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Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. We create it ourselves, and can also get it from natural food sources and supplements. It's a good thing we can top up our levels consciously through diet and lifestyle habits because by the age of about 30, the natural collagen production in our body declines steadily despite still needing it for muscle repair, a strong gut lining, tissue maintenance, cellular repair and bouncy, tight skin. As our natural collagen production begins to slow, and cell structures weaken our skin becomes thinner and sags, leading to wrinkle formation. This is why so many cosmetic companies sell products containing collagen...!

Within the body, collagen is naturally found in connective tissue, skin, tendon, bone, and cartilage and is responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity, or stretchiness (what we need to look young and have that glowy complexion). There are 26 known types of collagen produced by the human body, with Five main ones being most active. Type 1,2 and 3 are the most common types of collagen to be found in cosmetic and supplement products sold over the counter, and aim to replenish the void left by a slower, less frequent collagen production of the body from 30 (ish) onwards.

To keep our collagen levels up for as long as possible, there are a few things we can avoid doing, such as:

  • Taking too much sun

  • Smoking

  • Having an inflammatory lifestyle

  • High stress levels

Doing the above leads to a decrease in natural collagen produced by the body, and increases the need for supplementation and collagen boosting cosmetic products which often promise a lot and deliver very little.

We can also increase doing the following steps, to ensure as much natural collagen is produced as possible:

  • Take a hydrolyzed collagen supplement

  • Keep our gut healthy

  • Eat antioxidants and polyphenols

  • Up our intake of Vitamin C

  • Wear SPF

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in whole, plant-based foods

Collagen rich foods include:

  • Citrus fruits

  • Berries

  • Bone broth

  • Chicken (skin on)

  • Egg whites

  • Shellfish

  • Aloe vera juice

  • Brocoli

  • Sardines

Collagen is abundant in the body for roughly a third of our life. From then on, it's up to us to make sure we boost the rate at which it is naturally produced as much as possible via our diet and lifestyle. We may choose to take supplements or use cosmetic products containing it to boost bouncy skin and supple joints as much as possible but be aware of false advertising and read reviews or testimonials!

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