Guest Post by Lauren Laporte
We’ve all heard about collagen, right? The magic supplement that will make you glow into your 70’s. There is something that works even better. By altering our diet to include foods that increase collagen production instead of using powders will have more of a benefit for our overall health and finances.
People have been using collagen as an extract in several forms. A large number of consumers take it orally, in the form of tablets and powders. Collagen powder is a product consisting of amino acids, and its use is limited to one to two spoons a day.
Collagen powder is rather insipid, so people add them to oat flakes, shakes, sweet yogurt, etc. Also, it can be used in cold drinks, such as smoothies, or in hot drinks, such as coffee. It helps people lose weight, rejuvenate their skin and build muscle mass.
The main function of collagen
Collagen is widely known as the main structural protein in our skin, and it’s not only connected with face lifting and lip treatments. Collagen exists in our bones, muscles, tendons, skin and it provides us with strength, tonus and a great structure. One of its main functions is boosting our health. If you want to detox your body from harmful things, improve blood flow and keep your heart young, collagen is extremely useful.
Glycine, in this case, helps reduce the damage sustained by the liver when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that should not pass through it. One of the simplest ways of detoxing the liver is eating broccoli, beet and sweet potato soup. For rapid recovery of liver function, a three-day veggies detox is recommended that will promote your liver function. It will help your body to get rid of chemicals.
Studies have also found that glycine can be used to reduce liver damage caused by alcohol consumption. Moreover, collagen improves digestion, boosts the metabolism, protects cardiovascular health and supports and improves joint health. Also, in order to have healthy gums and teeth, you have to include more collagen in your diet. The quality of your nails also depends very much on collagen, as well as your hair.
How people started taking collagen supplements
Collagen makes us look younger and attractive, and we are always thirsting for more of that. Unfortunately, as we get older, the level of collagen decreases.
Starting at the age of 25, its level reduces by 1.5% annually. By the age of 40, we’ll be using more collagen than our body can actually produce. Finally, at the age of 60, we will have spent half of it. The good news is that the process can be slowed down.
So what do the collagen supplements cost?
An average pack of collagen powder, containing around 150 grams of the thing, will cost you anything from 20 to 200 bucks. To get the effects everyone keeps raving about, the recommended daily dose should be a minimum of 15 grams per day, maybe, even more, depending on how active you are, how severe the deficiency is, and what else you happen to be included in your diet.
This means that shopping for monthly supply will probably include you buying more than one box. That is a big ticket on your grocery bill.
While the beauty and the supplement industry will benefit greatly, is that necessarily the case for your health? And do you need to spend that much money on an additional powder, or can you just fix the issue by investing in your diet? I mean, you’re going to spend money on food anyway. Why not just target dietary choices and shoot the 2 metaphorical birds with one rock-solid eating regime.
What to do instead of taking collagen supplements
Can you, especially as a vegan, get collagen from plant-food sources? Well, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Even on a well-planned vegan diet, you can’t really find suitable outside sources of collagen.
What you can do is something even better: take in foods rich in vitamins and minerals other than collagen that are known to boost your inner mechanism of collagen production, something the body knows how to do when prompted by proper nutrition.
Collagen is constantly being renewed in our body, then it dries out. And at the same time, it’s being produced from cells that feed it. However, over time, this exchange slows down and as a result, we get a collagen deficiency that leads to wrinkles, diseases, visible aging problems, dental problems and muscle ache, and health problems such as painful joints and joint stiffness.
The best way to increase collagen production and work on different health problems is to stick to a certain diet. By adding curcumin to your daily routine, you will get rid of joint pain and inflammation.
Don’t worry vegans, not everything is lost. Just because you don’t eat meat and animal products, doesn’t mean you can’t get your daily dose of collagen. The best way to support collagen production is to eat a certain diet that includes fruits and vegetables. This includes things such as red peppers, kiwi, papaya, and broccoli that are rich in vitamin C; sweet potatoes, dried apricots, and cooked carrots that are rich in vitamin A; as well as mushrooms, cashews, and sesame seeds.
Focus on Vitamin A if you are worried
Vitamin A helps stimulate collagen production, and in order to stay vegan-friendly and still get the right amount to enhance collagen production, you should include the following foods to your diet: kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apricots and squash. These food sources are high in beta-carotene which our bodies then convert to vitamin A.
Don’t forget about physical activity
Regular exercise and sweating relieve stress because regular physical activity improves blood flow and oxygen, creates thicker and smoother skin and improves collagen production. Also, exercise restores the immune system which in turn restores the cells and eliminates stress (which increases the need for vitamin C) which is released in the form of sweating, leaving the skin refreshed.
In the end, the best solution would be to stick to natural resources. The beauty industry has made so much money and persuaded us that collagen is a life-saving crutch we can’t let go overnight. And because our body constantly needs it, Mother Nature has created many ways of providing us with it, far before the beauty industry. The wisest thing would be for us to trust her, if for no other reason than because at least she doesn’t want to sell you anything.