Fruits with collagen is not a new type of juice or soda. Collagen is the protein in animals connective tissue that makes up the skin and other connective tissues. Fruits with collagen usually refers to fruits that are high in collagen. Eating skins from fruits, fish or chicken can increase your collagen intake, helping you look younger…
13 Foods That Help Your Body Produce Collagen
To supplement or to eat?
“Diet plays a surprisingly large role in the appearance and youthfulness of your skin,” says certified holistic nutritionist Krista Goncalves, CHN. “And that all comes down to collagen.”
Collagen is the protein that gives skin its structure, suppleness, and stretch. There are many types of collagen, but our body mainly consists of type 1, 2, and 3. As we age, we produce less collagen in our skin every yearTrusted Source — hence the tendency toward wrinkles and thinning skin we see the older we get.
This explains the boom of collagen supplements touted in our social feeds and store shelves these days. But are collagen pills and powders the best route? The key difference between the two may be down to the bioavailability — the body’s ability to use a nutrient.
Why you should consider food first
“Foods like bone broth contain a bioavailable form of collagen your body can use right away, making it arguably superior to supplements,” says registered dietitian Carrie Gabriel. A 2012 review on nutrition and agingTrusted Source also concluded that fruit and vegetables are the safest and healthiest approach to boosting skin health.
Plus, since over-the-counter supplements are largely unregulated, it’s probably safer to stick with a dietary approach to boosting collagen.
Eating collagen-rich foods or foods that boost collagen production may also help create the building blocks (amino acids) you need for your skin goals. “There are three amino acids important for collagen synthesis: proline, lysine, and glycine,” says registered dietitian and beauty expert Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD.
1. Bone broth
While recent research finds bone broth may not be a reliable source of collagen, this option is by far the most popular by word of mouth. Made by simmering animal bones in water, this process is believed to extract collagen. When making this at home, season the broth with spices for flavor.
“Since bone broth is made of bones and connective tissue, it contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, amino acids, and many other nutrients,” Davidson says.
“However, each bone broth is different because of the quality of the bones used along with other ingredients,” she adds.
To guarantee the quality of your broth, try making your own with bones obtained from a reputable local butcher.
There’s a reason why many collagen supplements are derived from chicken. Everyone’s favorite white meat contains ample amounts of the stuff. (If you’ve ever cut up a whole chicken, you’ve probably noticed how much connective tissue poultry contains.) These tissues make chicken a rich source of dietary collagen.
Several studies have used chicken neck and cartilageTrusted Source as a source of collagen for arthritis treatment.
3. Fish and shellfish
Like other animals, fish and shellfish have bones and ligaments made of collagen. Some people have claimed marine collagen is one of the most easily absorbed.
But while your lunchtime tuna sandwich or dinnertime salmon can certainly add to your collagen intake, be aware that the “meat” of fish contains less collagen than other, less desirable parts.
“We don’t tend to consume the parts of fish that are highest in collagen, like the head, scales, or eyeballs,” Gabriel says. In fact, researchersTrusted Source have used fish skin as a source for collagen peptides.
4. Egg whites
Although eggs don’t contain connective tissues like many other animal products, egg whites do have large amounts of prolineTrusted Source, one of the amino acids necessary for collagen production.
5. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of pro-collagenTrusted Source, the body’s precursor to collagen. Therefore, getting enough vitamin C is critical.
As you probably know, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are full of this nutrient. Try a broiled grapefruit for breakfast, or add orange segments to a salad.
Though citrus tends to get all the glory for its vitamin C content, berries are another excellent source. Ounce for ounce, strawberries actually provide more vitamin C than oranges. Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries offer a hefty dose, too.
“Furthermore,” Davidson says, “berries are high in antioxidants, which protect the skin from damage.”
7. Tropical fruits
Rounding out the list of fruits rich in vitamin C are tropical fruits like mango, kiwi, pineapple, and guava. Guava also boasts a small amount of zinc, another co-factor for collagen production.
