Collagen is a protein that improves joints, skin elasticity, increases muscle mass, and even helps in better bone health.
Although our body produces it naturally, some people may find a deficiency in collagen production. Not only that, over time, but our cells also lose their metabolic activity, and collagen production naturally decreases. Hence there are many collagen supplements present in the market to increase collagen production.
If you are not a fan of supplements, there are natural food sources you can consume to naturally build up your collagen level in the body.
Benefits of Collagen
Collagen has a lot of benefits. Most of them help in maintaining proper health, which impacts we alter life as well. They help in:
- Increasing bone health
- Improves skin health
- Aids in hair growth
- Improves the texture of nails
- Assists in maintaining a healthy weight
- Helps in increasing muscle mass
Foods Rich in Collagen
So here are some collagen-rich foods which you can easily add to your diet. I am sure you already consume most of them, and if you don’t, you should already start because they are natural producers of collagen in your body.
Not to mention, chicken is rich in protein. Not only that, according to studies, but it is rich in collagen too. While cutting down an entire chicken, you will observe that it contains a lot of connective tissue, the primary collagen source.
Fish and Shellfish
The next food rich in natural collagen is fish and shellfish. Fish has ligaments and bones, which are also rich in collagen. But according to studies, researchers say that we consume fish meat, which contains the least collagen. The part of the fish which is rich in collagen is, however, non-edible like the scales. Apart from that, fish eyes, skin and its head are also a rich source of collagen.
Although we mentioned earlier that bones and cartilages are rich in collagen production, both are missing in an egg. Eggs contain the amino acid called proline, which is essential for the production of collagen. However, this is usually present in the egg whites and not in the egg yolk.
Berries have several benefits, and collagen production is among many other benefits it offers. Berries like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries provide more Vitamin C than most citrus foods. Vitamin C is a natural producer of collagen in the body.
Citrus foods are rich in vitamin C, leading to collagen production. The most common citrus foods are oranges, lemons, and limes. They contain a hefty amount of vitamin C. Not only that, having foods rich in vitamins is always beneficial for the body. Hence having some source citrus fruits either at breakfast or after lunch fills our body with many benefits.
Apart from only mentioning citrus fruits, tropical fruits like mango, guava, and pineapple are also rich in collagen production. As I said, fruits add many benefits to our body and produce collagen is one amongst them. Hence all the doctors and health nutritionists always recommend having some form fruits even once in the day.
Different beans like kidney beans, black beans are rich in proteins. And being rich in proteins, they have the amino acids which help in collagen built up in the body. Not only are they rich in proteins, but they also have copper, which is also an excellent nutrient for collagen synthesis. Not only that, legumes in general, lead to natural collagen production in our body. Chickpeas are one amongst them.
Garlic is a usual component we include in our normal everyday lives. Garlic is rich in sulfur, which is a core mineral for collagen production. Not only it helps in producing collagen, but it also helps in preventing the breakdown of the already present collagen in the body. However, researchers say that the quantity of garlic matters.
You need to consume a little more than you already consume for garlic to produce and prevent collagen breakdown present in your body. But it is worth considering that having too much raw garlic can lead to a stomach ache or heartburns. So if you like the taste of garlic, then add it to your everyday food recipes just a bit more to get more out of it. Co summing raw garlic or too much of garlic just for collagen production may prove to be disastrous.
No matter how much you hate having greens, they are great for your body. Including greens in your diet makes it a healthy diet. Greens like spinach, kale, and other greens are rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the precursor of collagen. Hence once consumed, they start producing collagen in the body. Not only that, but they also have other properties, like antioxidant properties and purifying your blood and adding more strength to your health in general.
Consuming raw tomatoes or including tomatoes in your pasta or sandwich is beneficial. It is also included in beauty and skin care regimes as well. Tomatoes contain essential nutrients like lycopene and vitamin C, which leads to the production of collagen in our body.
Cashews are a fun snack and everybody loves shaving them. But who knew these crunchy, little snacks have zinc and copper, which leads to huge productions of natural collagen in our body. So if you love cashews but are a bit hesitant to buy them, next time buy them because they are rich sources of collagen.
Bell peppers not only add flavor to your pasta and sandwich, but they are a rich source of collagen as well. Bell peppers of red, green, or yellow are a rich source for Vitamin C. They are underrated when it comes to mentioning foods rich in Vitamin C. Not only that, they help in maintaining health by acting as an anti-inflammatory compound.
If you love seafood, then Oysters are a great food source for building up your natural collagen. There are many dishes with oysters, and some of them also have them as a side dish while having cocktails. While any think that Oysters are just fun food to have, many of them don’t know that they contain copper, which is an important mineral that builds collagen in our body.
Which foods should I avoid?
There is no one definite source for getting collagen. Any food material rich in protein from plants or animals is a rich source of collagen. However, if you are trying to build up collagen in your body naturally, try to avoid foods with a high amount of sugars or carbohydrates. High carbohydrates and sugar quantities lead to inflammation of collagen, causing their destruction. This can lead to mild stomach pains and gradually failure of having collagen in your body.
Does consuming collagen helps in improving the skin?
There is no definite proof based on this discussion, which concludes to the fact that collagen helps in improving skin. However, most women who consume collagen have found out that collagen improves skin elasticity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Why it happens and how collagens action takes place is not fully determined. Although it won’t be wrong to say that people who intake collagen have found that it leads to finer skin, also it has anti-aging properties, which always helps.
What is Collagen peptide powder?
Collagen powder is an alternative source for having collagen. Even though we are consuming food high in collagen, our body fails to break them down into its protein constituents; hence we do not get the required amount of collagen for seeing desired results. Therefore, collagen peptide powders are present in the market. These peptide powders are usually hydrolyzed. Being hydrolyzed means they are broken into simpler and smaller protein units and easily taken with any liquid solution. These powders easily dissolve in a liquid medium.
Once inside the body, our enzymes and cells can function better because the collagen units are present in their simpler forms. These powder forms are huge demand in markets because you can add them to your coffee, smoothies, and shakes and have them easily. Also, they act as a protein source, so having one or two coops of it in a day is not harmful.
Frequently Asked Questions on Collagen Rich Foods
What are the side effects of having collagen?
Although having collagen sources are not usually harmful. But our body can always show mild signs of side effects from taking too much collagen supplements. These include:
- Heart burns
- Stomach ache
- The feeling of a heaviness in stomach
How much collagen-rich foods should we actually consume?
Having food sources rich in collagen does not hamper your body. Because usually, the foods rich in collagen also have other added health benefits for our body. But if you are taking collagen supplements, it is best to consult your doctor or nutritionist first.
Usually, having collagen depends on the factor and reason why you are taking it. The amount of collagen supplement needed by your body depends on whether you are taking it to improve your bone, muscle, joints, or skin. Based on that, the dosage and the amount to be taken are determined. Doses may vary from 2.5 grams to even 10 grams. But having more than 40 grams a day is never recommended.
What fruits contain collagen?
Citrus fruits, including kiwi, orange, and guava, are rich in collagen. Not only that, mango, kiwi, pineapple are also colleen rich fruits.
So here ends our post about collagen rich foods. Having a balanced amount of collagen in our body helps in the long run, and we can definitely see the results and the difference it makes. There are both natural as well as supplements available for collagen so you can choose what works for you.