The best way to increase our collagen production is through our food. Here are a dozen foods that are readily available that have insane amounts of collagen.
Foods With Collagen
Is It Better To Get Collagen From Supplements Or Your Food?
Collagen is the natural protein that provides our skin with its natural suppleness, smoothness and flexibility.
There are many types of collagen but our body mainly utilized 4 main types.
At its peak in our youth, when we start to age, our natural collagen production gradually reduces bringing with it the appearance of lines, wrinkles and thinning skin.
Its little wonder that there are so many anti ageing skincare supplements out there , all promising to boost our natural collagen levels.
But are these pills and powders the best way forward? What about our diet and the foods that we eat?.
The main difference between having older looking skin and a youthful complexion might be sitting in your fridge or on your plate.
Diet plays a crucial part in the health and appearance of our skin, and this also comes down to the amount of collagen in our body.
It is also the ease in which our body is able to use certain nutrients.
With many over the counter collagen supplements unregulated it is without any doubt safer to take a dietary approach when trying to boost collagen.
Foods that are high in 3 particular amino acids are considered to be crucial to collagen synthesis. Look for the following:
Here Are 12 Of The Best Food Sources Of Collagen
1. Bone Broth
It might not be the most palatable of all food stuffs but research tells us that Bone Broth (1) might be a great way of getting additional collagen into our body and face.
Made by simmering bones in water, it is believed that this process extracts collagen from the bones. A simple addition of seasoning or adding spices and herbs can make this broth quite tasty.
Perhaps not for everyone, bone broth contains many nutrients including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine and those essential amino acids that are needed for collagen production.
2. Fish And Shellfish
Some experts tell us that marine collagen food is the best absorbed of all foodstuffs.
Like most other animals, shellfish and fish have ligaments and bones rich in collagen.
Now while these parts are not usually eaten in our diet, the flesh is still a good source, with Tuna and Salmon being two great examples.
Researchers have also found that fish skin is a good source of collagen peptides. (2)
The most popular white meat in the world, it contains a huge amount of natural collagen which is found in its flesh and connective tissues.
Clinical studies involving the neck of the chicken and cartilage has shown the benefits of the collagen when used in the treatment of health conditions including arthritis (3)
4. Egg Whites
Eggs are a great collagen food to eat when trying to boost naturally.
While they do not have the connective tissues found in other animal products, the whites are very high in a key amino acid called proline (4).
This is absolutely essential for natural production.
5. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is a major player in the synthesis of Collagen, it plays a key role in the process that leads to it being produced.
Oranges, Lemons and Grapefruit are just 3 types, Eat half a grapefruit with your breakfast, or add orange segments into a salad
Tropical fruits such as mango, kiwi, guava and pineapple are other great sources.
Often forgotten when thinking about Vitamin C sources, but berries are another excellent source of collagen boosting Vitamin C.
“Did you know ?” – Strawberries actually contain more Vitamin C ‘pound for pound’ than Oranges.
Blackberries, Raspberries and Blueberries are other great sources.
Not only do they provide great levels of Vitamin C, they are also very high in natural antioxidants that help protect the skin cells from damage also
Not everybody’s favourite but research has shown that adding garlic to your meals can do more than add flavour.
It contains a trace element – Sulfer, that helps to both synthesis and stop the breakdown of Collagen.
You will need to eat it quite regularly to get any benefits, just be aware that too much raw garlic can cause stomach upsets in some users.
Also if you are taking blood thinners like warfarin, you need to eat it carefully as it could interact with the effects of the drugs and cause you to bleed more easily.
A super protein rich food that is also high in amino acids that are required for collagen synthesis. Another nutrient found in many beans that is essential to its production is copper
9. Cashew Nuts
Most nuts offer great benefits, but Cashews are the kin when it comes to assisting collagen production (6).
High in both Copper and Zinc, a handful of cashews daily can really make a huge difference to your bodies ability to manufacture Collagen
Another powerful source of Collagen boosting Vitamin C, they are also extremely high in another key antioxidant (7) called lycopene that helps to strengthen and protect the skin cells.
11. Bell Peppers
When you are making a salad or a stir fry, make sure you include bell peppers.
Any colour is good but the red ones are the most effective.
High in Vitamin C and another key nutrient called capsaicin, this is a recognised anti-inflammatory compound (8) that could reduce the signs of ageing.
Bell peppers are one of the healthiest foods a human being can eat.
12. Leafy Greens
A major player n our diet and general health, its now believed that they can offer benefits to our health too.
Types such as Spinach, Kale and Swiss Chard get their intense green colour from chlorophyll, well known for its antioxidant effects.
There have been some studies showing that eating chlorophyll might increase the natural production of Collagen.
What Foods are High in Collagen – Summary
Research is not yet complete on this subject, but results from numerous studies (9) and clinical trials are looking really promising.
Fill your diet with protein rich, collagen rich animal and plant foods alongside fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and key amino acids.
Look for foods high in Copper, Zinc and Vitamin C as they are all skin friendly.
Let’s not forget either, that by boosting collagen in your body, you can enjoy other health benefits too, with improved digestion, reduced joint stiffness and pain along with improved muscle function.
Things to Avoid
Stay away from refined carbs and too much sugar as they can harm collagen and cause skin harming inflammation.
Foods High in Collagen FAQ’s
It is difficult to give an absolute answer but bone broth with leafy greens, bell peppers and tomatoes makes a very high collagen sourced meal.
Anything with refined sugar or carbohydrates is particularly bad.
The simple answer is both in combination.