Collagen is the chief protein found in your skin and connective tissues like cartilage and tendons. Okay, that’s a lot of biological jargon, but basically, this is the protein that promotes elastic, youthful-looking skin. Unfortunately, over time, wrinkles, joint pain, and similar issues increase as the aging body produces less of this all-important collagen. No need to fear quite yet because a collagen supplement may slow this process by improving skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density.
While supplements are an easy source of this much-needed protein, you can also promote your body’s collagen production by eating the right foods. This may also produce collagen more quickly than supplements. The right foods for collagen-boosting contain protein-building amino acids like glycine and proline, vitamin C, and copper. So which foods can help you support healthy collagen production in your body? Let’s find out!
Increasing collagen intake through your diet is fairly easy. If you haven’t converted to veganism or vegetarianism, animal protein, particularly that containing bones or connective tissue, is your best bet. Chicken is one of the best animal sources of collagen, so don’t forget to throw this protein on your salad or mix it in your next pasta dish.
Glycine and proline are two amino acids that are the chief ingredients in collagen, and egg whites are a great source of both. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid the yolks, though. For a fuller meal, keep the yolks in as they contain healthy fats that support skin health.
Although animal protein is a logical and widely available collagen source, there are plant-based options as well for those who are less carnivorous. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard all contain high amounts of chlorophyll, a chemical that fosters collagen production in the body.
From citrus to tropical, some of our favorite fruits encourage collagen development. This isn’t all too surprising when remembering that many fruits are packed with vitamin C, a key ingredient in stimulating collagen production.
Berries, however, are likely the best of the bunch as they help the body use collagen more efficiently.
Bone broth is exactly what it sounds like: animal bones boiled in water until a broth is formed. Creating the broth draws out the natural collagen found in these bones. Although estimates vary, experts generally recommend drinking one cup of bone broth a day to reap its full benefits.
Tomatoes are well-known superfoods, and one of their key weapons is lycopene, an important antioxidant that can increase collagen production in the skin.
Another plant-based collagen powerhouse, beans contain the amino acids that form the building blocks of collagen.
While it may not get the infamy of kale or acai berries, soy is one of the greatest superfoods out there. It’s a massive source of protein, so soy and soy products (such as soy milk, tofu, and edamame) can stimulate collagen production.
Whether it’s through supplements or food, it is relatively easy to give your collagen production a bit of a boost. Many of the building blocks found in these foods are more “bioavailable” than those found in supplements, meaning the body can absorb and begin using them more quickly.
As always, talk to a health care professional, particularly a dermatologist or skin doctor, before beginning any new regimen. It may take some trial and error, but don’t give up on your journey toward healthier, happier skin. Between these foods, supplements, and collagen-boosting treatments, there’s a solution for you that will improve the appearance and elasticity of your skin, even as your body’s production of collagen begins to decline.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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