Collagen

The most essential protein in our body, collagen is responsible for our skin’s elasticity and it plays a huge role in our joint and bone health too.

Not only is it important for binding our tissues and cells together, it keeps our bones strong, our joints supple and our skin plump and glowing. The remarkable thing is, the more collagen you have, the more your body can produce and maintain it, so it is important to include foods in your diet which help with our collagen production.

Foods high in protein and rich in Vitamin C contribute to your hyaluronic acid levels. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our bodies; however, it does decrease as we age. It boosts collagen production; it speeds up recovery time and helps to relieve painful joints too.

Here is my top list of foods to help boost your collagen levels:

  • Fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, oysters)
  • Avocado
  • Berries (Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, acai berries)
  • Citrus fruits (kiwis, oranges, lemons, limes)
  • Egg whites
  • Garlic
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds)
  • Greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, green beans)
  • Red veggies and fruits – peppers, beetroot, tomatoes
  • Bone broth

Alongside a healthy diet of these protein-rich and vitamin-C dense foods, taking collagen supplements can help to further reduce inflammation, increase bone density (when combined with healthy levels of Vitamin D and calcium), and help to plump your skin, from the inside out.

There are some great supplements on the market to help increase your collagen production including collagen peptides.

Collagen peptides are made mostly from animal parts like fish scales, cow bones, or skin. For me personally, I like collagen peptides powder made from fish. Despite the strong smell and flavour, it can be easily disguised when mixed into a morning smoothie. Choose supplements with the least amount of ingredients as possible and try to not have the flavoured versions as these can contain added sugars.  As always, read the labels to check it is certified and make sure the ingredients contain no fillers to ensure you are getting the purest form.

You can choose collagen and hyaluronic acid supplements in a tablet form; however, I find the powder and liquids are more easily absorbed into the body.

If you would like some tips on how to incorporate these foods into your diet or advice on a particular supplement, send me an email at hello@youfirstnutrition.com and I would be more than happy to help you.

Have a “glowing” day!

Aimee x

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