Collagen: How Yoga, Diet and Lifestyle Can Help Maintain it
Most women over 25 (and some men) are concerned with aging. We have all read about collagen being a key component in anti-aging. But what does that mean exactly? Let’s start some basics:
What is collagen anyway?
Collagen is a protein produced in the human body. It is in the tendons, bones, muscles, and skin. It is also found in blood vessels, teeth, and nails.The word collagen comes from the Greek word “kolla” which means glue. So in essence collagen is the glue that holds the body together. After age 25 collagen starts to decrease in the body and is the culprit for wrinkles and sagging skin. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent collagen decrease in the body.
Can you slow it down?
Yes and no. While there is no way to 100% prevent aging, you can age gracefully by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Things like smoking, excessive sugar consumption and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays and even stress can increase collagen decline. Here are some suggestions for maintenance.
This is a great way to de-stress and improve circulation. When your circulation is improved, nutrients (including collagen) flow to the skin. There are many studies that have shown that yoga stimulates healthy circulation. Facial yoga (along with the downward dog) helps circulation to in the face. Face yoga guru Fumiko has had a lot of success (and fun), using face yoga. She originally used facial yoga after a car accident because her face was affected. While she was doing the practice, she noticed how beautiful her skin started looking. She now teaches the technique. You can check out some of Fumiko's videos here. I think I will try some of these exercises myself.
Adequate protein consumption is important so your body has the amino acids it needs to produce collagen. You should also consider switching your current oil to avocado oil. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that avocado oil “significantly increased type II collagen”. Consuming foods like blueberries, dark leafy greens, mangos, eggs, are also great collagen boosters. A diet rich in antioxidants (vitamins E, C and beta-carotene) is also important. B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc also play a role.
Here is a great collagen smoothie by Charles Chen from Neocell:
- 2 Cups of Coconut Water
- ¾ Cup of Pineapples
- 1 Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tablespoon of Neocell Super Collagen Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
- ½ Orange
- ½ Lemon Juice
- Top with Hemp Seeds
Always protect your skin from ultraviolet rays by wearing a hat or using a sunscreen.
Laugh More Stress Less:
Go for a walk, a run, read a book, meditate or anything else that allows you to de-stress. Laughing Yoga is also a great option. Check it out here
What does not work?
One fact that you should know is that skincare products do NOT add collagen to the skin. Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. The active ingredient will just sit on top of your skin. Also, please note that if the active ingredient is collagen it is always from an animal source. Most of the creams and dietary supplements on the market come from either cowhide or chicken bones.
Here are a few products that I love that will support and add collagen to your diet.
Super Collagen + C by NeoCell
Purchase NeoCell Super Collagen +C Here
Organic Plant Collagen Builder by Garden of Life
Purchase MyKind Organics Organic Plant Collagen Builder Here
Time Block Anti-Aging Nutrients
Purchase Time Block Here.
So there you have it! Until next time: Love, Light, Namaste