Let us show you how collagen promotes its anti-aging effects of youthful skin, thick hair, and strong nails
Have you ever seen someone who is in their 50s but who looks like they’re in their 30s? Or have you ever seen someone who is in their 40s but looks like they are 60? How we age is primarily determined by our diet.
Aging, the elasticity of your skin, that glow that radiates from your face, the thickness of your hair, and the strength of your nails all depend upon collagen. If you want to look younger, healthier, or more glowing, getting more collagen or collagen-producing foods in your diet is essential.
Here’s how collagen promotes its anti-aging effects of youthful skin, thick hair, and strong nails:
- Collagen is the glue of your entire body
- It helps with cell growth and repairs damaged cells
- Collagen improves the elasticity of your skin to keep it from sagging
- Collagen has been shown in studies to reduces wrinkles and fine lines
- Collagen and other vitamins also control the thickness of your hair
- It contains arginine, an amino acid that helps your nails stay stronger
What Is Collagen?
Try to think of collagen as the glue for your entire body. The word collagen actually comes from the Greek word “kòlla” and the French suffix “-gene.” Combined, these two words literally translate to glue producing.
So, it helps cell growth, repairs damaged cells, and works to reduce inflammation in your body.
Collagen is also everywhere in your body. It actually makes up 30% of the total amount of protein in your body. And as a result, there are several benefits associated with having a high level of collagen in your body.
But at the age of 35, your body’s natural collagen production starts to slow down. Just five years later, your collagen loss becomes greater than the production rate of collagen. Once you hit the age of 60, over ½ of your body’s collagen will be gone.
But, there is a way to slow this process and keep you feeling and looking younger longer. By eating collagen-rich producing foods and even maybe taking a collagen peptide supplement, you’ll be able to keep your skin, hair, and nails looking youthful.
Collagen for Youthful Skin
Younger looking skin is always desirable. Your skin can be complicated. Maybe it seems like you just figured out how to get rid of your acne and have clearer skin. Now you’re trying to learn how to keep your skin looking young.
Since collagen acts as glue for your skin, it’s necessary to keep the collagen levels in your body up to prevent your skin from sagging.
Loss of collagen is responsible for the signs of aging that you see in your skin like:
- Fine Lines
- Age Spots
- Sagging Skin
- Crow’s Feet
- Skin Discoloration
- Dull Skin
You may have seen some anti-aging skin care products list collagen as one of the ingredients. However, these products won’t actually help your skin or reduce your wrinkles. Though your skin is made up of collagen, if you apply collagen topically to your skin, your skin won’t absorb it.
Collagen particles in skincare and beauty products are too large for your skin to absorb. The collagen in these products will simply sit on your skin until you wash your face that evening. All the money you spend on these products will literally be going down the drain.
The only real way to change your skin is by ingesting foods that help to repair it. The foods we eat do affect how our skin ages.
You’ve probably noticed that eating foods high in sugar or low in nutritive value affect the appearance of your skin. You know that certain foods can cause acne. The same is true for how your skin ages.
By eating more of these collagen producing foods, you’ll find that your skin looks noticeably younger:
These berries are loaded with antioxidants called anthocyanins that support the production of collagen and will make your skin look brighter.
Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard all have high levels of vitamin C and A. These vitamins encourage the body to produce more collagen. Without these vitamins in your diet, a collagen supplement won’t even help your skin.
Garlic also boosts collagen. Sulfur is essential for collagen repair. Because garlic has high levels of sulfur, your skin will get an instant glow.
Mangos are rich in vitamin C and B6. Both of these vitamins are also necessary for collagen production.
You’ve probably heard of the anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea. White tea is also amazing for protecting the proteins of your skin.
Algae is actually an excellent source of Omega-3 DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are amazing at hydrating the skin. Taking an vegan algae omega-3 supplement makes getting this vitamin easy.
Studies on collagen show the anti-aging effects on your skin. Some women even saw that the signs of age on their skin reversed. In a new double-blind study, women found that when they used a collagen peptide supplement their skin showed significant progress in improving elasticity and skin moisture.
Collagen for Thick Hair
Have you ever seen those shampoo commercials and thought to yourself, “Wow I wish I had beautiful, thick, luscious hair like that girl.” Interestingly, there is a chance that the women’s hair in those commercials isn’t necessarily natural. But regardless of that, you can improve the thickness of your hair.
Collagen affects the strength and thickness of your hair. Without enough collagen, you might find that your hair begins to thin out or loses its shine. In as soon as a couple of weeks after using collagen, many people have noticed that their hair begins to naturally become thicker.
