Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It helps keep your skin plump and youthful, protects your joints and bones, maintains healthy nails and hair, and much more. However, as we grow older, the body’s capacity to produce collagen decreases, which leads to more wrinkles, weaker joints, and lower bone density. So, it comes as no surprise that people want to boost their collagen production and cling to their youth, but how can you do this? We will give you some tips on what to do and what to avoid below.
How To Increase Collagen Production
1. A healthy diet: If you want to boost your collagen production, you need to nourish your body by leading a healthy diet. To create collagen, the body needs amino acids, glycine, proline, and vitamin C. Many foods are rich in these nutrients. By making sure to incorporate them into your diet, your body will produce more collagen. First, you need to have an adequate amount of protein in your diet because high-protein foods contain amino acids that are crucial for collagen synthesis. Make sure to add protein sources such as fish, chicken, beef, pork, or plant-based protein if you’d rather stay away from animal protein. Below, we have included a short list of foods that are optimal for boosting collagen production.
- Bone broth: Consuming bone broth has been shown to increase glycine, proline, and amino acids. All of which are essential to the production of collagen.
- Fish (with the skin): When buying your fish of choice, make sure it has skin. Collagen is one of the major components of the skin. It also contains vitamin E, both of which contribute to having healthy and glowing skin.
- Berries: Berries are a delicious and straightforward way to include vitamin C in your diet— an essential nutrient for the natural production of collagen. Additionally, berries contain ellagic acid, which helps your body fight against sun damage! So pick up a bowl of berries as a snack, add them to a smoothie or salad, and enjoy. If berries are not your fruit of choice, there are many food options with high levels of vitamin C.
Aloe vera: It has been shown that aloe vera encourages collagen synthesis, increasing collagen production. Additionally, it can also significantly reduce wrinkles and increase elasticity in aged skin.
- Kale: Dark and leafy greens like kale carry many nutrients, including vitamin C and chlorophyll. Research suggests that the chlorophyll in leafy greens can increase procollagen in your body, later turning into collagen.
2. Add retinoids to your skincare: According to Harvard Health Publishing, adding retinoids to your skincare can reduce wrinkles and fine lines by boosting collagen production. Additionally, retinoids stimulate the production of new blood vessels, improve skin color and help fade age spots. Research has shown that retinoids can significantly reduce facial wrinkles in as little as 12 weeks.
3. Vitamin C: Along with consuming vitamin C through your diet, you should include it in your skincare. Applying vitamin C encourages collagen production by stimulating its synthesis. Additionally, vitamin C protects your skin from UVA rays, hyperpigmentation and reduces inflammation.
4. Sunscreen: Whether you are staying home, it is cloudy or sunny, put some sunscreen on. Sunscreen has been proven to prevent skin aging by protecting your skin from the sun and protecting the collagen in your body.
5. Consider taking collagen supplements: Collagen supplements are a straightforward way of increasing the amount of collagen stored in your body. While more research needs to be done to make a definitive statement on the benefits of collagen supplements, they have shown promising results in increasing skin elasticity and muscle mass and slowing down the progression of arthritis.
6. Exercise: The benefits of exercise are extensive and undeniable, but did you know that exercise can also help you get younger-looking skin? Research shows that working out can increase the production of collagen.
7. Get your beauty rest: Maintaining regular sleep may be able to help you renew collagen. It is recommended that adults sleep 7 to 9 hours a night, and research has shown that getting 5 hours of sleep can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping 7.
What To Avoid
1. Stay away from added sugar: It is no secret that processed sugar isn’t great for you. One of the risks of consuming processed sugar is that it ages your skin. Sugar molecules attach themselves to collagens and turn them into a molecule that your body cannot process.
2. Don't smoke: And if you do, stop. Apart from all of the proven health risks linked to smoking, it can speed up your body’s aging process. Smoking increases MMP levels, high levels of MMP lead to the degradation of collagen.
3. Take the time to de-stress: Psychological stress leads to high cortisone levels, which break down the collagen in your body. One study found that chronic stress can lead to premature aging. So, if you want to boost your collagen production, take the time to de-stress, whether it is going on a walk, watching your favorite TV show, or meditating.
4. Limit your alcohol consumption: It comes as no surprise that alcohol is not your friend when it comes to collagen production. Alcohol disrupts the quality of your sleep, which, as mentioned above, is crucial for the renewal of collagen. That is not to say that you should completely cut out alcohol, only that you should drink in moderation.
5. Say no to fried foods: It is okay to indulge in french fries or fried chicken every once in a while, but limit your consumption. Fried foods release free radicals, and these cause damage to the cells of your skin. Consuming free radicals leads to premature aging and the reduction of your skin’s elasticity.
Aging is an inevitable part of life, but you can help your body stay in optimal shape for longer by keeping your collagen levels high. As you can see, boosting collagen production essentially requires you to be mindful of your diet, exercise, rest, and prioritize your mental health. All of these activities come with many more benefits that increase your collagen storage. They can help you feel happier and more energetic. So, whether you are trying to improve your collagen production or not, we recommend you follow the tips above!
If you want to learn more about collagen or are interested in buying ethically sourced, high-quality hydrolyzed collagen, go to Revive Naturals.