Collagen is an essential protein produced naturally in the body. It’s essential to the function and health of connective tissues such as skin, organs, ligaments, tendons and bones. Collagen helps to hold our body together and as we age, natural collagen production depletes, which is when we start to notice wrinkles and experience pain in joints.
We get collagen from the foods we eat and from quality health supplements. By eating collagen rich foods, we boost our bodies collagen production naturally. Here are 7 must eat foods to get more collagen into your life.
Egg whites contain proline and glycine, which are amino acids necessary for collagen production. The yolks contain healthy fats and vitamin D essential for the health of bones, skin and muscles. Full of protein, eggs are great as a snack or to fuel the day at breakfast.
Bone broth is made by cooking down animal bones to extract the minerals and collagen. A quality bone broth needs to be cooked over 10-12 hours, but an easy alternative is to purchase a ready-made mix in a store. The collagen from bone broth comes from the bone and connective tissue and amounts may vary depending on the quality of bones used.
The connective tissue you see when cutting up a chicken is a rich source of collagen. Chicken collagen helps the body to produce substances that fight inflammation and it contains chondroitin and glucosamine, both which help rebuild cartilage. So if you suffer from arthritis, chicken collagen may help.
Fish and Shellfish
Fish collagen is said to absorb 1.5 times more efficiently into the body than other types. Because it enters the body so quickly, it’s said to be the best source. The only problem is: most fish collagen lives in the scales and skin (the parts we don’t normally like to eat). Try making a fish stock using all parts to get the greatest benefits.
Vitamin C is a vital part of collagen production. Without it, the body can’t produce collagen so make sure you get enough in your diet. Top up your vitamin C supplies by eating; oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi, mango and berries.
Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale contain a good amount of vitamin C which is needed for collagen production. They also contain chlorophyll which helps with the production of collagen. An expert controlled study found that chlorophyll enhanced collagen production and reduced facial wrinkles in female participants over the course of 90 days!
Nuts and particularly cashews contain copper and zinc, both which aid in the creation of collagen in the body. Snack on cashews to keep you energised between meals and seeds or walnuts are a great addition to a salad for a little crunch.