Why are people losing their minds over collagen? Why do we need it? How can we get it naturally? What foods help us build the collagen that everyone is talking about? Let me zoom into this a little more and give you a healthier perspective. Take a look!
Why Do You Need Collagen?
For starters, collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. It is what gives our skin its texture, strength, and firmness. As we age, our body’s natural ability to produce collagen reduces, leading to sagging skin, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Collagen is known to be beneficial in many ways. It not only makes you look younger, but also holds your tissues together, reduces the risk of degenerative disorders, and improves bone density and strength (1). Moreover, it promotes gut health and the health of your hair and nails.
Even if you eat lots of protein-based foods, it doesn’t cut it if you are not eating enough collagen-based foods or foods that boost its production. Let’s look at some foods that boost the production of collagen in your body and help you get healthier skin.
21 Best Collagen-Building Foods To Include In Your Diet
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth tops the chart when it comes to healthy foods that promote collagen production. It is one of the few foods that actually contain collagen. It is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that improve the collagen production in your body.
2. White Tea
In today’s world where everyone is going crazy over herbal teas and green tea, white tea stands out. When compared with 21 types of herbal teas, white tea outperformed them all. It acts as a great anti-aging agent by preventing harmful enzymes from breaking down the collagen and elastin in your skin (which play a big part in keeping your skin looking tight and youthful) (2).
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are excellent with regard to their nutritional value and the benefits you can reap by just eating a handful of them. They contain zinc that helps reduce fine lines and other minerals that reduce acne and inflammation. They have alkalizing properties. Pumpkin seeds protect your skin from free radicals that interfere with collagen production (3).
4. Soy Protein
Collagen helps maintain the flexibility and elasticity of your skin. The peptides present in soybean work like anti-fatigue and antioxidant agents that have the ability to increase type 1 collagen in your skin (4). Adding soy-based foods to your diet goes a long way in improving the health of your skin.
Avocado is amazing for your skin and rightfully called the miracle ingredient. It is great for topical application as well as consumption. It contains healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamins that are known for battling skin aging and boosting your skin’s health (5).
Carrots are rich in vitamin A that battles the protective tissue damage caused by natural aging and photoaging. It fights against matrix metalloproteinase (an enzyme that breaks down collagen), and stimulates collagen production (6). It’s best to add carrots to your daily diet instead of opting for topical applications.
7. Bell Peppers
Yes, bell peppers add color and flavor to your food, but they can do more than just that. They are loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene. Your body converts this beta-carotene into vitamin A , which is essential for collagen production (6).
Garlic contains lipoic acid and taurine that help your body rebuild damaged collagen. It also contains an abundant amount of sulfur, which is vital for collagen production. So, if you love garlic – keep at it!
9. Salmon – Lean Meat
Salmon is a blessing for a lot of reasons. It is an excellent source of protein without being high in fats. It contains zinc, which is the most vital ingredient for collagen production.
Berries of all kinds go a long way in protecting you from skin damage caused by pollution and environmental stressors. They contain ellagic acid that ensures the proper functioning of collagen, thereby keeping your skin healthy (7).
11. Green Peas
Green peas are quite unassuming in their appearance, and most people do not like them. However, they are an excellent source peptone that is known to induce collagen production.
Eggs are rich in vitamin A and sulfur that boost the production of collagen. Both the white and the yolk contain antioxidants that improve the health of your skin. This is why eggs are now a big part of health supplements as well.
Your mother, doctor, or grandparents must have told you to eat a handful of almonds every morning. They are loaded with minerals, copper, zinc, healthy fats, and vitamins B and E that are essential for getting healthy skin and hair.
14. Citrus Fruits – Lime And Lemon
Vitamin C is practically driving the cosmetic industry right now because of its amazing benefits for your skin. Topical application of citrus fruits-based serums, lotions, or natural remedies and the consumption of citrus fruits in their natural form protects your skin from the effects of photodamage, free radicals, and aging by boosting collagen production (8).
Quinoa contains an amino acid called arginine that improves blood circulation and boosts collagen production. It is also responsible for making your bones stronger.
16. Beef – Grass-fed Meat
Contrary to popular belief, beef contains good fats like omega-3 fatty acids that protect the membranes around your skin. It also gives your body an extra supply of the fatty acids that promote and boost collagen production.
If you love seafood, you’d be happy to know that they have a lot of other benefits besides tasting heavenly. They contain minerals like zinc and copper that stimulate collagen production.
18. Dark Leafy Greens
Your mother must have nagged you to eat your greens while you refused to listen to her. Turns out, you should have listened to her all along. Better late than never, right? Spinach, kale, chard, and other green leafy vegetables do wonders for your health, and it reflects on your skin. They are rich in an antioxidant called lutein that improves collagen productivity, while chlorophyll protects your skin from photodamage (9).
19. Chia Seeds
Chia seed bowls are all the rage on Instagram right now. These little black beauties are packed with protein and offer countless benefits. They are light on your tummy and contain highly soluble fiber that improves your gut health, acts as an antioxidant, and boosts the health of your hair and skin (3). Consequently, they make your skin look supple and healthy.
Chickpeas contain minerals that support the production of collagen, and vitamins that aid the healing of damaged skin.
If you have never heard of chlorella, let me enlighten you. It is an algae that is rich in antioxidants, chlorophyll, and minerals that flush heavy metals out of your system, reduce inflammation, and regulate the healthy functioning of your skin. It comes in the form of supplement tablets that you can take daily.