Every teen to adult has heard of collagen and how it makes skin healthy and glowing. This protein is all over every skincare and supplements label. The truth is, collagen deserves all the buzz it’s getting. Collagen is a major component of the bone, skin, cartilage, muscles, and tendons. Not only is it beneficial for maintaining great skin health, but also a contributing protein for keeping healthy joints and muscles.
In this article, we’ll review why we need collagen and what collagen-fueled food you can incorporate into your diet for smoother skin and healthier hair.
Why Do We Need Collagen?
Collagen makes up the connective tissue which is a major component of our skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, and muscles. We produce less collagen as we age which can lead to weaker muscles, aging skin, brittle hair, and joint pain. This is exactly why consuming enough collagen-packed food is essential.
Aging cannot be prevented—BUT its effects of it can be minimized and delayed if you take early steps to combat it. If you want to prevent wrinkles and crepe-y skin; or if you’re worried about joint and muscle pain that comes as the years go, then read on.
13 Collagen Fueled Food for Healthy Skin & Hair
1. Bone Broth
One of the best sources of collagen (and the easiest to incorporate into your diet) is bone broth. Its collagen is derived from the bones of fish, meat, and beef. Drinking bone broth could provide extra collagen support which can help improve elasticity, hydration, and the appearance of the skin.
Bone broth is also rich in Vitamins A, B2, B12, E, K, calcium, omega-3 and 6, and other nutrients that both benefit your skin, joints, and bones. There are different pre-made bone broth options on the market, and you can easily make it at home if you prefer!
Roast beef and chicken for 30 minutes. Add the bones into a pot and top it with water. For extra flavor — add in salt, pepper, carrots, mushrooms, celery, onions, a bit of apple cider vinegar, and garlic (or any vegetables or spices you like in a soup). Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, strain the broth and refrigerate the soup. IT should look like a jelly after. Scoop out a cup each day, microwave, and drink it for healthier gut, skin, and joints.
Check out this TikTok from @twaydabae for her recipe:
Chicken is a good source of collagen too, especially its feet, skin, and breastbone. Chicken is extremely rich in type II collagen which helps support youthful-looking skin, bone function, and helps relieve arthritis. Boosts your collagen production by eating chicken thighs, legs, and other parts covered in its skin. Make sure to save those chicken bones so you can make collagen-rich chicken bone broth!
3. Fish and Shellfish
Fish contains type I collagen which is most abundant in humans and is said to be the best type of collagen for the skin. Experts have suggested that our type I collagen starts to decrease when we’re only 25! Here are some fish and shellfish that are high in collagen:
Egg whites are high in both glycine and proline — amino acids that are essential for collagen production. Eating eggs is great for the skin. It also helps with regeneration of cells that keep the skin vibrant and glowing. A perfect snack or breakfast, eggs are versatile and can be cooked boiled, fried, or poached. No matter how you cook them, make sure to get eggs in your diet for healthy, smooth skin!
5. Organ Meats
Animal organs might sound unappealing… But they’re highly nutritious and the benefits definitely outweigh the “yuck” factor. It is rich in minerals iron and zinc, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. They’re full of protein and collagen and provide a lot of health and skin benefits. According to some research, organ meat has 1-3 times more collagen than muscle meat. They include liver, kidney, tongue, heart, and brain from pork, beef, or chicken.
6. Collagen Powders
Supplementing with collagen powder is another good alternative to get collagen in your diet. Collagen powders are commonly made from the skin and bones of chickens, pigs, cattle, fish, or eggshells. There are different types of collagens and have different skin and health benefits for the body. Type I and Type III, for example, are best known for improving skin elasticity and overall skin health, while Type II collagen provides joint and muscle support.
Check out this collagen peptide powder from Havasu Nutrition! It contains Collagen Type I and III for fighting off wrinkles and early signs of aging. It also contains probiotics to improve digestion and keep your gut healthy. For skin and joint pain, we recommend using Vitauthority Multi Collagen Peptides which contains Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C , and Collagen Types I, II, III, V and X.
One surprising thing about berries is that they help encourage collagen synthesis. Berries contain Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from UV ray damage. Eating berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries can also contribute to protecting the skin from developing wrinkles and skin damage.
Broccoli contains vitamin C which boosts the natural production of collagen in our body. The antioxidant in this vegetable helps fight external aggressors that can damage the skin and prevent inflammation. You can eat your broccoli by boiling or steaming it. You may also fry it and add a few garlic cloves, lemon, and red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
Studies suggest that sterolins (fats in plants and vegetables) can help increase collagen in our skin. Avocado is also rich in omega-3 and vitamin E, both are beneficial in protecting the skin from free radicals and maintain its healthy state.
Beans such as chickpeas contain amino acids that help in collagen synthesis. String beans and kidney beans, on the other hand, also help keep the skin healthy by producing hyaluronic acid that is involved in reducing skin scarring and wrinkles.
11. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are a no-shocker when it comes to keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and help lysine and proline turn into collagen. They are fantastic in preserving and improving skin elasticity. Make a habit of eating oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
12. Bell Peppers
Another vitamin C-rich fruit that helps in the natural production of collagen in our body is bell peppers. Bell peppers add delicious flavor to your food—and they’re great for your skin!
13. Red and Green Veggies
Red and green veggies help boost collagen production. Some contain chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant that helps increase collagen in our bodies. Looking for skin approve vegetables? Check out our list below!
- Swiss chard
- Brussels Sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce
- Beet Greens
- Red Onions
- Red Cabbage
As we age, we’re most likely losing the collagen in our bodies that protect our joint and bone health, healthy skin, and more. Supplementing with collagen or eating collagen rich food can help restore your youthful glow and prevent your skin from aging prematurely. Eating foods such as bone broth, chicken, fish, berries, and green vegetables ensure that your body has the amount of collagen to keep your hair, skin, and joints healthy.