Garlic may add more than just flavor to your stir-fries and pasta dishes. It could boost your collagen production, too. According to Gabriel, “Garlic is high in sulfur, which is a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent the breakdown of collagen.”
It’s important to note, however, that how much you consume matters. “You probably need a lot of it to reap the collagen benefits,” she adds.
But with its many benefits, it’s worth considering garlic part of your regular diet. As they say online: If you love garlic, take the measurement in a recipe and double it.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH GARLIC?
Garlic is safe in regular amounts, but too much garlic (especially raw) may cause heartburn, an upset stomach, or increase your risk for bleeding if you use blood thinners. Avoid eating more garlic just for collagen purposes.
9. Leafy greens
We all know leafy greens are a key player in a healthy diet. As it turns out, they may offer aesthetic benefits, too.
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other salad greens get their color from chlorophyll, known for its antioxidant properties.
“Some studies have shown that consuming chlorophyll increases the precursor to collagen in the skin,” Gabriel says.
Beans are a high-protein food that often contain the amino acids necessary for collagen synthesis. Plus, many of them are rich in copper, another nutrient necessary for collagen production.
10 Best Foods to Eat for a Collagen Boost
The foods you eat can help your body make more collagen. Here’s what the science says about top collagen-rich foods to include in your diet.
Is it just us, or are you seeing collagen everywhere, too? In our Instagram feeds, at the grocery store, and even in the checkout aisle of natural foods stores—most of which is in supplement form, of course.
Collagen is popular, alright: the industry is supposed to be worth $7.5 billion by 2027, according to market research company, Grand View Research. It’s sharp rise to fame is mostly for its anti-aging skin benefits. And the science supports this boom: in studies where participants consumed collagen supplements regularly, researchers have reported successful anti-aging benefits (reduced fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, etc.). Collagen has also been found to help with exercise recovery in college athletes, as well as joint stiffness in folks with osteoarthritis and in athletes.
Awesome and legit benefits aside, the reality is that regular collagen supplements aren’t for everyone. They can also be pricey. And, truthfully, some of us prefer to try a food first approach, first. Even if younger-looking skin or joint pain relief aren’t of interest to you, collagen should still be on your radar: we start to lose collagen in our mid-20s, and after the age of 40, our bodies lose about 1 percent of collagen each year.
10 Best Foods to Eat for a Collagen Boost
So, with that said, here are the 10 best collagen-rich foods to add to your eating pattern to boost your intake.
1. Beef Bone Broth
Bovine—aka cattle—is one of four top sources of collagen on the market. And if you’re looking for more collagen type I (the type of collagen that plays a big role in skin, hair, and nail health), then beef bone broth is a worthy go-to because it’s a great source of collagen type I. Make your own with our Beef Bone Broth recipe.
2. Skin-on Chicken
When middle-aged women (39 to 59 years) took oral collagen supplements made from chicken cartilage, they improved their fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and skin elasticity, according to a study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. So if you want a food first approach, go for skin-on chicken. Or, if it’s ground chicken that you like, ask your butcher if the ground chicken includes the skin and, if not, ask them to grind it for you from skin-on thighs or breasts. Try one of our healthy chicken thigh recipes for dinner.
3. Pork Bone Broth
Another common and rich source of collagen is porcine, or pig, byproducts. Interestingly, porcine collagen closely resembles human collagen, which is why it’s often used in healthcare settings for skin, wound, and tendon repair and reinforcement. We didn’t find any research to suggest that its human collagen likeness made it superior to other collagen for beauty or fitness purposes.
Not unlike other animal sources of collagen, fish collagen is concentrated in the bones, skin, and scales. So, if you’re going the whole food route for collagen, choose a fish where you’ll actually eat most or all of the fish, such as sardines. Also, if you cook your other fish—like salmon fillets, etc.—with the skin on and then eat the skin, you should get a little collagen boost from that, too. Try our healthy sardine recipes for inspiration.
