HOW TO BOOST COLLAGEN PRODUCTION THROUGH DIET
In terms of nutrition, there are two primary factors involved in increasing collagen in your body:
- Consistently eating high-collagen foods
- Consuming foods that promote collagen synthesis
If you want firm, supple skin and healthy joints, read on about collagen-rich foods for joints so you can integrate them into your diet.
THE TOP 5 COLLAGEN-RICH FOODS
Collagen is abundant in animal products since it’s part of an animal’s connective tissues. However, some plants contain collagen, as well.
That said, here are the best naturally high-collagen foods.
- BONE BROTH
By far, one of the richest sources of collagen protein is bone broth.
Typically, bone broth is made by taking—well, bones—and cooking them in water for several hours. In doing so, nutrients including glycine and collagen are extracted from the bones.
You can use bone broth in place of standard broth in soups and stews to boost the nutrient content. You can also enjoy it solo, sipped as a hot beverage.
Bonus: Bone broth has tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits for gut health, as well!
You probably know that eggs are high in protein. However, what you may not know is that egg whites are particularly high in the amino acids glycine and proline, both of which are necessary to create collagen in the body.
Consuming eggs regularly can provide your body with the building blocks of collagen. So however you enjoy your eggs, know that they’re contributing to your healthy glow!
Meats—especially red meats including beef, pork, and lamb—are among the best high-collagen foods.
These animals have lots of connective tissue that requires collagen for the same reason humans have it: It helps them move their muscles properly. (Fun fact: Tougher cuts of meat are tough because they have more collagen in them.)
Including these meats that are high in collagen in your diet can help improve your collagen intake. If you’re concerned that the collagen itself is “cooking out,” it turns into gelatin when it’s heated. Plus, the meat still contains the amino acids necessary for your body to create collagen, so don’t worry!
Like other animal products, fish has connective tissues and bones that contain collagen.
Marine collagen peptides (MCPs) come from fish skin and scales. Research shows that fish collagen has similar benefits to beef collagen in terms of its pro-aging benefits. Interestingly, some sources say that collagen from fish absorbs better than that from meat.
Those who are eco-conscious may also be pleased to know that this type of collagen may be better for the environment, as well. That’s because using fish skin and scales to produce marine collagen can reduce waste and pollution.
A less commonly consumed source of gelatin is the algae spirulina.
It’s a good source of plant-based protein, which means it also contains amino acids. Which amino acids, you ask? You guessed it: Glycine and proline, which (as we learned above) make up collagen.
Spirulina is available in powder or capsule form.
OTHER FOODS FOR COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Eating foods that are high in collagen is great—but what’s even better is supporting your body’s natural process of creating it.
Collagen production starts by combining a few key nutrients to make procollagen:
- Vitamin C
Eating these important nutrients will increase the collagen your body makes. Zinc also supports collagen function by acting like a primer for collagen production (it signals bone cells to create collagen and activates a protein that helps enhance collagen’s wound-healing functions), so load up on high-zinc foods, too! These are the best foods to collagen production:
FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN C
- Bell pepper
FOODS HIGH IN PROLINE AND GLYCINE
- Pumpkin seeds
FOODS HIGH IN ZINC
- Lean meats
- Soy products
- Nuts and seeds