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What Should You Know About Collagen?

By Stepy Kamei

You may be aware of fancy face creams and body moisturizers which claim they can help boost your collagen -- but what exactly does that mean? What is collagen, and why is it important to your health and well-being? To put it simply, collagen is a protein, and it's actually the most abundant protein found throughout the entire body. Its functions are vast and varied, yet all very important for maintaining your overall well-being. Keep on reading to learn more about what exactly collagen does within your body, and how you can make sure that you're getting enough of this important protein.

What Does Collagen Do?

You now already know that collagen is a naturally-occurring protein in the body. Specifically, collagen works as a major building block when it comes to supporting many important structures of the body, including the skin, muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons. Collagen also helps the blood clot, which is a vital aspect of ensuring a healthy internal wellness system.

Collagen is generally found in a person's skin, bones, teeth, blood vessels, and even their corneas. Interestingly, the word for collagen comes from the Greek word "kolla," which means glue. Therefore, you can think of collagen as the glue that holds many important facets of your body together.

How Can You Increase Collagen Production?

Clearly, collagen is something you want to have in abundance throughout your entire body. The good news is that you can make sure you're getting the kinds of nutrients which encourage the production of collagen. There are a few important nutrients your body needs to create collagen:

  • Vitamin C - This vitamin is commonly associated with citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. However, it can also be found in bell peppers and even strawberries.
  • Copper - It may not sound like it, but copper is a nutrient you can find in many foods. These include red meat products, cashews, lentils, cocoa powder, and sesame seeds.
  • Glycine - This nutrient is found in many high-protein foods, such as chicken and pork skin, as well as gelatin.

Avoid These Collagen-Harming Triggers

Meanwhile, you should make sure to avoid activities which damage collagen production in the long run. Extensive exposure to sunlight can expose you to harmful UV rays that can reduce the production of collagen. Smoking has a similar effect on the body's collagen. You can always speak with your primary healthcare provider for further advice on how to live an overall healthier lifestyle.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn. 

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