Ever wonder why your skin is looking less plump and firm? Collagen is the protein that gives skin its structure, suppleness and stretch, and you produce less of it as you age. However, besides using the right skin care products, your diet can play a role in improving the look of collagen density in your skin.
Eating foods high in collagen is the best way to increase your intake and improve the appearance of your skin. In addition to a skin care boost, a collagen-rich diet carries with it other health benefits, such as promoting bone health and improved sleep. From Vitamin C-rich leafy greens to omega-3 packed salmon, here are some of the best collagen-rich foods to add to your diet.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body responsible for our skin’s structure, stability, and strength. 28 types of collagen have been identified throughout the body, but type I, II and III make up for 80-90% of all collagen production. Collagen Type I is the most common type of collagen and provides structural support for our bones, organs and connective tissues (including the skin). Collagen Type II forms our cartilage and is found in our joints while Collagen Type III is mostly found in bone marrow and lymph tissues.
You’ve been producing collagen your whole life, but eventually, it will start to slow down in production, leaving you with wrinkles and fine lines. Luckily, you can increase the fullness of your skin by increasing your collagen consumption by eating particular foods high in collagen such as dark, leafy greens, vegetables, seafood and meat (hence the rising trend in bone broth). Read on to find out which foods you should incorporate into your diet.
7 Foods Good For Collagen
1. Dark, Leafy Greens for Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis, and foods like spinach, kale and broccoli are packed with it. These collagen-boosting foods are packed with fiber to keep your heart and digestive system healthy.
2. Fruits And Vegetables High in Vitamin C And A
Citrus fruits are sources of Vitamin C, so be sure to load up your meals with lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. In addition, red veggies like beets, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and red peppers are full of lycopene, which boosts collagen and protects against the aging effects of the sun.
3. Collagen from Bone Broth
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals. There are very few studies on whether bone broth is directly related to better skin, nails and hair health. One thing that’s for sure is that bone broth is a collagen-rich food that’s also proven to be a great source of protein. Healthline states that during the cooking process, collagen is broken down into another protein called gelatin which supports joint health.
4. Berries for Vitamin C
Take your pick of the bunch, whether it’s strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. They all offer Vitamin C to help your body build collagen. Eatingwell.com says: “A cup of strawberries has 150 percent of your daily target for Vitamin C, and a cup of raspberries or blackberries has 50% of your daily [Vitamin] C goal.”
5. Foods High In Polyphenols
A diet that’s high in polyphenol content has been shown to defend the skin from the sun’s UV rays. The more antioxidants, the better our skin will be armed with the ability to deal with oxidative stress from the environment, our lifestyle and from aging. We’d suggest drinking black tea, eating olives, grapes, cherries and soybeans.
6. Fish for Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Try incorporating all kinds of fish in your diet to absorb omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for increasing collagen synthesis and production. As Healthline says: “Omega-3s can help keep your skin healthy, preventing premature aging and safeguarding against sun damage.” In addition to skin health, Healthline also indicates that omega-3s can improve bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones, which should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.
7. Avocados for Vitamin E
It’s a shame that many people avoid eating avocados because they are calorie dense or high in fat. But avocados should be eaten regularly because they are antioxidant-rich and contain Vitamin E which helps collagen production and fight free radicals in the skin. Vitamin E stimulates blood flow to the skin and hair, increasing collagen production for firmer-looking skin and stronger hair.
Which collagen-rich foods will you incorporate into your diet? Have you noticed any changes in your skin? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!