5. Organ Meats
Collagen type I is naturally concentrated in organs. If animal organs, like liver, heart, brain and kidneys, aren’t a part of your diet, don’t worry: there are other ways to get collagen type I into your diet, as it’s also found in skin, bone, and ligaments.
6. Collagen-Infused Drinks
Yes, bone broth, but we covered that already. Think: collagen water, collagen lattes, collagen smoothies etc. Beverages with hydrolyzed collagen are easily digested and well-absorbed in the body, per research published in 2019 in the journal Molecules. But what is hydrolyzed collagen? It’s a supplement form of collagen—aka smaller collagen molecules, called peptides, that have been extracted from their original source (chicken, beef, fish, etc.). You can add your own collagen powder at home but many coffee and smoothie shops are carrying collagen-rich beverages.
7. Gummy Candy
OK so not the healthiest way to get collagen—because it comes with a decent dose of added sugars, so don’t make this your go-to collagen food—but a lot of gummy candy is made with gelatin, and gelatin is made from partially hydrolyzed collagen. Not all gelling agents come from animal sources, and what’s used to make vegetarian- and vegan-friendly gummies won’t contain collagen. Vegan gelatin is made from agar-agar or other plant-based sources.
Pick your favorite—blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. They’re all a great way to add vitamin C to your diet, a nutrient that helps your body build collagen. Vitamin C is also a vitamin that we have to eat because our body doesn’t make it naturally. A cup of strawberries has 150 percent of your daily target for vitamin C and a cup of raspberries or blackberries has 50 percent of your daily C goal. Sidenote: vitamin C has been found to have its own skin health benefits: research has found that those who have vitamin C-rich diets have better skin appearance, and fewer wrinkles.
Another tasty, easy way to add vitamin C to your diet is broccoli. A cup of cooked or raw broccoli delivers a full day’s dose of vitamin C, which plays an essential role in building collagen. And while vitamin C is needed to synthesize collagen, you don’t have to consume it at the same time as your collagen-rich food or collagen supplement. Including both in your diet over the course of the day is sufficient.
10. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe has been shown to encourage collagen synthesis, in animal studies and also in the lab (so-called “in vitro” studies). And aloe itself may have anti-aging benefits: in a small study of Japanese women, which was published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, those who were 40 years or older and took aloe vera supplements for 8 weeks saw the wrinkles on their face shrink and appear less pronounced. (Learn more about the health benefits of aloe.)
10 Foods High In Collagen + Interesting Facts You Need To Know
Collagen has been gaining some hype in the health and beauty industry. But, what is it really and is it truly essential? This post breaks down what makes it so special and the 10 best food sources of collagen.
If you’re into skincare, fitness, weight loss, or clean eating, you’ve probably come across bone broth products and collagen powders or creams. All these products have been deemed “must-haves” for anyone either looking to lose weight, improve their health, or complexion.
But what exactly is collagen and why is it gaining so much traction in the health and beauty community?
I’ll be sharing more about:
- The benefits of collagen
- How to produce more of it
- How to incorporate it in your diet
- Other FAQs and recipes to boost your collagen intake
This post aims to help you see why collagen is a great addition to your diet and the 10 best foods to help you consume more of it. I’m also sharing some of my fave recipes filled with this wonderful protein.
Why Is Collagen Important?
Collagen is one of the main proteins found in our body. In fact, it’s the most abundant protein among all of them. Our skin, bones, hair, digestive system, muscles, and tendons need collagen for strength, flexibility, and healing.
Apart from health benefits, collagen is also great for its anti-aging benefits. It’s known to reduce wrinkles and give your skin that plump and youthful glow.
Here are some other benefits of collagen:
- It may improve gut health
- It supports joint health
- It may help regulate hormones
- It supports heart health
- It may help support weight loss
- It helps speed up wound healing
- It can help boost muscle mass
With all of these benefits, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to look too far to add it to your clean diet.
How Do You Increase Collagen Naturally?
Since collagen is already naturally produced in our body, the best way to increase collagen production is through the food we eat.
The great thing about consuming more collagen-rich foods is that it won’t be much of a shift from a typical healthy diet.
