Collagen is one of the most common proteins found in our bodies. It provides the framework for almost everything, including healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, muscles, even teeth and eyes. As we age, our collagen levels decline, dropping by about 1.5 percent per year for both men and women (although when women hit menopause, their collagen levels plummet). A drop in collagen levels can mean everything from thinning hair and more wrinkled skin, to brittle nails and slower muscle recovery.
Robust collagen, unsurprisingly, is considered the holy grail of beauty, with many of us willing to go to great lengths for smooth skin and a supple body. Hence the growing market for collagen supplements. But some are inevitably willing to go further than others in their quest for vitality.
Luton Town footballer Andros Townsend, 32, speaking to 5 Lives Monday Night Club earlier this week, says he thinks his daily intake of five or six chicken legs steamed for 20 minutes in the microwave every night to keep his levels up collagen, which keeps it spriteli (as well as hyperbaric chambers and red light therapy).
Nutritional therapist Sonia Wahlroos welcomes the protein intake from chicken feet, but says that although chicken feet are rich in collagen, eating them does not mean that this is converted into collagen in the body. Synthesis of collagen is actually not just a simple matter of ingesting more protein or products containing collagen as it is broken down into amino acids in the stomach. So yes, a diet rich in protein will contribute to collagen production, but to increase your collagen levels, your diet must also be rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, as well as a good variety of fruits and vegetables. Regularity is still good, as is daily replenishment of certain food groups.
The interesting thing about collagen is that when you produce more of it, it causes a domino effect. The more collagen you have, the more your body is able to produce. Wahlroos is on the fence about collagen supplements, saying he will always favor food over supplements because the level of nutrient absorption is always better. Many of her clients choose to take them, but she says a healthy diet comes first.
Here are 5 ways to increase your collagen levels naturally:
1. Vitamin C
Pharmacist Pupinder Ghatora and founder of Ingenious Collagen Supplements says that a natural way to increase collagen is to increase your daily vitamin C intake. Studies have shown that vitamin C is essential for replenishing collagen and helping our blood clotting systems. In addition to citrus fruits, look for any orange vegetables, pumpkins and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin C this time of year.
2. Bone Broth
A daily cup of bone broth can be a tastier option than chicken legs for boosting collagen, says Wahlroos, as long as you include vitamin C in your diet. Bone broth is naturally rich in collagen. You don’t have to go to the trouble of making it yourself as there are plenty of good ones out there, but even a simple broth made from chicken carcasses, peppers, leeks, celery and carrots is effective and delicious.
Wahlroos is also a fan of collagen-boosting egg protein. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. A two-egg omelet with lettuce and some paprika is one of my favorite lunches for protein and vitamin C, she says.
4. Avoid too much sugar
Ghatora says it’s also important to avoid certain foods because they destroy collagen; sugar is one of the worst offenders. There are two types of sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain fructose, which is easily processed by the body, and there is glucose, also known as refined sugar, which can be more harmful to the body. A 1992 clinical study found that the sugar in glucose breaks down collagen, reducing its elasticity, making collagen brittle, so it loses strength and resilience. In all fairness, sugar accelerates the aging process. In an ideal world, all of our sugar needs should be met from the fructose sugar found in fruits and vegetables.
5. Easy with alcohol
Ghatora also suggests laying off the alcohol. A 1972 Lancet study found that alcohol consumption reduces collagen synthesis, showing that the higher the alcohol content in the blood, the greater the reduction in collagen synthesis. However, it’s also true that high cortisol levels from stress are also bad for collagen production, so if the occasional glass of wine helps you relax and unwind, don’t worry too much about it.
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy a year for just $9 with our exclusive US offer.
#increase #facial #collagen #changing #diet
Image Source : www.yahoo.com