The Science Behind Collagen

Collagen

Ever wonder what the secret is to maintaining your youthful appearance? Obviously, a well-rounded diet is beneficial in many ways, but if you do your research, you’ll find many experts and beauty gurus will point you towards collagen. Collagen is super trendy right now, but what is it?

Birthdays: Days of celebration or mourning?

I am entering the last year of my roaring twenties, and I am determined to let my birthday be a celebration and not spend it mourning the loss of my youth. Go ahead and roll your eyes, but whether I’m entering my 30’s, 40’s, or 80’s, I’m still getting older. And like many women, I’ve never particularly relished my birthday for that reason. This year, however, I am taking a new approach because it is important to me that I not only look young but feel young! In the last few years, I have taken steps to learn how to care for my health so that I can be like Betty White, still kickin’ it at the ripe age of 98. That is where collagen comes in. While I can’t guarantee that collagen is Betty’s secret to looking young, I’m willing to bet on it. Collagen is commonly known to help reduce the signs of aging, but it has many other internal responsibilities as well. These responsibilities are but not limited to, tendons, cartilage, connective tissues, basement membrane, placenta, bone, and many others. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep my joints in good shape.

“It works,” but do you need it?

Many women are already aware of the benefits of collagen, as does the beauty industry. It is one of the top trends in beauty products today, and people are eating it up! Literally. They have collagen supplements you can consume as well as topical creams, serums, masks; you name it. Even that one girl you went to high school with slings health and beauty supplements as her “side hustle,” or was it her “small business”? But are supplements and creams the way to go? If collagen is something our bodies produce, can we just increase our production? If you prefer to avoid synthetic, lab-created pills and powders and opt for a natural route, I commend you. Unless your doctor has said otherwise, you should be able to rely on your body to produce what it needs to function correctly. You only need to consume the right type of food.

The science behind the fountain of youth

First, you should understand the elements behind collagen. If you want to learn more about the science behind its cellular structure, you can read more about that at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) where they break it down for all you nerds. Personally, I enjoyed reading their article. Knowledge is power, you know. If you’re not into reading science articles and Googling the terminology, I will do my best to simplify it for you. Collagen synthesis is the process of collagen production within your body. Three amino acids, known as glycine, proline, and lysine, and vitamin C, are required in this process. While supplements offer ready-to-use collagen, you could potentially increase your body’s natural production by incorporating foods that are known to contain higher amounts of these amino acids.

Natural sources for a healthier you

Glycine
Proline
Lysine
Vitamin C
Bone broth

Chicken

Eggs

Fish

Spinach

Kale

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Pumpkin

Banana

Kiwi

Meats

Fish

Soy

Asparagus

Peanuts

Watercress

Beans

Alfalfa sprout

Fish

Eggs

Spirulina

Soy

Fenugreek seed

Sweet red and green peppers

Oranges

Grapefruit

Broccoli

Strawberries

Brussels sprouts

Tomatoes

Spinach

Cabbage

Kiwi

Glycine Source  Proline source  Lysine source  Vitamin C source

It is worth noting that you will find higher amounts of these amino acids in animal-based sources; however, you can still obtain them through fruits and vegetables. We should also consider the quality of the foods you’re consuming. I highly doubt that fast food chicken would be a reliable source for proper nutrition, but that is just my opinion.

Collagen Killers

Be mindful of things that can damage collagen! Our bodies might already be producing plenty of collagen, but our habits could be destroying that which gives us our youthful glow. Take a look at these common collagen killers and ask yourself what changes you could make to improve your health.

  • Dehydration. Dehydration happens before you even become thirsty. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), people commonly wait until they become extremely thirsty before they consume fluids. Iced coffee, anyone?
  • Ultraviolet rays
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Stress

 

I hope this article inspires you to do your own research before you accept your old school mate’s “personal discount” for their newest life-changing collagen product. Have faith in your body and fuel it well.

 

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor or a dietitian. The information provided in this article is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your provider. Any recommendations within this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Contact your physician or a licensed dietician before you make any dietary changes.

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