We quite often come across the term ‘collagen’ in TV commercials, online articles and other advertising platforms. It is often associated with beauty, skincare and beauty products. Have you ever wondered what it is and why do you really need it? If yes, you have come to the right place. Here we tell you all you need to know about collagen, why it’s important and some natural sources of collagen that you can add to your diet.
Collagen is a type of structural protein that forms nearly 75-80% of the human skin. It is also found in other parts of the body such as the muscles and the bones where it provides the necessary strength. Since it is what forms our skin, it is responsible for the firmness, plumpness, elasticity, and youthfulness of the skin, making it an essential component for maintaining skin health .
When your skin is healthy, it repairs itself and makes new collagen cells regularly keeping the skin smooth, young-looking and free from fine lines. What affects the production of collagen, leading to skin problems and premature signs of aging, is exposure to UV rays, smoke, pollution, stress, unhealthy diet and more.
While we can barely control the amount of pollution and UV rays we expose ourselves to, we sure can control our diet and ensure that our body gets enough amount of collagen needed to maintain healthy skin. So here are some collagen-rich food sources that you can include in your diet.
Ghee is enriched with vitamins A, E and K. It is known to produce collagen naturally along with restoring damaged skin cells making it one of the best collagen-boosting foods that can help you get glowing and flawless skin .
Curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric which gives the spice its iconic yellow color has shown skin-healing and wound-healing properties by increasing collagen deposits in the skin . This common Indian kitchen ingredient has several other skin-benefiting properties that can help you get glowing and youthful skin.
Ginger is enriched with gingerol, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and prevents accelerated collagen degradation. Although the spice does not increase the levels of collagen in the skin directly, it prevents the skin from losing the existing amount of it.
As we know, citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin C plays an important role in producing pro-collagen (the body’s precursor to collagen) making it critical to get enough of the vitamin for maintaining good skin health .
Leafy greens are essential for your health and your skin. They have aesthetic benefits as they are rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants. Studies have shown that increased intake of chlorophyll increases the precursor to collagen in the skin making it youthful .
Beans are rich in protein and contain the necessary amino acids needed for collagen synthesis in the body. They also are rich in copper which is another nutrient that helps the production of collagen .
Cashews contain minerals such as zinc and copper, both of which can effectively boost the body’s ability to create collagen and make your skin look young and radiant. So, the next time you wish to munch on nuts, make it cashews .