Let’s talk about the superpower protein, Collagen !
Its magic is like a gift from the heavens (but not really because your body actually makes it all by its own sweet self) that keeps you radiantly beautiful from head to toe. It is a type of protein that’s found in your connective tissue, cartilage, bone, and tendons.
If anybody told you that collagen helps prevent wrinkles and keeps your skin elastic and looking youthful and that it plays a critical role in supporting the health of your nails and joints, they were right!
And if they also told you that the best way to boost your collagen was to take a supplement, they were wrong!
I can see why you would be tempted by that easy fix, because who doesn’t want to be a happy, healthy, and flexible human being?
The thing is that while collagen can certainly be a cause of wrinkles, having wrinkles doesn’t necessarily mean you have a collagen deficiency. And even if you see some results when you take supplements, you are likely just putting a bandaid on a symptom, rather than treating the root cause of the symptom.
The other thing is, that even if you already know for an absolute fact that you need more collagen, there are ways to do that with proper nutrition and helpful & healthful lifestyle choices that you can implement in your life without throwing money down the drain by buying whatever hot topic trending pills or powders are filling up your social media feeds.
A lot of collagen supplements are made of various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and zinc that the body needs to make collagen plant extracts and herbs that are also found to help stimulate collagen production.
Plant-Based foods that support the production of Collagen:
- soy products: tempeh, tofu, and soy protein.
- black beans. kidney beans and other legumes.
- seeds: especially pumpkin, squash, sunflower, and chia.
- nuts: pistachio, peanut, and cashew.
- citrus Fruits
- leafy greens
Listen up, because I’ve got a fun little secret to share with you. Even the tiniest changes in your lifestyle can seriously impact your collagen levels. There are a handful of things that can really damage collagen and are worth avoiding whenever possible:
- Pollution and free radicals can diminish collagen production and reduce skin elasticity.
- High Sugar Consumption – It’s been shown that processed sugar increases the rate of advanced glycation end products that damage nearby proteins, weakening collagen, and making it dry and brittle.
- Sun Exposure – UV rays damage collagen found in the skin, breaking down collagen and creating abnormal elastin fibres, which can lead to those unwanted wrinkles.
- Smoking – It’s not really a surprise that smoking cigarettes is no bueno for your skin, is it? Yeah, the combination of chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin., making you look much older than you really are. Nicotine also restricts the blood vessels, compromising the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
If you looked up symptoms like wrinkles, slow muscle recovery, gastrointestinal problems, thin or flat-looking hair, joint pain, and/or slow injury recovery, and Google (or WebMD) told you that you had a collagen deficiency, I strongly recommend that you put down that cup of bone broth right now, and book an appointment with a real live Naturopath or Registered Nutritherapist / Holistic Nutritionist (that’s me!) who can help you to find the actual cause of your symptoms, and to create a customized plan to regulate them, or even get rid of them for good!
Take good care of yourselves!