Feed Your Skin

 In Blog

We have all seen the commercials or read the labels claiming “This Product” will produce, generate collagen and elastin. The beauty industry focuses on collagen because of its role in making your skin firm. But did you know your body is already capable of making collagen on its own.

The truth is, collagen is just protein. It is the most abundant protein which makes up about 20% of the body’s mass and is found not only in skin but also in connective tissue and bones. It is often called the glue that keeps us together. Collagen production does naturally decline with age, leading to sagging of the skin, formation of lines and wrinkles, and may cause weakening and stiffness of joints. Unfortunately there is even a more dramatic reduction for woman after menopause.

You need more than good skincare products. You need to help support collagen production from the inside out. You can assist your body to not only produce more collagen but also maintain the healthy skin you have through good diet and supplementation.

First we need to know how to increase the collagen we make naturally. We do this by increasing the nutrients important in collagen production.  Vitamin intake through food and supplements is vital for collagen production and overall skin health. Vitamin C, A, and E are the key players in this production and can be found in foods like broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, oranges, guavas, strawberries, mango, kiwi, walnuts, and beans.

Phytoestrogens are important for woman to consume especially as they age into menopause, helping slow down collagen loss. Genistein, primarily found in soybeans, but also found in smaller quantities in other legumes like fava beans and kudzuis are isoflavones. They have estrogenic properties and block enzymes that break down and age the skin.

Second we focus on foods that protect the collagen we already have. Antioxidants such as Lutein and Catechin found in green and white tea and green leafy vegetables work to neutralize free radicals that can damage and severely age the skin. White tea is also very rich in Phenolic Acid which is known for protecting skin tissue as well. Lutein can be found in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale. These antioxidant nutrients not only help with collagen production but also protect our collagen and slow down the aging process. So increase foods like kale, spinach, broccoli, beet greens and asapargus and pick up a glass of green tea instead of coffee.

Last but not least, good protein intake is extremely important for collagen production. Protein contains the building blocks called amino acids which are needed in collagen production. In addition, animal protein has a couple different components to add to collagen production. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon and cod and also flax seed oil. These fatty acids have many health benefits and keeping the skin soft and elastic is just one.

Gelatin is also a protein based product that helps your body rebuild and restore collagen. Yes, this is the same main component in “Jello” and can be described in the raw as the substance that forms on top of cooked meat after it cools.

Organic Grass Fed Whey protein has been shown to be very effective in the production of collagen because it contains a wide variety of branch chain amino acids. Supplementing a protein powder like this can help make up for inconsistency in the diet, keeping collagen production steady.

So increase your greens, have a cup of green tea, make sure you are getting good sources of protein, and add in a dose of colorful veggies  daily to support collagen production and healthier skin.  Of course, always check with your doctor or licensed health care practitioner to make sure the dietary suggestions talked about are not contra-indicated due to your specific health status.

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