First things first, let’s dive into collagen. It’s everywhere right now and is really having a moment. Why? Well as you probably know, it promises to turn back the clock a bit. It promises strong hair and nails and a youthful glow. I am here to deliver the bad news… There is absolutely no science behind that! In fact, the scientific evidence points the other way.
Basically when we eat things we break them down, right? So if you eat collagen you break it down into smaller parts. Now I know that leads to “Well wouldn’t those smaller parts then be put back together to form more collagen?” The answer is nope! Your body will use those different nutrients for whatever it needs at the time. Our bodies are super efficient that way.
There is some science that says you can stimulate some collagen production by eating the right foods in combination. This can generally be achieved by eating a diet full of lots of whole, colorful foods. You see our body is already making collagen all the time so the best thing we can do is give it a helping hand. There are specific nutrients needed to build collagen so ingesting those foods with a few other things to help them along is a great place to start!
So here it is. Here are all the plants that give you the best chance of making some extra collagen! Just pick a food from each category and make sure to include:
Garlic: Garlic both stimulates collagen production and protects the collagen you already have!
Antioxidants: Found in colorful veggies and fruits, especially the darker purple varieties, this helps protect your collagen from damage. You can also include carrots and sweet potatoes in this bunch.
- Black Beans
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Red and Green Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
This definitely calls out for a smoothie to me! I’ve made a few recipes that I will post over the next few weeks that combine these groups together if a smoothie is not your thing. You can see that if you’re eating a well-balanced diet you’re probably getting a lot of these things in your diet anyway, but it’s always nice to know you gave yourself a little boost too!