Drink plenty of water. Always wear sunscreen. Make exercise and movement a priority.
We're all familiar with these pieces of advice for healthy aging, but it can be difficult to know how to combat the specific effects of aging. Take maintaining collagen levels, for example, which is often referenced but not always in detail. You may wonder, what is collagen and why is it so important?
Collagen is a protein that your body produces, but it needs to absorb certain nutrients for that process. As we age, it's more difficult for our bodies to produce collagen, and the drop in production can affect our skin, joints, tendons, and even digestion. If you want to boost your body's levels of collagen but aren't sure how to read on for some of our best tips.
Take Algae Supplements to Improve Collagen Production
We focus so much on our spinach, kale, and broccoli, that we tend to overlook our sea plants, but it's time to talk about algae. Algae - specifically chlorella - contains a unique nutrient that can help increase collagen production. The RNA and DNA acids contained in chlorella are especially beneficial for collagen production.
RNA and DNA signal our cells to perform certain functions, including cellular repair and regeneration. These cellular functions may encourage collagen synthesis. Look for chlorella powder to add to your superfood smoothies or find it in tablet form at your local health food store.
Sip on Bone Broth to Boost Collagen Levels
Bone broth has recently been under the spotlight in the wellness industry. While most of the other foods on our list can help encourage collagen product, bone broth actually contains collagen. Cooking down animal parts helps release collagen from the bones, producing a broth rich in collagen.
There are three types of collagen. Collagen type I helps support skin health, collagen type II is beneficial for our joints, and collagen type III is great for digestion. Try different types of bone broth to reap the benefits of the different types of collagen.
Include Omega Fatty Acids in Your Diet to Prevent Collagen Loss
Omega-3 fatty acids offer so many health benefits, including preventing the loss and degradation of collagen. Our bodies don't produce these fatty acids on their own, so need to include omega-rich foods in our diets. And along with protecting the collagen in our skin, omega-3 acids can also reduce inflammation and can increase moisture in our skin.
We tend to think of fatty fish like salmon as being high in omega acids, but there are many other options, too. Other sources of omega-3 include seeds like chia and hemp, walnuts, and edamame. So whether you're an omnivore or plant-based eater, you can find plenty of omega-3 foods to add to your diet.
Load Up on Leafy Greens to Help Maintain Collagen Production
Is there anything leafy greens can't do for our health? These vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Green, leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll, which may help increase procollagen.
Procollagen is a precursor to collagen, so chlorophyll can benefit collagen production. Chlorophyll is in kale, arugula bok choy, broccoli, and other similar vegetables. You can also find liquid chlorophyll supplements, which offer a concentrated dose.
Incorporate a Hyaluronic Acid Product Into Your Skin Regimen
Hyaluronic acid helps maintain moisture levels in our skin, and may also help with collagen production. Our bodies produce hyaluronic acid, but with aging, that production decreases. This can cause skin sensitivity, fine lines, dullness, and uneven texture.
Hyaluronic acid is an active ingredient in many anti-aging skin products. It's important to note that your body also needs adequate levels of Vitamin C to gain the full benefits of hyaluronic acid. Look for a serum that contains both ingredients that you can add to your skincare routine.
Eat Citrus to Help Encourage Collagen Production
As mentioned above, Vitamin C is a necessary component of collagen production and maintenance. It helps link together the amino acids that help form collagen. It's also an antioxidant and can help protect your skin against toxins.
You can eat citrus fruits to increase your Vitamin C intake. Use lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits in smoothies, salad dressings, and even infused water. You can also use skin care products that contain vitamin C.
Practice a Healthy Lifestyle with a Balanced Diet and Exercise
Most of the tips we've shared here are all part of living a healthy, well-balanced life. Along with the foods and nutrients already mentioned, be sure to seek out micronutrients, too. Find anthocyanins in berries, proline in egg whites and cheese, and vitamin A in most plants.
Regular exercise may also help you maintain youthfulness. Your bones, joints, and skin will feel and look healthier for longer if you keep a regular exercise regimen. Committing to eating quality food and engaging in exercise is sure to help feel you feel and look great for years.
Find a Collagen Supplement That Meets Your Needs
While all these tips can be helpful to enhance collagen levels, you may also want to take a collagen supplement. The most popular products available contain hydrolyzed collagen, also known as "collagen peptide." These powder supplements are flavorless, and you can dissolve the powder in smoothies, soups, and even sauces.
There are also skin creams made with synthetic collagen. These may work to help reduce water loss and protect your skin from environmental elements. Most people find that eating the foods and nutrients mentioned here is better than using synthetic collagen.
Learn More About How to Feel and Look Your Best
Boosting your collagen levels is a great way to help you feel great and maintain glowing, youthful skin. Of course, there are countless other things to do to improve your wellbeing. If you're interested in learning more health and wellness tips, you're in the right place.
Our blog has a wealth of information for women striving to be the healthiest version of themselves. We have articles on skincare, healthy recipes, exercise, and more. Read our helpful articles on topics like how to stick to a workout plan, the benefits of Vitamin D, and more.