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Eating Collagen For Stronger Joints? Here’s What You Should Eat Instead

Eating Collagen For Stronger Joints? Here’s What You Should Eat Instead

Collagen is fast becoming synonymous with younger looking skin. If you are a runner or particularly conscious about your joints, it is believed that consuming collagen directly will help add collagen to the body to promote even stronger joints. In the Far East, delicacies such as chicken feet and pig feet have been around for centuries with people consuming them for the health benefits associated with eating collagen-rich foods. But is this true?

What Exactly Is Collagen?

Collagen is a robust protein that makes up the structure and strength of your skin, bones, tendons, cartilages, and other connective tissues.[1] In short, if we don’t have enough collagen in our bodies, we’re in big trouble.

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We get our collagen from a varied diet full of nutrient-rich foods and it’s digested into amino acids, just like other proteins, when we ingest it. There is a myth that consuming collagen directly makes a difference to the amount of collagen in the body, whether consumed through food or supplements. But in fact, foods rich in collagen offer nothing more to the body than regular protein when ingested alone. Instead, it’s what we eat together with these amino acids that allows us to produce an optimal amount of collagen we need for healthy joints.

Brittle bones, and even scurvy, has been found to be caused by lack of collagen. Thus, it is incredibly important to have a diet that includes collagen. More importantly, it should be noted that eating collagen alone and directly is ineffective without a nutrient-rich diet to assist the body in proper absorption.

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The Importance Of Vitamin C For Collagen Absorption

We may think of vitamin C in terms of warding off colds and flu, but it has a much more important job in our body – it’s an essential vitamin for proper growth and repair of your body’s tissues and also promotes the essential production of collagen.

In other words, the body uses up vitamin C to make collagen and without it, collagen would literally fall apart, your joints will start to fail, and other negative health implications can occur.

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For a healthy person, taking in around 3000 mg of vitamin C a day will be enough to help produce the amount of collagen needed for good joint health. A higher dose would be recommended for when your health is less than average in order for your body to have a better chance of absorbing it. Fruits, such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, and guava, are all rich sources of vitamin C, along with vegetables, like red peppers, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts, will give you a good shot at properly absorbing this essential vitamin.

How Do I Promote More Collagen Production In My Body?

Eating collagen, which is naturally found in animal skin as discussed in the latest scientific research,[2] can allow amino acids to be added to the body and promote stronger joints, but it needs to be in combination with vitamin C, as well as other collagen-boosting nutrients. Ideally, a collagen-rich diet needs to also include an abundance of these foods:

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  • Foods rich in copper: Copper can also aid the production of collagen with foods such as organ meat (liver, kidneys etc.), shellfish, dark leafy greens, dried legumes, and nuts. Increasing your intake of copper-rich foods will inevitably help to increase your collagen levels.
  • Foods rich in iron: A study published in the [3] found that iron is not only great for producing healthy red blood cells, but also goes towards aiding collagen formation. Iron is a co-building block when it comes to collagen and, together with factors, it can allow the body to build up collagen at an optimum level.
  • Foods rich in vitamin B3: Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, has been found to be beneficial in raising the formation of collagen.[4] Consuming foods like beef liver, kidney, fish (such as swordfish, tuna, salmon), as well as, beetroot, and sunflower seeds will up your B3 levels and help the body towards better collagen production for healthy joints and skin.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pexels.com

Reference

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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