Is your skin becoming dull? Or did you notice sagginess or wrinkles on your skin recently? Maybe it’s lacking the most important nutrients to stay glowing and healthy. Being the largest organ, the skin needs ample nutrients to remain healthy and problem-free. The environment, nutrition, and lifestyle affect how your skin looks and feels. Apart from vitamins and minerals, the skin requires collagen, a protein, in order to maintain a youthful appearance. Get to know how important collagen is to your skin and how to maintain healthy collagen levels for youthful skin.
What is collagen?
Among the most abundant proteins in the body is collagen, which is found in the skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. It contributes a lot to keep the skin smooth, and it also provides support to the joints and tissues throughout the body. According to dermatologists, collagen acts like a "glue" holding the body together. But, as we age, collagen production is hindered, leading to dark spots, pigmentation, wrinkles etc. On the whole, the skin starts losing its natural glow and plumpness.
In the human body there are approximately over forty types of collagen. Among them, four types are the most important ones for the body.
- Collagen I – It is found mostly in bones, ligaments, and the skin's connective tissues.
- Collagen II – It is commonly found in cartilage, providing cushioning to the joints.
- Collagen III – It is essential for organizing the cells in the organs and tissues.
- Collagen IV –primary collagen found in basement membrane
Importance of Collagen for Skin:
Collagen gives a solid structure to the skin. It can keep your skin looking firm, healthy and plump. Whereas, when the collagen diminishes, many changes happen on the skin; most importantly, it loses its natural sheen. Besides, wrinkles, dark spots, and pigmentation accompany making the skin look aged. And so, maintaining the collagen levels in the body is essential to keep the skin plump. Though you get collagen supplements that promise to increase collagen levels, the safest and the most effective way is to increase collagen production through diet.
Best Source of Collagen:
There are mainly two sources that can help increase collagen levels natural sources and supplements.
Following collagen diet is the best way to increase the collagen levels in your body. The collagen-rich diet is not only beneficial for your skin or hair but has numerous benefits; take a look at some of them;
- Improves sleep
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight
- Promotes bone health
- Strengthen the muscles
- Reduces hair fall
- Improves immune system
- Healthy and plum skin
Foods rich in Collagen:
This essential protein can be easily obtained from various natural sources including vegetables and fruits. Foods with high protein content; eggs, lentils. Yogurt, cheese, and dairy products are to name a few. Scroll down to discover more;
If you are a vegan, consuming legumes can help balance the collagen levels. Legumes are nutrient-rich and are rich source of minerals and vitamins. Added, it improves gut health.
Fish is another great source of protein. Including fish in your diet can help maintain great skin health.
Eggs, especially egg whites, are high in amino acids and help in collagen production. It is a rich source of Vitamin D and other healthy fats essential for a healthy body. Including an egg in your daily diet is equally beneficial to the body and skin.
Lemon, Grapefruit, and Oranges are the best citrus fruits that can be added in your diet while on a collagen-rich diet.
Broccoli is a vegetable which is power-packed with nutrients. It is high in vitamin C and boost collagen production.
Be it skin, hair or overall health, leafy greens are necessary. Including a salad made with leafy greens can gift you healthy skin.
Zinc is an essential mineral in improving collagen production. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of zinc and protein; chia seeds, cashews, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds can be included to ensure that your body receives “complete proteins.”
Some other foods that can help in collagen production are chicken, soy, tomatoes, bell peppers, Avocadoes and berries etc.
If you feel that your body isn’t receiving adequate Collagen from natural sources, you can consider supplements after discussing with your medical practitioner. Supplements are available in different forms, which can be consumed easily by mixing with your smoothies or other forms of food.
3 Tips to Boost Collagen
Along with a healthy diet, there are certain other steps that can be followed to maintain good collagen levels;
Follow a healthy lifestyle: It is not only diet but proper exercise; adequate sleep is equally important.
Skincare routine: Following a proper and regular skincare routine using the best skincare products can significantly benefit your skin, providing soft and plump skin.
Avoid smoking: The chemicals in tobacco can badly affect and damage Collagen and elastin, which are the essentials required to maintain firm and supple skin.
Following a collagen-rich diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can greatly improve collagen levels, making your skin younger-looking and plump.