We don’t hide the fact that we are big fans of collagen. The hype for this protein is well earned given the numerous studies available. While our bodies produce collagen naturally, it only helps to acquire more through foods high in this kind of protein. This ensures you have adequate amounts circulating in your bloodstream if your body isn’t producing enough for one reason or another. If you’re a few years shy of turning 50 or are already past that age, then you definitely need to eat more foods with collagen.
The listed foods below are either good sources of collagen or contain nutrients that aid in the body’s natural production.
Broth is perhaps the best collagen food bar none. If you enjoy making food from scratch, then we suggest a generous heaping of bovine and chicken bones. Let the bones simmer in a crockpot for a few hours, and you have a soup teeming with health-boosting collagen.
Bovine collagen is a rich source of collagen types 1 and 3. This promotes glowing healthy skin, aids in digestion, and regulates healthy sleep rhythms.
Chicken collagen is a type 2. This is essentially the collagen for joints as it’s known to restore cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
If preparing broth from scratch is too troublesome, then you can always consume pre-packaged broth. Aside from the nice heaping of collagen, broth is also packed with minerals and electrolytes.
Salmon is another high-quality collagen food. Use the bones and scales just as you would with bovine and chicken bones for making broth. Fish head soup with the bones and scales intact is actually a scrumptious cuisine in many Asian countries.
On top of the collagen, salmon is also high in zinc, which studies show is vital for collagen synthesis.
Notice in the header that we say wild salmon. We strongly recommend only using wild-caught sources. Farm-raised fish have far higher concentrations of toxins, such as mercury.
It doesn’t matter if you like them scrambled, over-easy, or hard-boiled. Much of the collagen is concentrated in the whites and eggshell membrane. Aside from being a top collagen food, eggs are also loaded with sulfur, which is a natural liver cleanser. Toxin buildup in the stomach is a primary inhibitor of collagen production.
Avocados provide a high source of monounsaturated fats and very little of the harmful polyunsaturated fats. Just as relevantly, it’s also rich in vitamin E. This is often known as the skin vitamin due to its ability to prevent collagen breakdown in the outermost epidermis layer. One study showed that supplementation with avocado oil increased skin collagen metabolism.
Vegetables with an orange tint, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are chockful of vitamin A. You may have heard time and again that this vitamin is good for the eyes. It does far more, though, than just protect your vision. Studies also show that the vitamin may stimulate collagen synthesis in skin damaged from UV-ray exposure.
We have to include white tea among the list of collagen foods because it’s almost always overlooked. Everyone always touts about the wonders of green tea and its rich antioxidants. However, white tea deserves some love as well.
Studies show that white tea protects the body against harmful enzymes that break down collagen and reduce skin elasticity. It’s believed that the high phenolic acid in the tea fights off free radicals that may cause skin tissue injury. In addition, phenolic acid also boosts the body’s ability to use minerals like zinc. As we mentioned earlier, zinc is essential for collagen synthesis.
Fruits and veggies in themselves aren’t exactly rich in collagen. However, they do have a lot of vitamins, which include the antioxidant vitamin C. Studies show this vitamin helps the amino acids proline and lysine convert into collagen. On top of that, Vitamin C also counteracts free radicals that contribute to premature collagen breakdown.
Since we didn’t list a specific food, you have a lot of leeway here. Citric fruits are good choices, as are bell peppers, berries, leafy greens, and kiwis.
We must point out, though, that you will not acquire this benefit from taking a vitamin C supplement. Chewable vitamin C tablets come in the form of synthetically-derived ascorbic acid. Despite what supplement makers would have you believe, natural vitamin C and ascorbic acid are not chemically identical. Always acquire the antioxidant from whole foods.
Chlorella is a form of algae. Since this is acquired in pill or powdered form, this is not really one of the collagen foods in the strictest sense. However, chlorella is super-high in vitamin A. Another thing it has going for it is its high concentrations of Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). This is a nutrient unique to chlorella; you won’t find it in any other foods with collagen.
CGF “instructs” your body to perform specific functions key to skin and muscle tissue health. Naturally, this includes collagen synthesis.
Make a daily habit of eating more foods with collagen. This is especially important as you get older. Of course, we know following a balanced diet isn’t always realistic. This is where supplementation comes in. Yes, collagen from a supplement is valid provided that it’s derived from all-natural sources.
Total Collagen fits this bill, hence why we recommend it for people who typically have to eat while on the go. Total Collagen contains highly bioavailable hydrolyzed collagen from organically raised bovine, fish, and eggs. A single serving will provide the all-important collagen minus the time-consuming food preparation.
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