The collagen protein is essential to the health of your skin because it is the building block of the skin. The skin requires the protein for creating and repairing skin cells. The levels of collagen in the body are high when we are younger but start to decline after we cross puberty. The reason for this decrease is that the body produces enzymes that facilitate a breakdown of collagen. Unfortunately, at this time, the production of collagen by the fibroblasts in the connective tissue also declines at a steady rate. These two factors together result in a drop in collagen levels which causes signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines to appear on the skin. To counter this decline in collagen levels there are artificial collagen products, but it’s always best to use natural methods like eating healthy foods that are known to boost collagen.
Here are 6 foods that can help improve collagen levels in the body:
Fish like salmon and mackerel contain unsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids that are helpful in improve the health of your skin. Omega-3 fatty acids improves the protective barrier around your skin cells, reducing damage from free radicals while helping boost the production of collagen.
2. White Tea
According to researchers at Kingston University and Neal’s Yard Remedies, drinking white tea can boost skin health by protecting the breakdown of the collagen protein by suppressing the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of collagen. With the reduction in the rate of collagen breakdown, your skin health will improve along with levels of collagen in the skin.
3. Egg Whites
Eating egg whites is something many people enjoy, whether it’s just for the rich taste or for the proteins it contains, this food is truly versatile. The protein this food contains includes proline and lysine which are known amino acids that help improve collagen production. The increase in collagen production due to proline and lysine can help repair and rejuvenate the skin for a hydrated and younger looking skin.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes are rich in Vitamin C which helps boost collagen and is used in many anti aging products on the market today. Vitamin C converts amino acids like lysine to synthesise collagen while protecting the skin cells from free radical damage.
Soy contains a plant hormone called genistein which is said to be very effective at boosting the protection of the skin cells as an antioxidant. Foods like soy tofu, soy milk and soy cheese contain genistein that helps block skin damaging enzymes like MMPs, helping to reduce skin aging by increasing collagen levels.
Garlic is a household ingredient that is rich in sulphur which is known to boost collagen synthesis. Garlic is also effective at boosting skin cell repair as it contains lipoic acid and taurine.
While there are more than these six foods that can help improve collagen levels, our experts choose these few as they are easy to find at your local grocery store and are very affordable. Not only that, these foods also contain nutrients, minerals, vitamins and other compounds that can help you get younger looking skin. The increase in collagen will allow the skin to better repair the damage caused by aging so that your skin looks plump, hydrated and wrinkle-free.