Those who have searched even a little for ways to make their skin look more youthful, have certainly heard of collagen. The substance that keeps the skin firm and joints healthy, but after 20 years of our lives, its amounts in our body begin to decrease by 1% each year. As a result, the skin gradually begins to relax and fine lines or wrinkles appear, but after a certain age the chances of damage to joints and other organs of our body increase, as collagen is everywhere in it.
One way to increase collagen production in our body is to consume high quality proteins, those that include all the necessary amino acids, in combination with vitamin C.
Why is vitamin C necessary?
Three amino acids are needed for collagen formation: lysine, proline and glycine. However, on their own they are not enough, as for the formation of collagen, proline should be converted into hydroxyproline and lysine converted into hydroxylysin. Here’s where vitamin C comes in to help, as it is essential for this particular conversion. Without it, collagen production will be limited to minimal. Consequently, only proteins or only vitamin C are not sufficient. We should combine them and consume proteins containing the above three amino acids in combination with high amounts of vitamin C (higher than 60 mg which is the lowest daily recommended dose). Another thing to know is that collagen amino acids are present in very small to minimal amounts in plant foods. Even if they have proteins, most plant foods do not have high amounts of the three amino acids of collagen. So if meat and other foods of animal origin are absent from your diet, chances of faster skin and joint damage are likely to increase. However, you should combine plant foods containing large amounts of vitamin C with animal foods containing collagen amino acids for the reasons mentioned above. See below the dietary suggestions for increasing collagen production in your body.
Diet to increase collagen production
If you have not been banned by your doctor, include in your diet the following foods containing high quality proteins, including the amino acids lysine, proline and glycine:
- Fish and mainly tuna or mackerel
- Milk and dairy
It should be noted that soy is perhaps one of the few plant foods containing sufficient amounts of all necessary amino acids, but it should be consumed with caution and measure, due to its high omega-6 fat content. If consumed, it should be accompanied by foods or supplements rich in omega-3 fats in order to balance the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats at safe levels.
Although red meat also contains high quality proteins, it must be consumed in moderation because of the harmful fats it contains.
Combine the above with foods rich in vitamin C, such as:
- Lemon or lemon juice
- Tomato or tomato juice or pulp
- Vegetable salads rich in vitamin C and especially broccoli
- Alternatively, you can accompany a vitamin C supplement of 500-1000 mg, in consultation with your doctor.
By applying these rules a few times a week and avoiding other habits that damage the skin and increase wrinkles, such as excessive consumption of sweets and alcohol, excessive sun exposure, you should within a few weeks start to see an improvement in the texture and appearance of your skin.