2 Dec 2013

Collagen

*COLLAGEN*



As you age, your skin loses some of its elasticity and firmness. Some of this is due to the loss and breakdown of collagen in the dermal layer of your skin. Collagen exists 
naturally in your skin as a structural support. As you lose collagen throughout the aging process, your skin gets thinner, and wrinkles begin to set in [source: New Zealand 
Dermatological Society]. Furthermore, when collagen breaks down, your skin becomes weaker, and this can lead to sagging. There are a number of ways to slow down or 
turn back the hands of time. Modern science has provided plenty of options that attempt to deal with the inevitable signs of aging. Many plastic surgeons and 
dermatologists, for instance, can give you an injection of soft tissue filler, which is simply a shot of a flexible, tissue-like substance, such as human fat or cattle collagen 
[source: American Academy of Dermatology]. But if you're not comfortable with needles or plastic surgery, you might find natural solutions to smooth out and tighten up 
your skin. If you're ready to take on the effects of time and naturally boost your skin's collagen production, read on to find out about collagen supplements, creams and foods 
that can help you age a bit more gracefully. Time and gravity will eventually leave you with hard evidence that you're growing older by the day fine lines, wrinkles and 
sagging skin. Blame it on genetics; if your parents developed wrinkles at an early age, chances are you will, too. You can also blame it on all the relaxing days you spent in 
the sun, or on bad luck and stress. No matter what the reason, wrinkles can be unpleasant and unwelcome. The good news is that it's possible to reduce those signs of 
aging with natural, noninvasive methods.
Even though your body may not produce the same levels of collagen as it once did, stimulating your collagen production has the potential to reverse some signs of aging. It 
might be easy to jump to the conclusion that taking collagen supplements for your skin would help, just as you can take calcium supplements to maintain strong bones. 
However, the solution isn't as simple in the case of collagen, because you're trying to affect the way your body produces a protein, not just the way it absorbs a mineral. 


Collagen supplements come in pill and liquid form, and because collagen is found in your skin, bones and cartilage, you can combine it with other supplements. Collagen 
supplements may be mixed with glucosamine or chondroitin, two supplements used for joint and arthritis problems. Since collagen gives cartilage its strength, it can also be 
helpful for those suffering from osteoarthritis [source: WebMD]. However, if you don't have joint problems, you might want to opt for collagen hydrolysate or collagen peptide 
supplements instead. Additionally, if you decide to give collagen supplements a try, you should also boost your vitamin C intake, as vitamin C helps the body produce 
collagen.

Collagen is a protein that combines with keratin and elastin to make your skin strong and elastic. As you age, the production of collagen in your body also slows down. This results to the aging of the skin, which is characterized by signs like thinning, wrinkles, lines, age spots and dullness. When this aging process begins, most women seek solutions in the form of beauty products–jars of cream, tubes of gel, bottles of lotions and the like. Even though some of these products work, most of them don’t.
If you wish to preserve your youth by buying products that claim to contain collagen, you’re better off saving your money. Collagen simply cannot enter the body through your skin. Instead, it needs to be produced inside the body. Here are some foods that you might want to add to your diet if you wish to boost your collagen production.

1. Garlic
Garlic is a good source of sulfur which is necessary to produce collagen in your body. Garlic also contains large amounts of lipoic acid and taurine, which are essential for rebuilding damaged collagen fibers. When cooking pasta, soup, meats and other dishes, be sure to add plenty of garlic.

2. Soy Products
Cheese, soy milk and other products made from soy contain genistein – a substance that helps in collagen production and battling skin aging. If you wish to keep those skin aging signs at bay, eat plenty of soy products, including those that are used to substitute for meat.

3. Tomatoes
You probably know that tomatoes contain a great amount of lycopene. What you don’t know is that lycopene helps fight collagenases. Collagenases are basically enzymes that destroy the collagen in your body. To make the most of tomatoes, it’s better to cook them than eat them raw. Stew or grill vegetables, or make your own tomato sauce for pasta.

4. Dark Green Vegetables
Leafy greens and other green vegetables are known for their high nutritional content. As if that wasn’t enough reason to consume them, dark green veggies have also been found to contain agents which help in collagen production. Some examples of the vegetables you can enjoy are spinach, asparagus and kale. Not only do they help in the production of collagen, but they also help your body use this protein more effectively.

5. Foods Rich in Omega-3
Omega-3 is a fatty acid which is considered to be a good fat. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not get enough Omega-3 with their diet. Instead, they end up consuming excessive amounts of bad fats. Omega-3 promotes smooth, supple and soft skin so you might want to consume it regularly. Omega-3 is found in most cold water fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel. If you don’t eat fish, you can sprinkle flax seeds in your meals instead or take supplements of flax seed oils.

6. Red Fruits and Vegetables
Aside from tomatoes, red fruits and vegetables are also considered good sources of lycopene. Beets and red peppers make tasty additions to your diet. Aside from lycopene, these red natural foods also contain plenty of antioxidants which promote collagen and battle other signs of aging.
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