How are you aging compared to others in your age group? A question that we do not easily hide from, as the lines on our face tell a story of our experiences, happiness, defeat’s and triumph’s!
Our own collagen production slows down as we age, drooping and sagging on our body starts to appear. Expensive cream’s are bought and applied early in the morning and late at night with hopes that their magic will work and turn back the hands of time. While it’s true that moisturizer’s can help reduce the velocity of water loss from our skin, beware of cream’s that indicate a topical collagen to reduce aging. Research shows that certain cream’s can promote aging, as their collagen droplets are too big to be absorbed by the skin. Instead, what we should be doing is eating our way to a healthier and younger body, so that our skin is receiving a proper combination of nutrients to promote collagen synthesis through both animal and plant foods.
Collagen is not only skin deep, it is a fiber found within connective tissue through out the body including: skin, tendons, ligaments, teeth, bones and organs. Collagen’s main job is to protect tissue and provide the body with support. These unique fibers are made from protein and have large amounts hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. Both of these amino acids must be present for development of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the appropriate amount of strength and flexibility.
A good food source of proline from animal is Egg Whites. Wheat Germ is a high quality plant proline. Fish has an abundance of animal lysine, while legumes (especially peanuts), nuts and seeds are a strong source of plant lysine.
The key macro-nutrient Vitamin C needs to be present, in order to convert proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine (both amino acids present in the collagen form). While most plants foods are full of vitamin C, eat those fruits and vegetables with bright colors, for a total of 5 a day to keep replenishing this water soluble vitamin. (Enjoy an additional 4 servings of Green Vegetables per day.)
From time to time collagen damage may occur from diseases. Garlic is food that improves collagen damage and has two principle sulfur nutrients: an amino acid taurine and lipoid acid, giving garlic the unique ability to support damaged collagen fibers.
Lastly, consume foods from two categories of phytonutrients: catechins and anthocyanidins. Research shows that catechins found in Green Tea have been shown to help prevent breakdown of collagen. While anthocyanidins are found in red-blue Berries and Fruits (cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries) which help the collagen fibers link together and strengthen the connective tissue, providing you with healthy skin that keeps you from premature aging.
By: Kim Crocker
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