Who doesn’t want luscious plump skin?!
Most anti-wrinkle creams containing collagen and elastin, but the fact is that these two ingredients are structurally too dense to readily enter our skin.
Collagen is a type of protein, and works with keratin to provide the skin with strength, smoothness, elasticity and resilience. When you’re young, you have an abundance of collagen in your body, which is why young children have such lovely shiny hair and plump, smooth skin. It’s kinda like the cement, which holds everything together.
As you age collagen production declines and weakening of the skin occurs, this is when skin wrinkles, necks become saggy, lines form around eyes and mouth. Joy.
Never fear, nature provides us with tasty ways to help increase the collagen in our skin, so we have to know what nutrients our body really needs to do this. Here are a few pointers that will help you plump up your skin.
Dark green vegetables : are an excellent examples of food containing collagen producing agents. Add dark green leafy veggies such as spinach, cabbage and kale to your diet every day.
They are packed with an antioxidant called lutein. Rich in Vitamin C, regular consumption of kale, spinach, collards, and asparagus help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilise the protein effectively.
Avoid starchy foods and sugary substances: this helps reduce inflammation which interferes with the body’s natural collagen production processes.
Beans: help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance called hyaluronic acid. Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day – broad or butter beans make a great substitute for mashed potatoes, yummo.
Red fruits and vegetables: also are excellent sources to up the collagen content of foods in the diet. The presence of lycopenes in these types of foods helps to act as antioxidants, which in turn increases collagen production.
Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables: are natural sources of collagen production. You should try to include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and strawberries into your daily diet. Rose hips are one of the plants extract that can present a rich source of collagen. They contain a high level of vitamin C, which is good for the production of collagen.
Omega Acids: Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer and the higher your omega-3 intake the stronger that layer is, and the plumper your skin cells are – which helps disguise lines and wrinkles.
Omega Acids also help to create an ideal environment for collagen production. Fish such as salmon and tuna are excellent sources of omega fatty acids Vegan sources include spirulina, flaxseed oil, nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts.
Foods that are rich in sulphur: content are also important to collagen production. Among these are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks. Working in conjunction with the sulphur, vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A also aid in keeping collagen levels high.
Try adding raw carrots and baked sweet potatoes to the diet for an extra boost.
Green Tea Catechins: Catechins are the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory components of green tea. They have also been found to stimulate healthy maturing of collagen fibers and proper collagen fiber orientation in wound healing.
A study in the “American Journal of Pathology” showed that green tea catechins can help your body to build collagen more effectively.
UV protection!! Take it from me, I learned this one the hard way… A tan is NOT healthy. Yes, it makes us look like a slimmer and more exotic version of our pale selves, but the long term outcome is premature ageing.
If you are not already on a proper sun care regimen, that should be your first priority. Studies have shown that sun protection is one of the most important ways in which you can combat ageing. Nuff said.
Cigarette smoke: like sun exposure, has also been shown to greatly degenerate collagen, and there is also evidence that improper and insufficient sleep has a negative effect on skin health.
Moral of the collagen story? Eat a nutritious diet, don’t smoke and embrace the snowflake.