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Facts 101: Collagen

Cosmetic procedure

Collagen is a term often used by dermatologists, but do we really understand what it is? Collagen is a large biological molecule that makes up 1/4th of proteins in our body. To put it in simple words, it’s a jelly-like protein, which forms a net-like structure inside the skin. It possesses great tensile strength, and therefore, supports your complexion, and keeps your skin plump, healthy and youthful.

Collagen originates from a Greek word, meaning “glue producing”. It is this collagen that is responsible for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and keeping it firm and compact. Our bodies produce this protein naturally, but due to aging, smoking, pollution, sun damage and improper diet or lack of care – a depletion of collagen occurs. Which is where, wrinkles, fine lines and skin loosening step in.

Here, have a look at some of the interesting things that you may not be aware of, as far as collagen is concerned:

  1. Collagen makes up about 25-30% of the proteins in our body.
  2. 75% of our skin is made up of collagen.
  3. It strengthens blood vessels.
  4. Collagen helps in metabolizing body fat, and reducing pain and soreness in your joints.
  5. Collagen levels in your skin/body are majorly dependent on your intake of protein rich foods.

The above-mentioned factors show how important collagen is for the body. But the levels of collagen are bound to drop over a period of time. The only way is to discover external sources of collagen. Keeping the same in mind, below mentioned is a list of foods that will enable higher production of collagen:

  1. Fish Creates stronger cells. Skin cells are surrounded with a layer of fatty cells. Fish enables these cells to be stronger to support the skin.
  2. Red Vegetables – Antioxidant-rich veggies like chilies, tomatoes, pepper and beetroots protect the skin and help in increasing collagen.
  3. Green Vegetables – Kale, broccoli, beans, and leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, etc. rev up the collagen production, and protects breakdown of collagen due to external factors.
  4. Carrots – Since they’re rich in vitamin A, these also increase collagen production and reduce breakdown of collagen and elastin (that causes aging in the skin).
  5. Soy – Genistein are plant hormones that act as antioxidants. Soy contains genistein, which blocks aging enzymes and adds to the collagen production.
  6. Citrus Fruits – Fruits like oranges, grapes, lime, lemons, grapefruits, and others, which contain vitamin C, which is again, an antioxidant, aids in increasing collagen levels.
  7. Avocado Oil – Not only does avocado contain vitamin E, which works brilliantly in protecting the skin from damage – it also helps reduce age spots.
  8. Garlic – Garlic acts as a helpful element in rebuilding the damaged collagen fibers due to the presence of lipoic acid and taurine.
  9. Olives – Black and green, addition of both types of olives will work very well for your diet since they contain sulfur, which aids in collagen formation.

Include these 9 food products in your daily diet and within a short span, you can see youthful, firm, glowing and happy skin results!

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