Vitamin C and amino acids make up collagen and boost its production. Luckily, these are already found in basic ingredients you might already have in your pantry. Read on further for the list.
Which Fruits Have The Most Collagen?
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are known for being foods high in collagen-producing properties.
Although they don’t contain collagen itself, their antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc help your body produce more of this wonderful protein.
What Vegetable Is High In Collagen?
Vegetables don’t contain collagen. That’s because collagen only naturally occurs in connective tissues found in animals.
However, vegetables do contain vitamins and compounds that promote your body’s production of collagen.
For example, chlorophyll found in kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, and K. These help your body increase its collagen production and provide anti-aging benefits as well.
What Destroys Collagen?
Certain parts of our body start to grow weak the older we get (wrinkles and lower back pain, anyone?). Collagen is no exception, as production naturally decreases over time.
A poor diet can also be a cause for low collagen levels since you won’t be getting the vitamins your body needs to produce it. Prolonged unhealthy habits like smoking, lack of exercise, and too much exposure to sunlight can also reduce collagen production.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lack Of Collagen?
Collagen deficiency happens naturally as we age, and there are ways to spot a deficiency in it.
Here are a few symptoms you can be on the lookout for:
- Wrinkles and non-elastic skin: Around 70-80% of our skin is made up of collagen. However, as we age our production starts to slow down once we reach 25-26 years old. Wrinkles and lack of skin elasticity are indicators of reduced collagen.
- Joint pain and slow muscle recovery after exercise: Our tendons, muscles, joints, and bones rely on collagen for elasticity, structure, and repair. When collagen levels drop, it’s hard for our body to do these things on the daily. In fact, studies show that collagen intake improves joint pain related to activity and movement, like osteoarthritis.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Collagen is one of the things responsible for our organ structure, and is found to repair wounds and dysfunction in our intestines.
Do I Have To Take Collagen Supplements To Get Enough?
If you’re starting to feel symptoms of a collagen deficiency, then supplements could be a good solution. They’re a great way to up your intake and some great quality supplements even have medical benefits.
If you don’t decide to use collagen supplements, you can still reap its benefits is through a healthy diet. You can do this by consuming either collagen-boosting foods or foods that have the real deal.
What Foods Give You Collagen?
I’ve narrowed down this list of foods high in collagen and collagen-producing properties to add to your clean meal plan.
1. Fish and shellfish
They’re rich sources of collagen, as well as minerals and omega-3 fatty acids – all the good stuff you want on your plate. Let this be the push you need to add more fish into your diet!
Other than chicken meat, you might want to keep the chicken skin on for your next recipe. It’s full of glycine, an amino acid known to increase collagen production!
3. Egg whites
Speaking of amino acids, egg whites are also loaded with them. Even the eggshell membrane contains collagen! Just when I thought I couldn’t love eggs even more, they proves to be a collagen-boosting healthy kitchen staple.
4. Citrus fruits
Oranges, limes, and other citrus fruits are packed with high levels of vitamin C which helps your body naturally boost its collagen production. Get your daily boost with your favorite citrus fruit – maybe through this orange protein shake?
Garlic is great for naturally restoring collagen in your skin. A great excuse to enjoy more homemade garlic bread!
6. Bone broth
You can’t talk about collagen without bringing up bone broth. Apart from its health and weight loss benefits, it’s actually one of the best food sources of collagen.
7. Leafy greens
It’s no surprise that these veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost collagen production. If these aren’t already a part of your daily diet, these spinach and feta burgers are a good place to start!
Already oh-so-good on its own, the fact that pumpkin is also high in collagen-producing vitamins is a plus. For an easy pumpkin fix, check out this super easy pumpkin puree recipe.
These are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that help your collagen levels increase. And this fresh tomato basil bruschetta recipe? To die for.
Avocados have been on the nutritional spotlight lately, and rightfully so. Apart from the myriad of health benefits they carry, they’re also rich in omega-3 which is great for collagen production.