• Stiffer, less flexible tendons and ligaments (check!)
• Shrinking, weakening muscles (fighting this!)
• Joint pain or osteoarthritis due to worn cartilage (check!)
• Gastrointestinal problems due to thinning of the lining in digestive tract
Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine explained in one of Cleveland Clinic’s articles on collagen, the importance of eating the right foods too. “Aside from aging, the top reason people don’t have enough collagen is poor diet,” Dr. Bradley says. “Your body can’t make collagen if it doesn’t have the necessary elements.”
Unfortunately, collagen levels in the skin begin to decline in the mid-to-late 20’s. And, here is the scary part. The the rate of depletion is pretty aggressive, with an overall reduction in collagen level of about 1% per year.
The good news is there are a lot of ways to increase collagen in our skin (besides going to the doctor for collagen injections! LOL).
2. Eat foods rich in collagen-supporting nutrients
After doing some research, Vitamin C, Copper, Zinc and Sulfur were some of the suggested vitamins and minerals to help support collagen production. Including foods like red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, spinach, shellfish, nuts, whole grains and beans are a few foods with some of these nutrients. However, I have to admit, taking a really good vitamin pack not only fills the gaps but takes the pressure off of us to have our diet perfect.
3. Drink and Cook with Bone Broth
Dr. Bradley said her favorite collagen-boosting brew was bone broth! She went on to explain that bone broth draws collagen out of beef, chicken or fish bones. I guess I’ve been living under a rock. I knew bone broth was good for you but I didn’t know about the collagen in it! YAY! I just ordered a brand new collagen bone broth with Vitamin C so now I am REALLY stoked!! I will have to do a review once I try it but I hear it’s amazing!
4. Drink water.
5. Quit SSS – Smoking, Sun and Sugar.
“It is more important to change what we put IN our body
than what we put ON our body.”
6. Supplement with Collagen Peptides.
A Cosmo Online Beauty Editor had her skin measured by a Dermascan and found taking a collagen supplement (rich in vitamin C) increased her collagen levels by a whopping 25%. That’s CRAZY! Considering the rate of collagen loss after your 20s, this could shave off 25 years of collagen depletion!
While some experts online also recommended using collagen creams, Dr. Bradley says, “it may work” and goes on to explain “it will add a film-like layer to your skin to reduce water loss and act as a barrier from environmental elements. But using skin cream is probably not as effective as healthy eating”. So, basically, she says it is more important to change what we put IN our body than what we put ON our body.
“Your skin is your body’s largest organ,” she says. “The same way you nourish collagen stores throughout your body will nourish your skin too.”
What are collagen peptides? Collagen peptides are a form of collagen that is rapidly absorbed and highly bioavailable, effectively delivering collagen’s benefits throughout the body. While ordinary foods like meat, poultry, and fish contain collagen, it’s mainly in the form of long collagen fibers. This form of collagen is difficult to digest and offers few benefits. Collagen peptides are created through an enzymatic process that breaks long collagen fibers into short collagen peptides that are quickly absorbed and easy for the body to use.
7. Healthy Digestion
One expert explained one of the things we take for granted is digestion. We think if we don’t have any noticeable digestive issues, we don’t need digestive support. Wrong! Getting the right nutrients may be the key to fixing a lot of problems, like deteriorating collagen, but ingesting nutrients isn’t the only obstacle. We must actually absorb the nutrients to cash in on the benefits.
As we age, our body may no longer absorb nutrients as well as it used to so we may need to help our body along by taking quality digestive enzymes and probiotics to support our gut microbiome and better digestive health for maximum absorption of all nutrients. Most of us work way too hard to eat healthy and take care of our body to ignore our gut health.
The moral of the story is the more we take care of our health and invest in pouring in quality nutrition like quality vitamins, supplements, nutritious foods and plenty of water, the better our body will function and look! And, it also reminds me to go take my vitamins!