Beauty & Style
How to eat collagen for naturally beautiful skin
Collagen is the building block of good skin. It's responsible for skin strength and elasticity – when collagen breaks down which happens naturally over time, that's when lines start to form.
The beauty industry has packed collagen into face products for decades. But who knew we could eat it as well?
Naturopath Anthia Koullouros takes us through her top picks for younger looking skin.
You'd better believe it. If you've been eating a low-fat diet all your life, time to switch. Not only does it not make us fat, but it's a major factor in the anti-aging game.
"Fat in any form is great for your skin, whether it's a good quality animal fat or plant fat," says Koullouros.
"Duck fat, pork fat such as lard – sometimes I'll cook a pork belly and put no other seasoning, just salt – to collect the fat and use that for cooking other things in. Same with duck fat. Beef fat or lamb fat, usually through bone broth is another type of fat that's great. And then plant fats like olive oil and coconut oil. Fats have omega-3 fatty acids, which is anti-inflammatory and contain essential fatty acids plus your fat soluble vitamins – A, D and E and K2 which are excellent for skin.
But be picky when consuming animal fats, because not all fats are created equally.
"The animal should have been grass-fed and organic. Grass-fed trumps organic though," says Koullouros. "If it's organic as well, then great. If it's grass-fed, it has so much more omega-3 than omega-6 which is actually inflammatory. Grain fed animals have more omega-6 than omega-3."
Sounds a bit gross, right? Isn't gelatin just for making things jelly-like? But Koullouros confirms that gelatin from a grass-fed animal "yields collagen. So initially when we talked about nose to tail eating, preserving the bones to make bone broth was all about keeping food costs low and making the most of everything."
"Bones store minerals and the cartilage and marrow store gelatin, which yields collagen. Instead of just putting it on your face, which is what expensive face creams do, you can eat it."
The myth that they are an aphrodisiac must have some truth to is, but the other treasure we get from oysters (besides pearls) is zinc.
"Zinc helps in the production of collagen," says Koullouros. And as you now know, collagen is super important in the anti-ageing game. "So any other zinc rich foods like crab, lobster, beef or lamb will help."
4. Orange or red fruits and vegetables
"Because the pigments give you a natural glow!" says Koullouros.
This is kind of cheating, but who cares, because anything from beetroots or juice to carrots and pumpkins will help with the glow.
"The bonus is you're getting lots of antioxidants, which mop up free radicals and delay the formation of fine wrinkles and lines," says Koullouros.
Lastly, drink. DRINK.
"To aid hydration and to detoxify," says Koullouros. "Whatever form it comes in – it could be bone broth or herbal tea or water, you should aim to hydrate the body from the inside out."
Will this information about fat change the way you cook? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Nedahl Stelio. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.