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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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