Collagen is the buzzword being used by beauty gurus everywhere — and with good reason. It’s thought to be ‘beauty in a bottle.’ Though not the kind we apply onto our bodies; rather, the kind we put into them.
At Haven, we are big believers that good skin starts with good nutrition. Collagen is essential to the optimal health of the skin, but as we age — even if we eat well — we make less of it due to hormonal changes, resulting in fine lines, loose skin, and dryness. So supplementing becomes necessary.
Read on to learn why your skin needs collagen to stay young and how to get more of it.
Get the Glow
Want a healthier and more youthful looking appearance? Want to reverse skin aging? As the main structural protein found in your skin, collagen can make skin smooth, supple, and firm, especially when levels of it are high. That’s because this important building block helps skin cells to renew and repair themselves, which improves the skin’s structural integrity and elasticity — diminishing sagging, cracking and wrinkles. When our own collagen production declines, it’s time to maintain or boost this vital amino acid by supplementing it.
One of the most well-known benefits of taking collagen in a nutritional form is its ability to promote a glowing, vibrant complexion. Consumption of collagen also increases skin moisture content, may help fight UVB photo-damage, and can noticeably decrease elastosis (the degeneration of elastic tissue usually due to sun exposure). In other words, collagen helps to get your glow on from the inside out!
How to get collagen into your diet? First, make sure it’s from a pure, organic source. Second, be consistent: take collagen daily.
Today, it’s found in so many quality food products: in protein bars (by reputable companies like Primal Kitchen) or snacks, in pre-made coffee, tea, and power-shots (that you can take before or after your workout). At home, add collagen in a high-quality powder (such as Vital Proteins or Bulletproof) to your daily smoothie or ingest as a supplement with your multivitamin in the morning. For lunch, there are wonderful, easy recipes for the now popular, collagen-rich bone broth — take your pick of adding nutrient dense cilantro, parsley or mushrooms. Pack all that nutritional goodness into your thermos and take it wherever you go or simply add bone broth to soups or stews for an even bigger protein punch. Put collagen in your pancakes, your favorite recipe for cookies, or any delicious, home baked goods.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, not to worry! There are several plant-based protein supplements in capsule or powder form available. For pescatarians, a variety of marine collagen is on the market that you can simply mix with water or anything that strikes your fancy.
However you get it, collagen makes your skin beautiful!
Let’s talk about nails! As if having glowy, dewy, youthful skin isn’t enough benefit for adding it to your daily nutritional routine, extra collagen can also give you really nice nails. It’s a major protein constituent of your nail bed. Evidence shows that this little amino acid has a big impact on tissue regeneration. Stronger connective tissue means stronger nails; cells form in the root of the nail and then harden as they extend beyond it, transforming brittle nails that break with frequency into strong, resilient, and oh-so-gorgeous nails. Leaving you to do one thing: choose a new polish as your favorite go-to color for summer!
Did you know that you can boost your own body’s production of collagen? How? By eating foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to help this natural process and now that it’s summer, Mother Nature is here to lend us her ever-helpful hand.
From oranges to bell peppers, she gives us the bounty with which we thrive! In warm weather, that means local strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries — the season for picking is upon us. So have fun! Or go to your local farm stand for watermelon or an abundance of leafy green goodness like kale, mustard greens, and watercress. And, don’t forget herbs like parsley and thyme.
Not that we are rushing things, but by the end of summer come the delicious cruciferous veggies: sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli.
For all this natural assistance in helping us to make our own collagen so that we can have naturally beautiful skin and nails, we give our eternal thanks, as always, to Mother Nature!