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Collagen is a protein that is responsible for maintaining your skin’s elasticity1. It is abundantly found in the body. It is found in your muscles, bones, and even blood. One needs to have a good amount of collagen in the body for the proper functioning of the body. Several foods have collagen that can help you increase the collagen content in your body. Here, we will discuss those food products.
1. Benefits of Collagen
As mentioned, many foods help produce collagen and can be easily consumed. However, let us first begin with the benefits of collagen 2and why people have been looking for foods that have collagen.
- Improves skin elasticity
- Increases muscle mass
- Helps maintain healthy hair
- Helps maintain healthy nails
- Improves overall skin health
- Reduces wrinkles
- Helps achieve firm skin
- Helps slow the process of skin aging
2. What Foods have Collagen?
2.1. Citrus Fruits
Foods have collagen that needs to be incorporated into your body, and citrus fruits are known to be one of these superfoods. Citrus foods produce reasonable amounts of collagen in your body. Protein-rich foods will give you young-looking skin and skin that is healthy from the inside.
Citrus foods contain vitamin C, which helps in the production of collagen3. Fruits such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit boost collagen production and can be consumed to maintain good skin health. These fruits are also rich in zinc and antioxidants that help you get glowing and supple skin.
Most skin-related diets are abundant in zinc, vitamins C, and A, and antioxidants, and citrus foods provide you with most of these requirements. In general, consuming at least one bowl of fruit daily is essential to ensure the body has enough nutrients to function normally.
2.2. Bone Broth
While no concrete research has fully backed bone broth’s effectiveness as a collagen-rich food, the tradition of word of mouth has given it enough evidence and testimonies. Bone broth is hence considered a good source of collagen.
One can easily make a bone broth by boiling some bones of any desirable meat. This process is believed to make the bones release their collagen. This liquid can then be seasoned with your favorite spices to enhance its flavor.
The amount of collagen one might be able to produce through a broth depends on the quality of the bone used for the same or perhaps also the kind of bone, meaning the kind of animal used for the same.
There are several benefits of bone broth4, starting from collagen production. Broths are protein-rich foods that have ample amounts of electrolytes in them. Bone broths are also known to help fight any inflammation in the body. They are highly nutritious as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are rich in iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and K which boost collagen production in the body.
Many foods have collagen, but they have added benefits that boost your overall health. In addition, bone broths are also known to be good for your joints. They help you fight osteoarthritis and can also help you improve your joint symptoms. Hence they help maintain good joint health. They are also known to help reduce joint pain and have been consumed during many joint-related health conditions.
Several foods have collagen one only needs to be more aware and conscious of the foods they consume.
2.3. Egg Whites
Any diet often has eggs in them as eggs are abundant in their nutrient content. Eggs have an excess amount of proline in them that helps the body produce collagen. Prolines are a type of amino acid that is needed in the production of collagen.
Egg whites can be included as a part of your healthy diet as they are not just great sources of collagen but have several key nutrients that are needed to maintain a healthy body. Egg whites help increase your muscle strength and are often consumed during muscle or weight gain.
Egg whites are healthy for the heart too. Yes, several foods have collagen, but they also have other benefits that can be simultaneously consumed. Egg whites are one among them. They have no cholesterol and are hence extremely healthy for the heart.
In addition, eggs are excellent sources of vitamin D, are low in calories, and help maintain one’s blood pressure. This protein-rich food is a must in your diet if you want a healthy body with good skin elasticity.
2.4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are high in collagen. It is found that consuming chlorophyll prepares the body to produce the necessary chlorophyll. Leafy greens are whole foods; they are protein-rich foods that are easily found in almost every local grocery store. Eating foods that have abundant protein boosts collagen production.
The human body requires many other nutrients and collagen to maintain good healthy skin. They are also packed with zinc, protein, and other essential nutrients like leafy greens and must be consumed as a part of your healthy diet.
Leafy greens are known to reduce high blood pressure, maintain hormonal balance, and, above all, it is also known to reduce bloating. They are easy on your digestive system and are known to boost your mental health. They can be picked from any local grocery store and enjoyed in salads, curries, and juices.
Here are some healthy greens; spinach, cabbage, kale, and many other similar greens can easily be consumed to increase collagen in the body.
2.5. Bell Peppers
The nutrition content in bell peppers is known to slow the aging process. They are extremely rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for iron absorption. If you carefully observe, fish is often served with lemon and citrus with vitamin C. This is primarily done as vitamin C helps the absorption of iron. There is no point in consuming iron if you do not provide the body with a suitable medium to absorb it into the body.
Hence one needs to be keen about food combinations. Foods certainly do have collagen in them, but whether they are absorbed into the body should be carefully analyzed.
Nevertheless, bell peppers are known for their great taste and are part of many dishes such as fried rice, curries, pasta, salads, and so many more. Bell peppers come in amazingly vibrant colors that also add to the aesthetics of the food. They are also known to reduce inflammation in the body and are considered foods protecting your liver.
As mentioned earlier, they are rich in vitamin C, which helps reduce wrinkles and pigmentation. It is also loaded with vitamin A which protects you from skin damage. Hence, indirect consumption of vitamin A can prevent sun damage that can break the collagen in your body.
Remember that our body needs several other nutrients to produce collagen, and sulfur is one among them. Sulfur is essential in the production of collagen in your body. Hence if one is looking to increase collagen intake, one must also consume foods that boost collagen production.
