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Now here’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. 

Collagen is a protein made by the body and is in our skin, hair, nails, bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies—about a third of our protein is collagen!

As we age, our collagen production naturally slows down. This is why our skin wrinkles, hair thins and joints hurt. For all you sun worshippers out there, sun damage is the number one exterior cause of collagen breakdown. 

The beauty/supplement industry would have you believe that the only way to boost collagen is through creams and supplements because there’s no money in you living a healthy lifestyle.

But eating plant based protein-rich foods (particularly those high in the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline) will boost collagen production naturally.

You can also protect against inflammation that disrupts collagen production by consuming foods high in antioxidants such as vitamin C and zinc.

On the other hand, foods that are high in refined carbs and sugars cause inflammation that damages collagen. This includes things like white bread, white pasta, white rice, pastries and many breakfast cereals.

Here’s a quick list of foods that help with collagen production, reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals to help you age gracefully: 

• Soy
• Beans
• Nuts and seeds
• Leafy greens
• Red peppers
• Tomatoes
• Berries
• Citrus fruits
• Tropical fruits
• Garlic

So ditch those expensive creams and supplements for good!