Collagen is a key protein in connective tissue and is found throughout your body. It’s produced in abundance during the first 25 years of your life but then begins to decline. Collagen production can be stimulated by ensuring that your diet includes plenty of the amino acids used to make up this vital protein. The best source for these is collagen itself.
How to Get Collagen in Your Diet
The first step for improving collagen levels is to look at your diet and see where you could add collagen-rich foods. Beef, chicken, and other meats contain some collagen, although most of this is found in the bones and connective tissues. And if you happen to be vegetarian or vegan then collagen sources become more limited.
One of the most popular high-collagen foods right now is bone broth. This is a delicious stock made from the bones and connective tissue left over after the meat has been removed.
Bone broth is an excellent option if you’re looking for something simple and convenient. You can make it yourself from virtually any animal bones: beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc. Even fish bones, heads and fins can be used. Any dish that contains animal bones will provide plenty of ingredients for your bone broth. The process is very simple: you place the bones in a large pan of water with a tablespoon or two of vinegar and simmer for 12-24 hours. A slow cooker is perfect. If you want, you can add your favorite herbs and spices to the broth for extra flavor.
Another great source of dietary collagen is fish. Bony fish such as salmon can give you a real collagen boost, but only if you eat them with the skin on. Try recipes that involve cooking steaks with the skin or whole fish. You might be a little wary at first, but once you taste the fresh, juicy flavor, you’ll never want to remove the skin from fish again.
Foods That Support Collagen
Some foods don’t contain collagen themselves but have vital nutrients that will improve your collagen production. Your body can’t make collagen or build healthy connective tissue without a range of essential vitamins and minerals. So, what foods help produce collagen?
- Dark leafy greens like chard, Savoy cabbage, kale, and spinach are high in collagen friendly minerals and vitamins, including the all-important vitamin C. They also contain chlorophyll, which may promote collagen production.
- Fresh fruit, mostly citrus fruits, and berries high in vitamin C, are important for collagen.
- Eggs are a good source of the amino acids your body needs to make collagen.
- Legumes, especially chickpeas, provide necessary protein and essential minerals like zinc.
While adding high-collagen foods to your diet can help with collagen production, you can’t be entirely confident how much collagen you’re getting. Luckily, adding collagen to your diet is easy with collagen supplements. You can find these as capsules or tablets. A powdered collagen is an excellent option as you can add it to your usual food and drink. Body Kitchen has formulated a collagen that is specifically for cooking – Original Body Boost – so you can enjoy your regular meals without having to go through the process of making your own bone broth. Body Kitchen uses a refined collagen peptide powder that mixes easily in any recipe and stays unaffected by temperature, something that generic collagen brands cannot claim.
Remember that one nutrient alone can’t deliver good health. Maintain a balanced diet with plenty of variety to get the most out of your supplements.