Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Regarded as the substance that holds the whole body together, it is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons.
The body starts producing less collagen after the age of 35. Skin loses firmness and gradually starts to wrinkle and sag. Many people try expensive cosmetics, supplements and even surgical procedures when the best solution might be much simpler.
Some of the most basic foods can do wonders for the skin, according to a June 5 article in the online newsletter, Mind Body Green.
Here are five of the foods that can help the body increase collagen production and help improve skin.
Bone broth sends collagen directly to the cells. Another benefit of using bone broth is that the gelatin derived from the collagen in the broth heals the digestive tract, which further prevents inflammation and aging skin.
Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale offer antioxidants that protect against the free radicals that break down collagen. Red veggies, such as beets, tomatoes and red peppers, are full of lycopene, which boosts collagen and protects against sun damage. Orange produce, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are loaded with vitamin A, which restores collagen thatâ€™s been damaged.
Fish and lean, grass-fed meat
Omega-3-rich fish, such as mackerel, salmon and tuna, along with grass-fed meat (which is also high in omega-3), protect the fatty membrane around skin cells. The omega-3s plump up the cells, which translates to more youthful-looking skin.
These foods also help reduce inflammation and provide essential amino acids to keep skin firm and elastic.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries all are loaded with antioxidants that fight skin-ravaging free radicals and boost collagen.
Garlic offers lipoic acid and taurine that help rebuild damaged collagen. Itâ€™s also an excellent source of sulfur, an essential part of collagen production.