Collagen is responsible in the human body not only for the youthful appearance of the skin, but also for faster recovery of overtrained joints, proper functioning of the circulatory system and good metabolism.
The key to boosting the body’s collagen production is to incorporate products that contain natural amino acids into the diet. These micronutrients can be found in both vegetables and fruits, as well as animal protein products. Most of the foods that support collagen production are consumed in our daily diet, but to speed up the whole process, it is necessary to increase their content in the menu.
One of the most desirable nutrients to help increase collagen production is vitamin C. The body’s basic requirement is best met with unprocessed, fresh produce, such as oranges, lemons, peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, garlic, peaches, mangoes and strawberries. Any deficiencies can be supplemented with synthetic vitamin C found in dietary supplements.
Another intrinsic element associated with collagen to support joint regeneration is gelatin. This ingredient is responsible for the production of new collagen fibers in the body. This micronutrient can be found mainly in animal products, although vegetarians can supplement gelatin levels with kisels and jellies. The highest gelatin content, however, can be found in pork shanks, bone-based broths, brawn, sausages or pork leg jellies. However, these products are full of fat and sugar, so in the context of the diet they should be considered an occasional addition rather than a staple of the daily menu.
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that also fights free radicals with its action, is also responsible for increasing collagen levels in the body. This amino acid is also involved in the synthesis of procollagen, a process that increases the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Lycopene should be looked for primarily in tomatoes, specifically in preparations based on these vegetables. The highest content of the amino acid can be found in natural concentrates, pastes, ketchups and soups. Due to the processing of tomatoes and their heat treatment, the lycopene found in them is more easily absorbed by the body, and has a higher nutritional value. The amino acid is also found in the composition of watermelon, papaya, red grapefruit, mango and asparagus.
Collagen, which is responsible for, among other things, faster overgrowth of joint cartilage in physically active people, can also be found in products with a high silicon content. This element is responsible for the fusion of collagen fibers, thereby strengthening and maintaining the correct structure of connective tissue. Look for silicon especially in such products as dried fruits, oat bran, white cabbage, radishes, seafood, beets, potatoes, whole grain products, green beans, red wine and brown rice.
main photo: unsplash.com/Natural Chef Carolyn Nicholas