When it comes to anti-aging, there are many who try and wind back the beauty clock with plastic surgery. But little do they know that the most effective way of tackling aging skin is with a healthy diet filled with collagen-rich foods, among others.
Don’t know what collagen is? Simply, it’s the most abundant protein in our skin, giving it its elastic, firm and smooth texture.
When we age, our skin’s abundance of collagen turns into a troublesome situation of depletion, causing general signs of diminishing and aging skin.
So, if you’re like us and prefer a less invasive and more natural approach to restoring skin, there are a number of affordable anti-aging foods, you can include in your daily diet today. Specifically foods high in collagen.
Here are 6 natural sources of collagen to get you started on your journey towards more youthful skin.
6 Collagen Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet Today!
1. Vitamin C from Dark, Leafy Greens
2. Collagen from Bone Broth
3. Foods High in Vitamin A (Red, Yellow and Orange Foods)
Orange and yellow fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A within the body — this is important as it helps encourage healthy vision and cell growth, while also restoring collagen.
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Red veggies like beets, tomatoes and red peppers are full of lycopene, which boosts collagen and protects against sun damage.
Fruits and vegetables to look out for, that are high in carotenoids, including carrots, grapefruit, oranges, apricots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, tomatoes, squash and bell peppers – think orange, yellow and red-hued foods as great natural sources of collagen.
4. Foods High In Polyphenols
Although not exactly collagen-rich foods, a diet that’s filled with high polyphenol content has been shown to help protect skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays, thus being great natural sources for collagen production. Think green or black tea, olives, grapes, soybeans, and some berries like blackcurrants, blueberries and cherries!
Polyphenols belong to a group of antioxidant compounds known as catechins.
Including foods in your diet high in polyphenols may be another way to eat your way to healthier skin because of the ability of polyphenol-rich foods to prevent the spread of free radicals, provoked by external factors such as sun damage and pollution.
The more antioxidants we eat, the better our skin will be armed with the ability to deal with oxidative stress from the environment, our lifestyle and from aging.
5. Vitamin C and Vitamin E – Avocados, Citrus Fruits, and Green Vegetables
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant whose main job in the body is to protect against cell damage. Vitamin E may also play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system and protecting against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain both vitamins E and C, a great addition to any diet that’s oriented around having foods with collagen (while also being a delicious substitute for butter!).
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish and Red Vegetables
It’s been shown time and again that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for increasing collagen synthesis and production, therefore, improving the barrier function of our skin, protecting against UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, while also preventing the development of skin cancer.
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If you’re interested in omega-3’s anti-aging benefits, you’d need to include fish like tuna and salmon into your diet, as they’re loaded with them.
Red vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and beets also contain the antioxidant lycopene that will help with protecting your skin against sun damage (our skin’s worst enemy!).
And like fish, nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin E — nutrients that are vital in keeping your skin radiant and firm.
Omega-3 fatty acids are not exactly collagen-rich foods, but they’re definitely great natural sources of collagen production.
Eating Collagen-Rich Foods Focuses on Prevention
Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against skin aging effects. A prevention strategy is a well-regulated lifestyle with physical exercise, regular use of sunscreen and a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative and collagen-rich foods.
Aging is going to happen, whether we like it or not, but as we know, the best method of defence is finding natural sources of collagen for healthy, glowing skin.