Garlic is rich in sulfur, thus helping in the production of collagen. It also helps repair the damaged collagen fibers by having taurine5, a chemical needed to build damaged fibers.
And like any other food mentioned above, garlic has numerous other benefits. Garlic has anti-bacterial properties and is often used in most medicinal food preparations. It is known to boost your immune system and improve your athletic performance. This wonder food can also reduce your blood pressure and prevent you from acquiring several other unhealthy health disorders.
So make sure garlic is a part of your everyday diet to maintain good health.
3. Collagen Supplements
Several foods have collagen, but one can also consume them through collagen supplements. It has become a trend where people have now switched from collagen-rich foods to collagen supplements. They give your body an instant collagen boost and have become people’s favorite means of increasing collagen in the body.
While many wonder if consuming collagen supplements might affect their body, here’s a bitter truth. Any medicine will certainly have its side effects. One can only work on reducing them by consuming these medications within limits. We have several sources of collagen but consuming them through organic foods is the healthiest. Just consuming healthy foods will help your body receive the right nutrients to create collagen in the body.
Taking collagen supplements is a choice, but it must be taken after consulting with a medical expert to avoid any further complications.
4. What are Collagen Supplements Made of?
Collagen supplements are often made from animal sources like bone broth, fish, beef, etc. However, there are vegan collagen supplements too. Nevertheless, the real question is what is in these supplements after all. They are nothing but amino acids glycine and other amino acids like proline and hydroxyproline.
They are safe for consumption in a healthy individual, but it is necessary to take advice from your doctor for safety reasons. Primarily, look for ‘What foods have collagen?’ Before opting for supplements, your body finds natural foods more compatible than overtly processed edibles.
5. What Happens If We Have Excess Collagen in the Body?
More collagen in the body can also affect the body negatively. Individuals may start having digestive issues or even feelings of nausea accompanied by headaches and even feeling tired. We must also be careful how much we consume this collagen in the body.
Ask yourself and analyze the signs the body gives you. Is a collagen supplement harming you or helping you? Consuming a collagen supplement only when your body needs it, not because you are on a dietary collagen trend and wish to have wrinkle-free skin. Allow your body to synthesize collagen naturally by giving it the right nutrients. Look for what foods have collagen and healthy ways of consuming them.
Good sources of them are animal bones, chicken skin, plant-based foods, organ meats, chicken wings, pumpkin seeds, fish skin, and so many more. The list just keeps going on and on.
So be conscious of the food you consume because excess collagen can harm your body, just like having less collagen.
6. What Happens if We Have Less Collagen in the Body?
Lack of collagen in the body can cause your body to lose its elasticity, thus making your skin saggy. The skin also loses its ability to retain water, thus forming wrinkles. It can also weaken your muscles and cause stiff joints due to the lack of elasticity in your body.
So try to understand what foods have collagen and include them in your diet to avoid these complications.
7. Life Style Choices
While looking for healthy skin, they do not just come by understanding what foods have collagen and consuming them. They need to be aided with healthy lifestyle choices. Otherwise, taking collagen supplements is a waste of time.
While you consume collagen-rich foods, equip that diet with other skin anti-aging strategies. They start by quitting alcohol and avoiding smoking at any cost. They also start by avoiding consuming processed foods with fewer nutrients and more harmful substances. Most of your highly processed foods have lost their nutrients due to excess heat during the process. So look for whole foods. Allow your body to make its collagen.
You can also start by investing in a proper skincare routine. Look at what can potentially suit your body. Understand your skin type and choose products to help your skin feel and look better. You must take all those foods high in collagen but do not stop there. Knowing what foods have collagen is not enough.
If you aim to have overall healthy skin, then do understand that collagen alone will not help you achieve that goal. It would be best if you had several other key nutrients to help get that supple, healthy, and young-looking skin.
Consume enough vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat that are exceptionally loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Get your hands on those foods that have abundant protein in them. There are several protein-rich foods, namely, fish, nuts, pulses, millet, and many more.
Extend your knowledge. Understand which foods have collagen and understand what else is in store for you in them. Practice a conscious lifestyle; it will only help you live healthier.
Q: How does bone broth affect the amount of collagen consumed?
When animal bones and connective tissues are simmered, collagen and other nutrients are released into the liquid, creating bone broth. Collagen amino acids can be consumed in bone broth, although the quantity and kind of collagen can differ depending on the source and processing.
Q: Do collagen dietary supplements work?
Although collagen supplements are advertised to enhance joint health and skin health, further studies are required to determine their complete efficacy. While they might increase collagen intake, a balanced diet consisting of entire foods is typically advised for good health.
- Yu, Betty, et al. “An elastic second skin.” Nature materials 15.8 (2016): 911-918. ↩︎
- Goel, Apratim. “Benefits of Collagen.” ↩︎
- Granstein, Richard D., Thomas J. Flotte, and Edward P. Amento. “Interferons and collagen production.” Journal of investigative dermatology 95 (1990). ↩︎
- Alcock, Rebekah D., Gregory C. Shaw, and Louise M. Burke. “Bone broth unlikely to provide reliable concentrations of collagen precursors compared with supplemental sources of collagen used in collagen research.” International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 29.3 (2019): 265-272. ↩︎
- Sturman, JOHN A. “Taurine in development.” Physiological reviews 73.1 (1993): 119-147. ↩︎