Collagen: Benefits For Skin and Everything Else Companies Don't Want You To Know
One of the biggest misconstructions in the media today is the association of the word ‘collagen’ with ageing, and ageing only.If the mention of collagen brings up a mental picture of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin, you’re not the only one to have been kept away from the truth. All you see is Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and Kelly Ripa raving about taking collagen supplements and looking younger (trust me, there are at least 100 more things involved in making that happen).
In reality, collagen has importance well beyond the superficial. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen has crucial roles to play in your muscles, bones, blood, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Certain types of collagen fibrils, gram-for-gram, can be stronger than steel!
Collagen mainly has these functions in the body:
- Promotes skin elasticity.
- Holds your bones and muscles together.
- Protects delicate internal organs.
- Provides structure to joints and tendons.
Did you know that any attempt at alleviating wrinkles through collagen creams will only be futile because collagen proteins are too large to be absorbed by the skin? There is also not enough research to suggest that collagen delivered into the digestive tract through ingestion will get converted to collagen straightaway. Like other proteins, it will get broken down into amino acids in the process of digestion and some of these will get reabsorbed into the bloodstream. There is no guarantee that these amino acids will then make their way to your face and fix the wrinkles. They won’t track down your knees through GPS navigation and help with joint pain either.
The most candid advice that I can give you here, as a certified health coach is to fight collagen depletion before it occurs, instead of wasting money on questionable remedies after. Again, if you’re thinking that ageing is your enemy here, you’re wrong. The most insidious enemy here is your own unhealthy lifestyle. Chronic exposure to sun and pollution, smoking, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle wreak havoc on your precious collagen stores.
If reading all this made you really concerned for your collagen reserves, then here are a few lifestyle hacks for you to practice:
- Nourish your body with feel-good antioxidants. In my opinion, supplementing your diet with more and more antioxidants through fresh fruits and vegetables can be a powerful way to support your body through ageing.
- Make sure that you’re getting plenty of vitamins, especially C and E. They’re both champion antioxidants that can be easily obtained from food. In your body, they fight free radicals that are responsible for causing collagen and DNA damage.
- Quit smoking and if you don’t smoke, then never start. It’s that simple. Nothing means bad news for collagen the way smoking does. Consume alcohol, if you must, in moderation.
- Get 8 hours of sleep religiously. Anti-ageing hormones such as ‘Human Growth Hormone’ have been seen to be at their highest levels during sleep.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week. It’s best to boost circulation of crucial hormones in the body.
- Lastly, let the sun shine on you. 15 minutes of sun, every day is optimum for vitamin D production, a lack of which can cause fatigue, muscle pain, weak bones and joints, hair loss, impaired immunity.
I’d like to leave you with a reminder: Ageing is not your enemy. The human body is designed to age gracefully; all you have to do is empower it with healthy choices. With age, come wisdom, experience, confidence, comfort, happiness, and a wider circle of loved ones. Fashion magazines, aesthetics industry, and beauty brands spend billions to ensure that we get only one constant message – “younger is better” – and I’m here to call BS on it. I have nothing against the beauty and cosmetic industry, and I don’t mean to offend those who’ve opted for or want to opt for these procedures. All I’m saying is, the power of choice rests in your hand. Cosmetic surgeries have been linked with positive emotional outcomes in the past. Men and women with social anxiety, low self-esteem and low confidence have been documented to have benefitted immensely from it. But only you have the right to make that decision.
Don’t let youth-obsessed culture that is purely made for the financial advantage of these companies scare you into spending hard-earned money on collagen treatments, plastic surgeries, brow lift, contouring, cheekbone enhancement, rhinoplasty, and the myriad of “solutions” to ageing, they offer these days.
Ageing is just your body evolving to be better in unimaginable, novel ways. So, open your arms and embrace it.