients such as omega-3, vitamin C, aloe vera, algae, and green vegetables. It is also important to rest well so your body can make collagen more efficiently. Finally, you can also take natural collagen supplements in various forms to fast-track the process. But why stop at only taking natural collagen supplements? Instead, make it a point to use only plant-based and organic health and beauty products to give your body the nourishment it needs in its purest form.