By Flor Leano
Contrary to popular belief, collagen is not just for skin rejuvenation. It is also essential for total well-being.But what exactly is collagen? Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body that supports the joints, skin, hair, or digestive health. This means that when you want to be beautiful and healthy from head to foot, you’ve got to have a steady supply of collagen in the body. Unfortunately, the production of collagen starts to slow down as we age. That is why we need to eat more leafy green vegetables and protein-rich food such as beef and chicken. Vitamin C helps in collagen production so you’ve got to eat a lot of fresh citrus fruits, too. And as we get older, it is suggested that we take supplements to boost collagen production in the body
Here are the three big reasons why you have to increase your collagen intake.
Collagen can reverse aging.
Collagen is popularly known to slow down aging. It has anti-oxidant properties and fights the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals do not just damage the cells but also the hair follicles. When the cells are damaged, we get wrinkles and when the hair follicles are impaired, we start losing hair strands leading to hair loss. Having sufficient amount of collagen both solves two visible signs of aging – wrinkles and hair loss. Collagen accelerates the repair of damaged skin cells and cellular metabolism. Collagen in the hair shaft, strengthens the hair follicles and improves hair growth. It can also improve the overall volume of your hair by increasing the diameter of each individual hair, giving the crowning glory a thicker and fuller appearance.
Collagen can maintain joint health.
Most of the grandparents we know complain about having arthritis. Collagen is your body’s primary protein that makes up 70-95% of the cartilage joints. So if collagen production starts to slow down in our body, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more. For these reasons, we need to eat collagen-rich food and take Vitamin C and collagen supplements. A Harvard study shows patients with rheumatoid arthritis found relief from collagen supplement while the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that people with osteoarthritis joint pain treated with collagen show significant enhancements in daily activities such as walking or going upstairs.
Collagen keeps the digestive system working effectively.
The digestive tract has protective lining and ensures that our body absorbs the nutrients it needs. As we get older and produce less collagen, the protective lining weakens and may develop leaks so food particles and bacteria are suddenly able to pass through the previously sealed digestive lining. When undigested food particles hit our system and bacteria enter our blood stream, we become prone to sickness and results in an immune response called inflammation. Collagen is an essential component for healing and sealing the protective lining of the digestive tract. It also helps to maintain the integrity, growth and function of the intestine.