There are so many reasons to ensure that you’re getting enough collagen into your body. The wonder protein is absolutely essential for maintaining the health of not only your skin, but also your bones, muscles and tendons.
But did you know that you can significantly increase your collagen levels by making some small changes to your daily diet? There are lots of foods that are naturally high in collagen – or contain nutrients that help the body to absorb it – and many are probably items that you’re already putting in your shopping basket every week.
So which foods are high in collagen? Here are some of the key ingredients that you’ll want to make your new mealtime staples:
As collagen is a protein, it makes sense that you will find high levels of it in protein-rich foods like meat, eggs and fish. Beef and chicken are particularly good sources. Drinking collagen can also maximise the amount that you’re absorbing into your body, so a good tip is to boil the bones to make a broth. This will help draw out all of the collagen that’s trapped inside the carcass. The resulting liquid can also be used as a delicious base for soups and stews.
You can find plenty of collagen in different varieties of fish and shellfish. Salmon is a great choice, particularly if you eat it with the skin on as the scales are a great source of marine collagen. Marine collagen benefits include improved skin and tissue health. You may also want to consider eating more oysters. Although the slippery delicacies are usually reserved for special occasions, they’re one of the best shellfish options if you want to increase your collagen intake, thanks to the high levels of copper found in them.
Do eggs have collagen? Yes, they do, and if you don’t each much meat they’re a great source of protein to get more collagen in your diet.
If you prefer to live a plant-based lifestyle, there are plenty of other foods, such as pulses and beans, which are packed full of collagen. Chickpeas are a particularly good choice, as they also contain high levels of vitamin C and zinc, which aid the absorption of collagen.
Need some greens to complement your portion of protein? Then you can further boost your collagen intake by opting for some dark leafy vegetables like spinach, chard or kale. According to some scientific studies, the chlorophyll found in these vegetables can increase the amount of procollagen – the protein that collagen derives from – in your skin.
You can also get extra collagen in your diet by eating more bell peppers. Their high levels of vitamin C are particularly useful in enhancing your body’s ability to absorb collagen. Although all kinds of bell peppers contain vitamin C, you’ll see the most benefit by opting for red peppers over yellow or green.
The good news is that some of your favourite snacking fruits are the best choice if you want to boost your collagen levels, so you can enhance your diet while on the go! Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as citrus fruits like oranges, all contain high levels of vitamin C, which is essential for good skin health. If you want to try something a bit more exotic, then the zinc-rich guava is great for helping to enhance your body’s natural production of collagen.
With such a variety of foods boasting collagen-boosting properties, it should be easy to adapt your weekly meal plan to accommodate more of these ingredients. So the next time you’re shopping for groceries, be sure to grab a few of these superfoods.