We adore collagen and yearn for more of it. As a result, you’ll have lusciously plump lips, long, thick hair, and healthy, strong joints and bones. Nevertheless, collagen production slows with age like many other beneficial things, and as a result, we find ourselves hunting for anything and everything to boost our body’s production of collagen we can get our hands on. But there’s good news: certain foods can help sustain and even increase collagen production.
Collagen is a complex protein
The protein family that includes collagen is the most prevalent in animals. Collagen comes in a wide variety of forms in vertebrates (yes, that includes us), but the three most common types found in the human body are types I, II, and III.
When it comes to the body, collagen plays a key role. It helps form our bones, cartilage, and muscles, making our tissues more elastic and resistant to strain (for example, it maintains skin appearing youthful and supple).
Fibroblasts in our cells synthesize collagen (assuming they have the amino acids and other required nutritional building blocks they need). As previously said, it is created by our bodies for the duration of our lives; but, as we age, our natural levels decrease due to a variety of factors, including sun exposure and high-calorie diets.
There are a variety of methods for boosting natural collagen production that people use.
Bone broth is well-known for its health benefits for meat-eaters. Collagen and high protein content make it a healthy choice. Andrea Mathis, R.D. says bone broth is popular because it contains a type of collagen that your body can use right away.
“By drinking bone broth, you’re getting your collagen fix from a pot of simmered animal collagen. In terms of skin collagen regeneration and wrinkle removal, this is a game-changer “An expert on the subject of natural medicine discusses the situation in detail: Kellyann Petrucci, MS N.D. “Collagen is transported to your cells by dietary collagen. Bone broth’s gelatin, which is made from collagen, aids the digestive system “as if it were coming from inside
The best part is that it’s readily available in supermarkets and can be made at home with little effort as well. Collagen can be extracted from the connective tissues of animals by boiling the bones in water for a short time. Also, remember that the longer you cook your broth, the more nutrients it will contain.
Skin-on chicken breasts
Collagen may be found in chicken cartilage, according to a registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats Amy Gorin, M.S., RDN. A study discovered that taking collagen supplements produced from chicken cartilage helped women’s skin seem younger and smoother as they aged*. Using chicken cartilage and necks as a collagen source, another study found that it improved joint comfort. You have complete freedom in selecting your chicken chop. Collagen production is promoted by simply leaving the skin on.
Citrus contains vitamin C, which aids the body’s production of collagen, according to Gorin. Vitamin C, as previously stated, is essential for collagen production since it works as an antioxidant and shields the body from harmful free radicals and pollutants.
Board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., a member of the mbg Collective, agrees. “Squeeze that lemon into your drink,” she recommends. “Your skin requires vitamin C to develop collagen,” she says. It not only helps to increase collagen production, but it also helps to maintain the integrity of the collagen that is already there, reducing wrinkles all around.
Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges, are ideal for this.
If you enjoy fruit, then you’re in for a treat. Mathis says that berries, with their high vitamin C concentration, are another great source of collagen-boosting nutrients. Also, don’t forget about the powerful antioxidant properties of these eye-catching fruits. Blackberries and strawberries, as well as blueberries and raspberries, can all be used in this recipe. Given that half of your daily vitamin C need is found in a cup of blackberries, it doesn’t take much of these delicious fruits to gain their health benefits.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Collagen in the skin, for example, or keratin in the hair, for example, have different amino acid profiles. Being deliberate in your amino acid breakdown may therefore help you to be more specific in your objectives. Collagen is built from amino acids like glycine and proline found in eggs, according to Bowe’s explanation.
There aren’t any collagen-forming amino acids in eggs. However, egg whites are rich in proline, an amino acid that’s necessary for collagen creation.
Amino acids are necessary for the body to make collagen, as previously indicated. Mathis adds that beans are a good source of protein since they contain amino acids necessary for collagen synthesis. Beans are a natural way to help with collagen creation because the body needs amino acids to synthesize the protein. Beans, pork, and eggs are good sources of amino acids, which the body uses to make collagen.
“Keep going nuttier and nuttier till you’re nutty! They contain zinc, an essential mineral for the functioning of your collagen-producing fibroblasts “she states categorically Free radicals are neutralized by this mineral, protecting skin lipids and crucial fibroblasts. This mineral can act as an antioxidant.
Pescatarians should know that fish and shellfish are great sources of collagen because of their bones and ligaments. Shellfish collagen, according to one study, may be just as healthy as collagen from cows. For vegetarians and vegans, fish protein is a great alternative to animal protein since it is easily absorbed by the body.
Vegetables with Large, Dark-Green Leaves
Eating extra greens has absolutely no drawbacks. Most of us, if we’re being honest, could benefit from consuming more green veggies. Don’t be afraid to incorporate spinach in your next lunch or dinner because it’s high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, all of which are necessary for collagen production. The nutritional content of a smoothie or pasta dish can be increased without changing the taste by adding a cup of greens to the meal if you’re having trouble incorporating them into your usual diet.
The vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetable tomato is yet another fantastic food source. Phytonutrient lycopene, which gives tomatoes their brilliantly red color and offers numerous health benefits, is also present in tomatoes, making them a powerful antioxidant.