In the human body, collagen reigns supreme. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and found in bones, muscles, tendons, and skin.
This chain of over 1500 amino acids makes up about 65% of our total protein and is the scaffolding that gives our skin its firmness and shape.
Without it, we would be a big bowl of jelly – sounds appealing doesn’t it?
So how do you increase collagen levels? Well if you are seriously into skin care, you’ve probably read a claim or two on the latest skin cream or skin care supplement that claims to boost collagen production or increase collagen in a matter of days.
In fact, U.S. Spa Industry Statistics estimate that Americans alone spend over $43 billion per year on topical creams, spa treatments, and cosmetic enhancements like Botox, to look and feel younger.
As you hit middle age, collagen production begins to slow down and your skin begins to change.
When the support system for your skin and the connective tissue for nearly all your body structures weakens you start to notice:
- Fine lines
- Bags and sagging
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Hooded eyelids
- Turkey neck
Decreased collagen production can even:
- Cause organs like the heart and prostate to enlarge and malfunction
- Weaken muscles and joints
- Thin out cartilage, hair, and nails
- Cause bones to lose density
Collagen also protects the body from invading pathogens and from environmental toxins by making a protective coating over your skin cells.
Do Your Knees Creak? Find Out How To Increase Collagen Levels…
Have you ever noticed when you bend to pick up something your knees may creak?
If so, then you’re losing some of your vital collagen stores. Joints form between each of the bones in your body. When two bones connect, they form a joint that provides movement and flexibility to the bones.
Your knees, and many of the other joints that crack when you move, are known as synovial joints. These are the most common joints found in your body.
Synovial joints are created when two bones come together but don’t directly meet each other. Instead, a synovial cavity formed between the bones and the bones are connected by tissue and collagen.
A substance known as synovial fluid a natural lubricant also separates these types of joints. This fluid reduces friction between the bones and allows the joints to move freely. Inflammation in synovial joints is the trigger that causes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
If you are one of the 52 million Americans that suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, a new form of collagen may help safely regulate the immune system and protect joint tissue from inflammatory factors that contribute to arthritis.
Since most commercial processing of collagen supplements causes collagen to become denatured and lose its natural 3-dimensional structure. Denatured collagen may not any beneficial effects on joint inflammation.
UC-II® a new proprietary form of “undenatured” type II collagen. Scientists at Harvard testing UC-II® have been able to achieve relief of arthritic symptoms using it combined with Boswellia serrata and two other joint-renewing ingredients.
How to Increase Collagen with Anti-Aging Foods
University of Nebraska scientists discovered that chicken soup (Grandma’s chicken soup was always made with gelatin rich bone broth) had anti-inflammatory effect on regulating the autoimmune response in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
In fact, a soluble component of the chicken broth from the bones itself was found to apply the anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Red wine can also boost collagen production. According to plastic surgeon Richard Baxter, MD a glass of red wine a day for women and two for men is the latest anti-aging weapon!
It’s the antioxidants in red wine that sop up damaging free radicals that are a key role in aging.
These polyphenols, including resveratrol in wine are in higher concentrations then those found in grape juice – so the benefits are greater, protecting the skin from UV light and keeping it elastic.
These polyphenols also strengthen the cross-linking of collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Bone broth is another fantastic food source of collagen. When bone broth is cooked, the collagen dissolves into gelatin that can balance gut flora, reduce wrinkles and cellulite.
The gelatin contains essential amino acids that your body can use to replenish connective tissue fibers and collagen stores in your body. Eating bone broth is also a great way to increase your collagen levels, promote hair growth, improve digestion, soothe digestive disorders, and remineralize teeth.
Making bone broth is super simple — if you can throw ingredients in a pot, then you can make bone broth.
How to Make Bone Broth
- 2-3 pounds of organic, pastured, or grass fed bones (beef marrow, short rib bones, chicken, fish, or pork)
- 1 gallon of filtered water
- 2 onion
- 2 carrots
- 4 stalks of celery
- 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or white vinegar
- Optional: 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 bay leaf
- You will need a large stockpot and a strainer.
- During the first few hours, bring to a boil. You’ll need to remove the scum and impurities that float to the surface with a skimmers.
- Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 24-48 hours.
- Let the broth cool and strain.
- Drink the broth or store in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.
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