In the last several years, collagen has become more and more popular. You can find it sold in supplements and skin care serums. And there is good reason for this. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a huge role in the structure of our skin, bones, muscles, connective tissues, and ligaments. This protein decreases as we age, so it’s important to promote collagen production within our bodies.
Promoting Collagen Production
While you can take collagen supplements or undergo some treatments to increase your collagen, collagen is naturally present in certain foods. Our bodies can also create collagen from the amino acids proline and glycine. In order to do this, the body also needs zinc, vitamin C, and copper, so you need to make sure you’re consuming these micronutrients as well as eating a protein-rich diet.
So, which foods are highest in collagen?
Bone broth is made by boiling the bones of animals like cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys. Boiling bones for an extended period softens the bones and collagen and glycine are released into the broth.
This broth can be used as stock in soups and stews. Or it can be consumed as a nutritious drink.
Meats such as pork, lamb, and beef
Animals use collagen in their bodies the same way we do. They need it for their skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons. That being said, meat is high in collagen.
These high-protein meats contain natural collagen, as well as the amino acids needed to produce collagen. Beef not only has collagen, but it also contains over 100% of the daily value of zinc, as well!
Eggs are not as full of collagen as these other foods, but egg whites are a great source of proline and glycine - those amino acids needed to create collagen. Add in some vitamin C, zinc, and copper, and you’ve got collagen!
There are other ways to promote collagen production other than diet. Lifting weights is one way to gain collagen! Lifting weights helps to build up collagen in the joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Limiting sun exposure can help, as well. The UV rays from the sun and tanning beds are damaging to collagen. Make sure to protect your skin from exposure to UV rays.
Lastly, believe it or not, getting quality sleep can help to promote collagen production. Stress is a collagen killer. The best way to combat stress is by improving the quality of sleep that you are receiving each night. The more you sleep, the less you stress. And the less you stress, the higher your collagen!