Collagen is essential for maintaining elastic skin, functional joints and flexible blood vessels. It is common knowledge that to increase its production in the body, you should consume cartilage or gelatin, i.e. animal products, more often. But what if we don’t want to take such products? The good news for vegans and vegetarians is that there are nutrients that support the synthesis of this protein that do not come from animals.
Collagen is a protein produced by the body, which constitutes 30%. all proteins present in humans. It is one of the main components of connective tissue, the so-called binder of skin cells, bones, cartilage, etc. Collagen gives tissues resistance to stretching. Thanks to it, our joints are functional and pain-free, blood vessels remain flexible, fractures heal, and the skin becomes firm and smooth. As we age, our body produces less and less of this protein, which results in the appearance of more and more wrinkles or joint pain. Hair and nails also weaken, and the skin is no longer moisturized.
These products support the production of collagen in the body
To maintain a youthful appearance and fitness, it is worth ensuring that the appropriate level of collagen in the body is maintained. This is possible both by using creams and ointments containing collagen, as well as by consuming products rich in this protein.
The most famous products that are a good source of collagen include primarily products of animal origin, including: offal, chicken feet, cartilage or food gelatin. It is also worth reaching for the so-called collagen broth, i.e. a soup based on animal bones and connective tissue. It is worth knowing that these products, although they are a great source of collagen, are not the healthiest. This is because excessive consumption of animal fats can contribute to increased cholesterol levels, which may ultimately lead to cardiovascular problems.
Therefore, in addition to animal products, it is worth reaching for some vegetables and fruits. Although vegetarian sources of collagen do not exist, collagen can be produced by breaking down various plant proteins and combining specific amino acids that mirror the amino acid structure of collagen. Therefore, by eating products rich in vitamin C, copper, zinc and other nutrients, you can increase the production of collagen in the body.
In turn, the production of collagen in a vegetarian and vegan diet is influenced by the so-called genistein from the isoflavone group. It slows down the process of collagen and elastin loss, which only progresses with age. Extansine selected from carrot root may also be an incomplete replacement for collagen in the diet.
So what products will stimulate collagen production in our body?
- Many protein-rich foods contain amino acids – such as glycine and arginine – needed for collagen production. So reach for: beans, legumes, nuts, peanut butter, chia seeds, soy, spinach, tofu and whole grain products.
- Collagen production is also supported by vitamin C. The sources of this vitamin are mainly found in blueberries, peppers, blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chives, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, garlic and coriander.
- Zinc is also important in the production of collagen. Here are the sources of this element in food: beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grain products.
- To stimulate collagen production, choose products rich in zinc. These include, among others: : avocado, bananas, beans, figs, kiwi, nuts, olives, tofu and strawberries.
- Products rich in Omega-3 acids also support collagen production. You’ll find them in chia seeds, flax, nuts, vegetable oils and tofu.
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