Collagen is essential for younger looking skin because it gives structure to our skin cells. However, as we age, the body produces less collagen, since naturally occurring enzymes break collagen down which causes the skin to thin, lose fullness and form wrinkles.
Sun, pollution, free radicals and smoke are also responsible for the loss of collagen.
While the body is continually creating new collagen to repair what’s been damaged and replace what has been lost, it is around the age of 35 that collagen production starts to naturally slow down, and the quality of collagen is not as good as it used to be.
Fear not! In addition to topical products, and treatments, food is an excellent and tasty way to naturally boost collagen in the skin!
Here is a list of the best foods to restore, regenerate and repair damaged collagen. Time to make an anti-aging shopping list!
Fish – Creates stronger cells: Fish like tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acid. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty membrane that protects them. When the cells are healthy, they are able to support the structure of the skin.
Red Veggies – Pump up sun protection: Tomatoes, peppers and beets contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene acts as a natural sunblock, protecting the skin from damage while increasing collagen levels.
Dark Green Veggies – Rev up collagen production: Rich in vitamin C, dark green vegetables like spinach and kale can rev up collagen production. In topical products, vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that stabilize the messenger enzymes that break collagen down. It also protects against free radicals to prevent weak collagen.
Orange Veggies – Restore and regenerate: Vegetables that are orange in colour, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.
Berries – Ward off damage: Blackberries and raspberries scavenge free radicals while simultaneously increasing collagen levels.
Soy – Blocks aging: Whether sources from soy milk, cheese or tofu, soy contains genistein (plant hormones that serve as antioxidants), which prompts collagen production and helps to block enzymes, like MMPs that can age the skin.
White Tea – Supports structure: According to research conducted by Kingston University and Neal’s Yard Remedies, white tea may protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically collagen. It’s believed to prevent enzyme activity that breaks down collagen, contributing to lines and wrinkles.
Source: The Collagen-Boosting Diet