How to Improve the Natural Production of Collagen in your Body
Which Vitamin Promotes Collagen?
Collagen fibres are made of protein and are somewhat unusual in having large amounts of two amino acids, called hydroxyl-lysine and hydroxyproline.
These two amino acids are important for producing all types of collagen and are necessary to provide the different types of collagen with the proper amount of strength and flexibility.
Vitamin C is needed to change proline to hydroxyproline (the collagen form) and lysine to hydroxylysine (again, the collagen form).
And you can always take a good food-based vitamin C supplement like this (which is whole food, low-temperature processed, and completely free of additives—a rare find).
Natural Collagen Foods
Some foods stimulate collagen, some little known combinations of foods that improve the natural production of collagen in your body.
- The Cranberries
They contain phytonutrients that help collagen fibres stick together in a way that allows your body to produce collagen. They are organic compounds that plants have to stay “happy”, and not only them.
- Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
They are all rich in vitamin C and A and stimulate the body to produce more collagen. You’ll also enjoy its other benefits: cancer protection is just one of them.
Some studies have shown that sulfur-containing vegetables, which garlic has in abundance, increase collagen production in joints and skin. Garlic also contains taurine and lipid acid, which support damaged collagen fibres. Cabbage, onion, and fish are also rich in sulfur.
- Eggs and mango
Eggs are naturally rich in amino acids, essential for collagen formation. Mango, rich in vitamin C, works with these acids to increase collagen production.
Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, restoring and regenerating damaged collagen.
- Avocado oil
The best (proven) collagen oil (to take internally) is probably avocado oil. Replacing your olive oil with avocado oil in your salad and dressings can have a big effect on your skin’s glow.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that avocado oil “significantly increased type II collagen.”
One of the main causes of skin ageing is the attack of free radicals, which break down healthy skin tissues. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals before they can cause damage, and prunes are the fruits that contain the highest level of antioxidants.
Blueberries are a close second. Eat five to six prunes, or a small basket of blueberries, daily for a huge health boost. Omega acids also help create an ideal environment for collagen production.
Fish like salmon and turnip are excellent sources of omega fatty acids. Nuts like cashews, walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts contain healthy amounts.
It is one of the main sources of healthy omega-3 fat. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer made of this and other fats, so the higher your omega-3 intake, the stronger that layer and the plumper your skin cells will be, which helps hide lines and wrinkles. Mix it into smoothies or add it to balsamic vinegar and use it as a salad dressing, but try to take a tablespoon each day.
- The chocolate
It’s really good for your skin. Studies in Germany found that blood flow to the skin increased (meaning you get higher levels of nutrients and moisture).
It also seemed to be more protected against UV damage, the number one for the skin. However, only dark chocolate contains enough antioxidants to have an effect.