We talk about collagen...a lot! But that’s only because it is so important in the war on aging. For centuries, Chinese women have viewed collagen as a “Fountain of Youth,” consuming foods high in collagen, like shark fin and pig’s feet, in hopes of smoothing skin and preserving aging joints. Luckily for us, there are easier and far more delicious ways to add collagen to our wellness routine!
First, a little background on collagen. It is the most abundant protein in our body and one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Often referred to as the body’s scaffolding, collagen binds tissues and is the glue that holds the body together. (It actually comes from the Greek word "kolla" which means glue!) Collagen makes up about 75% of the skin and is responsible for keeping our skin firm and bouncy – the keys to youthful looking skin.
As we age, we start to lose collagen. The body’s ability to product collagen slows down and even produces lower-quality collagen. We start losing about a percent of collagen per year in our mid-20s and lose as much as 30% during the first 5 years of menopause. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking and diet also play a big role in the destruction of collagen. (Sugar and refined carbs are really bad for collagen - did you know that sugar interferes with collagen’s ability to repair itself?!?)