Lately, I feel like we're being floated by advertisers, trying to push collagen supplements onto us. I don't trust supplement easily. I am a strong believer that seasonal and local foods can be enough for a wholesome diet. In the case of living a plant-based lifestyle, it is indeed important to know your nutrition and understand the state of your body. As a result, we should adapt accordingly. While B12 is a must for those of us who thrive on a plant-based diet, other supplements are not urgent. Including collagen.

What is collagen?

Collagen is, in fact, a protein, a very important kind. It is the main structural protein in many tissues of the body – bones, teeth, skin, hair, nails, blood vessels and so on. The human body is made to be generating its own collagen, but after we reach the age of 25, our bodies gradually stop producing as much collagen as it used to. As a result, ligaments become less flexible, muscles weaker, we stop noticing wrinkles, joint pain and so on. Signs of aging. However, due to poor nutrition we've been having throughout the whole society, our bodies produce even less collagen. Your body will produce 1 percent less collagen in the skin every year. Smoking, drinking, stress and sugary diet can make this number even higher. 

So, what's the deal with supplements?

Collagen supplements are made of animal bones, connective tissues and skin. A lot of additives are usually added and you never know how badly the supplement has been chemically treated. There is an alternative though – consume plant-based collagen-building supplements or simply tweak your nutrition. Enrich it with foods that encourage collagen formulation. 

What foods promote the natural production of collagen?

Nutrients that are responsible for effective collagen-building are vitamin C (peppers, citruses, parsley, chives, kale, currants, …), iron (spirulina, tahini, tofu, spinach, pumpkin seeds, aronia, raw cocoa seeds, …), proline (cabbage, mushrooms, seaweed, sunflower seeds, …), threonine (lentils, peanuts chickpeas, …), lysine (avocados, tomatoes, leeks, beets, quinoa, …), zinc (pine nuts, pecans, cashews, tahini, …), biotin (almonds, peanuts, onions, carrots, …) and silica (mineral water, bananas, …) for instance. 

Bottomline

Your skin will only shine as much as you take care of it. We just might do a video on a holistic skincare routine soon. But no matter what, if eat wholesome plant-based foods, your skin will thank you and stay younger, longer!

Written by Masha