Considering its widespread popularity, you’ve likely heard of collagen. This structural protein, naturally made within the body, helps hold the body together. However, your body’s collagen production begins to slow as you age. Low collagen levels can lead to weak bones, unhealthy hair, skin, and nails, poor gut health, and more.
While you may think collagen is something only elderly individuals need to worry about, collagen production actually begins to slow when you hit your mid-twenties. To promote both short-term and long-term health, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your collagen levels as early as your lower-twenties.
What Is Collagen and Why Is it Important?
As mentioned earlier, collagen is a structural protein within the body. Over one-third of the body’s protein is collagen protein. Collagen holds the body together, almost like glue, and is found abundantly in bones, connective tissue, cartilage, and more. Of the 28 known forms of collagen in the body, Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 make up the majority.
What Does Collagen Do?
Collagen works within the body to support overall strength. It’s various functions include:
- Supporting gut health and decreasing inflammation.
- Promote heart health by preventing the build-up of plaque in arteries. Collagen also strengthens the artery walls.
- Improving bone density and supporting healthy and strong joints. In turn, collagen helps reduce joint pain, knee pain, and back pain.
- Some studies suggest that collagen can help support brain function and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does Collagen Benefit Your Skin?
Collagen protein provides skin its structure and strength. As your body’s collagen production slows with age, you may begin to notice wrinkling, loose or dry skin. By adding collagen proteins to your diet, you can help the body to absorb more collagen and reverse or slow these effects of aging.
Skin benefits of collagen include increase hydration, better elasticity, and fewer wrinkles. By supplementing your body’s collagen levels, you can see clear changes like tighter, younger-looking skin.
How Can You Incorporate Collagen Into Your Routine?
Adding collagen supplements to your diet is easy to do. Collagen supplements come in many forms, making it convenient to integrate the protein into your daily routine. The most common types of collagen protein supplements are:
- Topical Serums: Serums are a great option for those looking to improve collagen levels in their skin, as the collagen is absorbed where it is needed.
- Collagen Powder: Collagen powder allows you to add collagen to almost any drink or meal.
- Collagen Capsules: Capsules offer a convenient way to get your daily collagen while on the go.
By eating a well-balanced diet along with taking additional collagen supplements, you can help your body get the full amount of collagen protein it needs. Collagen-rich proteins include: bone broth, fish, eggs, avocado, green vegetables, berries, and garlic. Many of these foods also contain vitamins and nutrients that help the body absorb collagen quickly.
Healthy Skin Starts With Collagen
If you’re starting to notice the signs of aging, it may be time for you to consider supplementing your collagen intake. Even if you haven’t noticed the effects of age, it’s never too early to start thinking about your skin’s health. If you’re interested in using collagen supplements, talk to your doctor then pick up serum, powder, or capsules at your local supermarket, vitamin shop, or online.