Sunday, May 11, 2008

Collagen for your Skin

Our skin is like a mirror. It reflects our state of health from inside out. As it protects and covers our body, it is therefore essential to take care of it at all times.

The protein Collagen makes up to 70% of our skin. It provides elasticity and shape, giving skin its firmness as well as the ability to retain moisture. When collagen is reduced it leads to skin dehydration and wrinkles.

What Causes Collagen Reduction?

Several factors lead to collagen reduction. Biological factors include the natural aging process. Science has proven that as people age, they tend to produce lesser collagen. Hormonal changes, poor metabolism, chickenpox and acne also lead to collagen depletion.

Environmental factors like overexposure to UV rays, chlorinated water and free radicals threaten our skin as they slow down collagen production. Personal lifestyle like smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke and stress also negatively affects the collagen levels in our body.

How To Replace Lost Collagen

Like most proteins, collagen can be derived from a variety of food sources. Soy products like milk and cheese, dark green vegetables like spinach and asparagus, peanuts like cashew, pecans and almonds contain healthy amounts of collagen. Fish like tuna and salmon are excellent sources of omega fatty acids that stimulate collagen production. Red fruits like red peppers, tomatoes and berries, help boost antioxidants to enhance collagen’s function.
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However, having a protein-rich diet is not enough. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, our skin deserves more because it shields our body from harm. Thus, it is a must to keep it nourished with collagen regularly.

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