This is not a coincidence since your hair, skin, and nails are made up of type 1 and 3 collagen. Without enough collagen, your body simply cannot keep producing hair.
This effect is why some women and men experience hair loss as they age. Collagen creation always declines with age, so it’s necessary to eat more foods rich in collagen as you grow older.
Collagen is very high in proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine. These are amino acids that make your hair look and feel healthier.
To really increase these benefits, aloe vera juice is another food that you should eat regularly. It contains polysaccharides that really work to strengthen your hair and even help digestion.
Instead of applying it to your hair, try to drink a cup of aloe vera juice a day to see the results faster. Beauty really does come from the inside out.
Biotin or B-complex are also great for helping you thicken your hair. You don’t have to take a supplement for this though if you don’t want to because there are many natural foods that provide what you need.
There are several foods high in B vitamins:
- Whole grains
- Dark Leafy Vegetables
And last but not least, Omega-3 DHA and EPA are also wonderful for your hair. You don’t have to get this from fish though. Algae has the same amount of omega-3 and bioavailability as fish.
In fact, fish get their omega-3 from algae. Fish cannot produce omega-3. Their tissues absorb it when they swim around with their mouths open. So, skip the fish and krill and go source of omega-3 with algae.
COLLAGEN FOR STRONG NAILS
The composition of your nails is very similar to the composition of your hair. Your nails are made up of three things: collagen, keratin, and minerals.
If you’ve noticed that your nails are weak and easy to break, split, or peel, that typically means that you have a nutritional deficiency in collagen. Brittle nails aren’t normal, so be sure that your diet consists of collagen-producing, collagen-rich, collagen peptide supplements, or all three.
Collagen is high in the amino acid arginine. Arginine actually significantly helps your nail health.
One study published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2017 found that daily ingestion of a collagen peptide supplement dramatically reduced the occurrence of broken nails, made them less brittle, and made them grow longer faster.
How to Reverse Signs of Age
Wrinkles, hair loss, and brittle nails are actually a result of the breakdown of a chemical in your body called Glycosaminoglycans or GAG. This chemical is responsible for making more collagen to rehydrate your body.
It’s also responsible for the disks in your spine, your joints, and your bones. So, when your body starts shrinking, you know with certainty that you don’t have enough GAG in your body.
However, you can’t just take GAG as a supplement and expect to see results.
IGF-1 is actually responsible for controlling the GAG in your body. So, to reverse wrinkles, you need an increase in collagen, and you need to work to develop healthy habits that positively influence IGF-1.
IGF-1 is controlled by 6 factors:
You need to reduce the amount of insulin spiking foods in your diet. That means fewer sweets and refined grains like pasta. Switch to complex carbs and whole foods that keep your insulin levels stable.
You need sleep. Even if you feel fine on 5 to 6 hours of sleep, it doesn’t mean that your body can properly repair itself. By not getting enough sleep, your body naturally begins to produce cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much cortisol and you’re up for some real health problems. Plus, you’ll age faster.
Exercise also increases the hormone IGF-1. Full body exercise has been shown to be the most effective in helping with IGF-1. Involve as many muscles as you can when you exercise. But, be careful not to overdo it. Too much exercise, and you’ll increase your cortisol.
- Moderate Amount of Protein
Too much or too little protein both hurt IGF-1. That’s why you need to make sure you’re eating the amount of protein that your unique body needs. To find out how much protein your body needs, read our article on everything you need to know about protein.
- Enhance Your Liver
Try to limit or eliminate alcohol from your diet. The harder your liver has to work, the older you’ll look. Fruits and vegetables help to support your liver. So, make sure you eat a plentiful variety of those.
- Fat Soluble Vitamins
These are vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K2. You can get these vitamins from broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, and other foods. Omega-3 fatty acids also provide a great source of fat soluble vitamins
Collagen supplements can be used to reverse the signs of age as well. Collagen peptide builders essentially give your body all the ingredients it needs to produce its own collagen more rapidly. Vegan collagen builders and animal-based collagen supplements work in very different ways though.
Animal-based collagen supplements are the bones, hides, hooves, and joints of animals that are made into a powder. Sometimes these can taste slightly meaty because of that fact. How they work is that they take collagen from the bones of an animal, and then you can take this collagen orally to increase collagen in your body.
But there are a couple of issues with this. First of all, it isn’t human collagen. The composition of animal collagen isn’t as effective as your own collagen that your body produces naturally.
Secondly, without vitamin