Collagen plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s basic structure. “30% of your total body protein is actually collagen,” Dr. Deedra Mason tells us in the last video of her health series. Dr. Dee notes that collagen is responsible for hair, skin, and nail growth along with healthy joints, bones, and connective tissue.
Unfortunately, as we age, collagen production begins to decline. To combat this, it is important to eat a healthy diet that contains antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which can be found in potatoes, kale, and citrus fruits. (Here are a few of our favorite smoothies for your skin that contain vitamin C.) Additionally, wearing sunscreen regularly protects the skin from UV exposure and helps preserve collagen.
How to tell if your collagen is adequate
There’s no blood test for collagen levels, so keep an eye out for:
- Healthy skin elasticity, thickness, and hydration.
- Muscle shrinkage, weakness, and aches.
- Flexible tendons and ligaments.
- Healthy joints’ mobility.
Incorporating vitamin C into your diet and skincare routine may support collagen production and stability. Vitamin C is a necessary co-factor to produce healthy collagen, and, without it, new collagen cannot be properly made.
Collagen production is important for maintaining the body’s structure and has many benefits. To slow its decline, try to eat a healthy diet, protect your skin from UV exposure, and incorporate vitamin C into your lifestyle.
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