In order to understand the benefits of boosting collagen, we should first know what collagen is. Collagen is a vital protein providing strength and structure to the body. Collagen is found in our muscles, tendons, bones, skin, and other connective tissues. Before the age of 25 years, our body creates this protein in abundance. Sadly, the older we get, our body creates less and decreases even more rapidly after menopause.
How Do I Know If I Need Collagen?
The easiest tell-tale signs of lowered collagen are wrinkles! However, some other obvious indications are joint pain, stiffness, weakening muscles, and digestive/gastrointestinal problems. Your collagen levels will decrease even more quickly from smoking tobacco, UV rays, and excessive sugar intake.
How Can I Increase My Collagen Levels?
The best way to increase your collagen levels is through your diet. Bone broth is one of the best foods to boost your collagen levels naturally. Eating foods like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, and even gelatin are all good ways to boost collagen production in your body. Some women opt for collagen supplements which can be easily absorbed and digested. While skincare products often market their collagen benefits (and there are benefits) it should be noted that most only offer a “layer” on the skin which reduces moisture loss. A healthy diet and supplements will provide your skin with the benefits of collagen.
Benefits for Boosting Collagen
Improves Skin Health
With collagen levels decreasing as we age, our skin, hair, and nails lose moisture which leads to wrinkles and damage. Collagen supplements help with hydrating the skin thus improving its elasticity and reducing wrinkles. Increased collagen levels aid in healing and minimizing scars and acne as well.
Increase Muscle Strength
Our muscles weaken 5-10% each decade after 30 years of age. As we get older, the loss in muscle mass speeds up and by the time we experience menopause, our muscle loss deteriorates even more rapidly. Increasing collagen after menopause is imperative to not only preserve our muscle mass but to also stimulate and rebuild muscle strength.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Glycine is an amino acid found in collagen. Glycine has the ability to stimulate the brain or to quiet it. Many have found that Glycine improves sleep, enhances memory, and increases serotonin levels.
Relieves Joint Pain
Cartilage is a flexible, rubbery, connective tissue that protects your bones, joints, and ligaments. Cartilage depletes as we age causing inflammation and pain with movement. Collagen can stimulate cartilage production which in turn reduces joint pain.
Prevents Bone Deterioration
Collagen enhances calcium absorption thus increasing bone mineral density. A higher bone mineral density reduces the risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
Brain and Nervous System Regeneration
Studies are showing that collagen may be beneficial with cell regeneration for the central nervous system. This could help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. It would also help in the treatment of these diseases and other central nervous system problems.
Promotes Heart Health
Collagen lowers “bad” cholesterol levels and improves the structure of your arteries. This reduces the risk of heart-related conditions.
Improves Gut Health
Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease? It is possible that you may have a leaky gut. A leaky gut allows toxins and infections to pass through your intestinal wall. This leak causes chronic inflammation. Collagen repairs the tissue to seal the leak.
Cleanses and Reduces Toxins
Glycine (an amino acid found in collagen) helps the liver with the detoxifying process. This keeps the liver and other body organs cleaner and healthier.
Supports Weight Loss
Collagen converts glucose into energy. This forms lean muscle and speeds up the metabolism. Thus burning more calories.
Collagen may seem like the latest trend in the health and beauty industry, but research has proven it has more benefits than risk. Boosting collagen should be considered a dietary essential for women over 50.