Collagen is one of the most common proteins found in our body. It provides the framework for almost everything, including healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, muscles, even teeth and eyes. Our collagen levels decline as we age, dropping by approximately 1.5 percent per year in both men and women (although when women reach menopause, their collagen levels drop even more dramatically). Decreased collagen levels can mean everything from thinning hair and more wrinkled skin to brittle nails and slow muscle recovery.
It’s no wonder that strong collagen is seen as the holy grail of beauty, with many of us willing to go to great lengths for supple skin and supple bodies. Hence the collagen supplement market. But some are inevitably willing to go further than others in their quest for viability.
Speaking to 5 Live’s Monday Night Club earlier this week, Luton Town footballer Andros Townsend, 32, said he reckons it takes five or six chicken legs a day, microwaved for 20 minutes. oven to maintain its collagen levels. keeps him sputtering (as well as hyperbaric chambers and red light therapy).
Nutritional therapist Sonya Walross welcomes protein from chicken feet, but says: “Although chicken feet are rich in collagen content, eating them does not mean that it is converted into collagen in the body. Collagen synthesis isn’t really just a simple matter of eating more protein or collagen-containing products, as it is broken down into amino acids in the stomach. So, yes, a high-protein diet will promote collagen production, but to increase your collagen levels, your diet must also be rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, and a good variety of fruits and vegetables. However, regularity is good, as well as daily supplementation of certain food groups.”
The interesting thing about collagen is that when you produce more of it, it causes a domino effect. The more collagen you have, the more your body produces. Walrus takes issue with collagen supplements, saying he always prefers food over supplements because the nutrient absorption rate is always better. Most of her clients choose to take them, but she says a healthy diet comes first.
Here are 5 ways to increase your collagen levels naturally.
1. Vitamin C
Pharmacist Pupinder Gathora and founder of Ingenious Collagen supplements says that a natural way to increase collagen is by taking vitamin C daily. “Studies have shown that vitamin C is essential for collagen replenishment and helping our blood clotting systems. In addition to citrus fruits, look for any orange vegetables. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin C this time of year.”
2. Bone broth
A daily cup of bone broth can be a tastier option than chicken feet for a collagen boost, Walros says, making sure you’re also including vitamin C in your diet. “Bone broth is naturally high in collagen. You don’t have to struggle to make your own, as there are plenty of good products on the shelf, but even a simple stock of chicken carcass, peppers, leeks, celery and carrots is effective and delicious. »
Wahlroos is also a fan of egg whites for boosting collagen. “Eggs are an excellent source of protein. A two-egg omelet with a leafy salad and some peppers is one of my go-to meals for protein and vitamin C,” she says.
4. Avoid too much sugar
Gathora says it’s also important to avoid certain foods because they destroy collagen; sugar is one of the worst offenders. “There are two types of sugar. In fresh fruits and vegetables, there is fructose sugar, which is easy for the body to process, and then there is glucose sugar, also known as refined sugar, which can be more harmful to the body. A 1992 clinical study showed that the sugar glucose breaks down collagen, reducing its elasticity, making the collagen more fragile, so it loses its strength and elasticity. Roughly speaking, sugar accelerates the aging process. In an ideal world, all of our sugar needs would be met from the fructose sugar found in fruits and vegetables.”
5. Go easy on the alcohol
Ghatorah also suggests going easy on the alcohol. “A 1972 Lancet study showed that alcohol consumption reduces collagen synthesis, showing that the higher the alcohol content in the blood, the greater the reduction in collagen synthesis.” However, it’s also true that high cortisol levels caused by stress are also bad for collagen production, so if an occasional glass of wine helps you relax and unwind, don’t worry too much about it.
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