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Is collagen only for our face and hair?
We see it in face creams to prevent wrinkles and tighten skin and in hair care products to boost thickness. But is that all it does and are commercial over the counter products the only place to find it?
That would be a big fat NO!!!
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Collagen is actually the biggest source of protein in the body.
Its name actually comes from the Greek word for glue; “Kolla”, and the French “gene”
This glue is a building block for bones, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, corneas and teeth.
There are four main types of collagen (click the link to learn more) and each type has its own function.
As we age, our bodies create less collagen which contributes to wrinkles and sagging skin.
There is hope though, without creams and supplements.
However, if you are looking for more immediate, visible results there are many fairly effective and reasonably priced options. These from Aveeno and Loreal are both that I had some results with. Since I have started using Isagenix®, I have switched to their Rejuvity® Line and am loving it!
Sugars, refined carbs, excessive sun exposure and smoking are the main culprits that can destroy the collagen that you do have.
The second natural collagen producer Is food!
Fish is an abundant source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for skin structure.
Top sources are salmon, mackerel, trout, herring and tuna.
Don’t get caught up on fresh (unless it is a personal preference). a good quality frozen fish brand will have the same nutrient content.
Red fruits and vegetables are an excellent anti-oxidant and are rich in lycopene and contain lots of vitamin C.
Dark green vegetables are also abundant sources of vitamin C. Kale, spinach and collard greens topping the list.
Orange Fruits and Vegetables are rich in vitamin A. Sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, cantaloupe and papaya all make the list.
Citrus fruits themselves are a great source of vitamin C. These include oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.
Berries, berries and berries. All are full of anti-oxidants that fight the free radicals in our environment.
Garlic should never be overlooked. garlic contains Taurine and lipoic acid and well as being a natural source of sulfur, which I just learned, is required to produce collagen.
Do you avocado? I hope you do because they do a double duty of being rich in vitamin E as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Little secret; I am really trying to like them. I still can’t eat them fresh but I am getting them into me by hiding them in dressings etc.
Protein from meats is kind of self-explanatory. Try to stick to grass-fed, organic meats if possible. They are more likely to be free of hormones and pesticides that may be in their feed.
Soy can be an excellent source of collagen as it is used as a meat alternative for vegetarian and vegans. It also contains a plant hormone called genistein.
Beans are rich in protein with the added benefit of zinc and hyaluronic acid (which is a main ingredient of a lot of skin creams).
Not all are considered equal though as navy beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red kidney beans and black beans top the list.
Flax seeds are right up there with salmon, fish and avocados in terms of omega-3 fatty acids.