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Don’t we all crave youthful, glowing, and wrinkle-free skin? Well, if you already have it, your body has adequate collagen; but, if you don’t, you may be experiencing a collagen deficiency. Collagen is a protein that your skin needs to maintain its elasticity and boost blood circulation. But when it comes to its sources, some people think that only the level of collagen affects the skin. But the quality of collagen is even more crucial. That’s why we’re telling you about a few collegen-rich foods that can keep your skin soft, smooth and firm.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Sonakshi S, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist at Ara Skin Clinic Bengaluru, to find the best sources of collagen.
Dr Sonakshi says “There are 19 amino acids in collagen (for example, glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine, and arginine). With ageing, the body produces significantly less collagen, which reduces epidermal thickness and skin flexibility. As a result, the skin becomes damaged and develops more wrinkles, crepey skin, and drooping skin. Low collagen levels may also inhibit new hair growth and cause hair loss.”
A decrease in collagen may also lead to stiffer and less flexible tendons and ligaments, shrinking and weakening muscles, joint pain, osteoarthritis and gastrointestinal problems. So, here we’re with foods that can help boost collagen production in your body.
1. Fish and shellfish: Naturally loaded with amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, fish and their skin are a major source of collagen peptides, which improve the production of collagen in the body. As per studies, marine collagen is one of the most easily absorbed.
2. Beans: Packed with the goodness of amino acids, beans are high in proteins that help in collagen synthesis. Apart from that, the presence of copper beans helps in cell regeneration and also boosts collagen production.
3. Egg whites: Egg whites have large amounts of proline, one of the amino acids necessary for collagen production.
4. Citrus fruits: Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of pro-collagen, the body’s precursor to collagen. Therefore, getting enough vitamin C is vital. Berries and other citrus fruits offer the same benefits.
5. Garlic: Sulfur, a trace mineral that assists in the synthesis of collagen and prevents its deterioration, is abundant in garlic. The best form of nutrients and antioxidants are provided by raw garlic, which helps to improve collagen production and overall health.
6. Leafy greens: Apart from their antioxidant properties, leafy greens have chlorophyll, which increases the precursor to collagen in the skin.
7. Quinoa: Quinoa stimulates the skin to fight free radicals and prevents early breakdown or loss of collagen in the body’s cells. Therefore, it’s one of the best anti-aging grains available.
You can’t go wrong with high-collagen animal or plant foods, or vitamin- and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, to support your body’s collagen production. Avoid processed sugar and carbohydrates since they might irritate the body and harm collagen, which keeps you looking and feeling young.