Most people know about collagen from various anti-aging skin care products. Though collagen has a variety of other benefits in addition to skin beauty.
What Is Collagen
According to Wikipedia, Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix in the various connective tissues in the body. Collagen is an important protein found in the connective tissue, cartilage, tendons, blood, bones, and skin of our bodies.
Collagen functions to maintain skin elasticity, form structures in joints and tendons, protect organs in the body, to unite body parts such as bones and muscles. In addition, there are many other functions of collagen.
The second benefit of collagen is to help relieve joint pain. Collagen can help maintain cartilage, tissue like rubber that protects your joints. When the amount of collagen in the body decreases with age, your risk of degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis will increase.
The third benefit of collagen is to prevent bone loss. Most bones are made of collagen. Just like collagen in the body, as we age, the amount of collagen production will decrease, so will bone mass. That can cause osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and a higher risk of fracture. According to one study, collagen supplements can help inhibit bone damage that leads to osteoporosis. One study found that women who consumed collagen showed an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared to women who did not consume collagen. BMD is a measure of mineral density, such as calcium, in bones.
Food Sources of Collagen
According to the website alodokter.com, foods that contain vitamin C, vitamin A, anthocyanins, proteins, zinc, copper, and alpha-hydroxy acids. Various foods with these contents are believed to be able to increase collagen production in the body.
In addition to the two vitamins above, antosiain substances are also known to be able to increase collagen production. Anthocyanin itself is a color pigment found in fruits and vegetables. Foods that contain anthocyanins include grapes, pomegranates, berries, tomatoes, and kidney beans.
Alpha-hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in food. AHAs can help increase collagen production by destroying old collagen fibers and making new ones. AHAs can be found in oranges, apples, grapes, sugar cane, tomatoes, and lemons.