Eating certain foods can have a positive effect on your skin? So which foods boost collagen levels? Here are some of the best so you know which you should be including in your diet. We’ll also chat about some of the foods that actually break down collagen so that you can limit or avoid them all together.
Our diet plays a huge role in the appearance of our skin and it’s important to eat a varied balanced diet to support skin health. Collagen levels start to decline from as early as our mid 20’s and including a supplement in your diet such as Collagen Shots is a simple and most effective way to boost levels in the body. It’s important to note that the molecular size of proteins is large in our daily diet. The collagen we consume in our regular diet has a molecular size of 300,000 Daltons whereas collagen in a good supplement is hydrolysed, this is an enzymatic process which reduces the molecule size of the amino acid proteins to around 2000 to 3000 Daltons. However, eating certain foods can also help to increase levels.
Chicken is a lean protein and packed with amino acids. If you carve a whole chicken you will see the connective tissues, these are a rich source of collagen. We often choose not to eat these tissues and opt for skinless chicken.
Fish and shellfish.
Fish collagen is the most readily absorbed by the human body. However, it is the skin and ligaments which are rich in peptides and these are then extracted by enzymes to become smaller particles to make them more bioavailable. Eating fish will help to increase amino acid protein levels in your body but these are not easily absorbed. The easiest and most bioavailable way to absorb marine collagen is by taking Collagen Shots.
Egg whites are rich in proline, a key amino acid in collagen production. The lining of the shell is rich in amino acids and many other key skin and tissue building nutrients. This lining can be extracted to form a nutrient rich supplement as in Veggiecol.
Foods rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important part in the production of collagen as it helps it to be absorbed in the body(1). It’s also required for the production of hydroxyproline, an essential amino acid.
Include citrus fruits and berries in your diet.
Eat your greens
Leafy greens are another excellent source of vitamin C, they also contain high amounts of chlorophyll, minerals and antioxidants.
Beans contain high levels of amino acid proteins and are also rich in copper and other nutrients essential for the formation of collagen.
Some nuts are higher in proteins than others and cashews have the added benefit that they also contain copper and zinc, both are important for the body to create more collagen.
Now you know which foods boost collagen, let’s look at those that the collagen destroyers.
What foods are damaging to collagen levels?
Sugar and refined carbohydrates
While some foods are your skins friend others may be causing more damage than you realise.
Eating cake or chocolate can be seen as a treat but if it’s loaded with sugar then it is your skin’s number 1 enemy. Sugar actually causes hardening of collagen fibres to make it brittle and less elastic.
Sugars can irreparably damage skin in a process known as cross-linking. Refined sugars work to create links across the amino acid chains in collagen and elastin. This makes the fibres hard and unable to repair themselves. This accelerates a process called advanced glycation end or AGE and attacks the body’s ability to repair and regenerate its cells. If you are looking for a collagen supplement, then avoid those containing sugar and sucralose as they will not be working to give your skin its full potential.
Alcohol produces free radicals which damage collagen fibres. It’s also acts as a diuretic which means that it dehydrates your skin to leave it looking dehydrated.