People have been searching for a potion to maintain their youth for centuries. While there are remedies to cover up signs of aging, the more pressing concern is maintaining inner vitality. This is where collagen comes in.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein in the body responsible for creating tissues like muscle, bone, tendons, cartilage, and skin. When collagen production slows, it leads to loss of volume in the skin, brittle hair, and deterioration in muscle and bones.
What Leads to Collagen Loss?
There are a few factors to consider when thinking about collagen loss. Lifestyle is the most significant contributor to the deterioration of collagen throughout the body. These factors include:
- Sleep disorders
- Excess sun exposure
- Excess alcohol consumption
The good news is that you can promote collagen production by living a healthy lifestyle and consuming collagen-rich foods!
5 Collagen-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet
Animal proteins are an easy source of collagen-rich foods. For example, cuts of meat containing connective tissue have the most collagen since this is where collagen is naturally stored.
Think pot-roast, brisket, and marbled steaks.
2. Bone Broth
Not only is a cup of warm bone broth comforting, but it also contains large amounts of collagen! During preparation, bones are simmered in water and vinegar, which releases all the vitamins, minerals, and collagen stored in the bones and the bone marrow. Fresh-water fish bones are also good sources of collagen.
Want to make collagen-rich bone broth? Try this recipe from Dr. Axe!
3. Eggs and Dairy
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, certain high-protein foods containing amino acids boost collagen production. These amino acids include glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline and work together to synthesize collagen.
In other words, when amino acids are consumed in conjunction with other collagen-rich foods (meat, fish, and bone broth), they are more likely to boost collagen production than when eaten alone.
4. Legumes and Soy
Fortunately, there are a few collagen-rich foods that are plant-based. For example, eggs, dairy, legumes, and soy contain amino acids that boost collagen production. This is especially important for vegans as they must consider how to supplement collagen more carefully.
5. Vitamin C and Zinc
The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a 2018 study on collagen synthesis. It concluded that supplementing vitamin C in a collagen-rich diet accelerated bone healing after fractures.
Vitamin C and Zinc further assist the body in digesting and absorbing collagen. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, peppers, and tomatoes.
There are many ways to boost collagen production. Whether you want to eat more collagen-rich foods for skin and hair health, maintain or gain skin elasticity, or ensure supple joints and ligaments, there are many collagen-rich foods to add to your diet!