Taking collagen supplements certainly became more popular over the past couple of decades, although not everyone is able to take health supplements at the moment.
Collagen can also be found in food and not only in supplements and of course, a balanced diet should also contain efficient amounts of daily collagen. Collagen supplements can work even better if you support them with your diet so let’s see which are the best natural sources of collagen.
• Bone broth
This is the most famous and hardest-to-consume source of collagen! It’s the secret of Korean women and is often consumed as just a drink (and we can see that it is totally working). Bone broth is made by simmering bones in water for 3-6 hours or more to extract the collagen from the animal’s connective tissue. It is a natural source of gelatin that is full of collagen and also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chondroitin, glucosamine, and amino acids. To be sure about the quality of the bone broth and so of the collagen, it is suggested to use bones from a local farm.
• Egg whites
Eggs are a great source of good fats and proteins. One of them is proline, an amino acid essential for natural collagen production.
Although we don’t consume the parts that are the biggest collagen source, eating fish with the skin on can give you some collagen but also vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
It may seem weird but chicken feet are the part of the chicken you have to eat if you want to uptake a high collagen amount! Another part of collagen source is the neck but you can also turn chicken into a broth.
• Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and clementines are full of vitamin C, an essential vitamin for the production of collagen’s precursor.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and all that yummy berries offer a higher amount of vitamin C and are full of antioxidants so if you have access to such fruits, go for berries instead of citrus fruits!
Garlic might be not your best friend but it is high in sulfur, a mineral that helps synthesize and prevents collagen breakdown. However, it is not suggested to eat more garlic just for collagen uptake.
All kinds of beans are full of proteins and contain amino acids that are essential for collagen synthesis. Try adding to your diet beans for at least 1 time per week either as your main dish or as a salad.
• Leafy greens
Kale, spinach, lettuce, collard greens, and rainbow chard contain vitamin C and chlorophyll which is the source of green pigment that may increase the amount of the precursor of collagen.
Tomatoes and especially sun-dried, contain high amounts of vitamin C which is needed for collagen production. Actually, a medium-sized tomato contains 30% of the vitamin C needed for collagen production. Also, they contain an antioxidant named lycopene that prevents skin sun damage and collagen breakdown.
• Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers but also all the colored peppers contain vitamin C. Apart from that, they contain capsaicin that may reduce inflammation and help to fight the signs of age.
These nuts are full of copper and zinc, two nutrients that boost the natural ability of collagen production.
The natural sources of collagen are almost in every single food of a daily balanced diet. However, these amounts are usually not enough so having a balanced diet and consuming regularly high-quality collagen supplements is the best solution.