Collagen is a protein that our skin needs to stay elastic, healthy, and young. It’s also essential for repair after injury or cell death. But there are some foods that naturally boost collagen formation in the body. Besides vitamins A, C, and E (which are good for your skin), plenty of fruits and vegetables contain collagen-boosting compounds like vitamin K and the mineral selenium. You can spike your intake of these nutrients by eating foods like kale (a wellspring of vitamin K) and bok choy (an ideal source of selenium).
As the name implies, bone broth is made from simmering bones in water for an extended period of time. When collagen-rich connective tissue dissolves into the liquid, the result is a rich source of building blocks that can help your body make more collagen.
The hard part is figuring out how to fit it into your diet. While you can certainly just sip on a cup in place of your afternoon coffee, it’s not particularly delicious or appetizing and you wouldn’t want to put too much effort into making it if you were only going to drink it as a soup.
The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to consume bone broth without having to choke down gallons every day. Use it as a base for soups, stews and other recipes, or just add some flavor by cooking down meat and vegetables in a pan instead of with water. In fact, many chefs will advise against cooking with water since these types of dishes tend to have very little moisture left when they’re done.
Spice up your diet with shellfish to give your body a boost of zinc and copper, both of which are important for collagen production. Lobster, oysters, crab, and shrimp are all low in fat and high in protein. They’re also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help protect against inflammation.
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more shellfish into your diet, try baking or broiling instead of frying. You can also save time by buying it pre-cooked from the seafood section at the supermarket. Just be careful not to overcook it!
Vinegar contains the acetic acid that stimulates collagen production. Acetic acid is also an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent, aiding in skin repair and immune system function.
Any vinegar will contain acetic acid and can be used for this purpose, but apple cider vinegar has been shown to have additional health benefits such as reduced blood pressure.
Berries are antioxidant powerhouses, and they’re great for boosting collagen production. They’re high in vitamin C, which helps the body produce natural collagen. Berries also contain antioxidants that can prevent the breakdown of collagen. They have a low calorie count and fiber content that makes them great for snacks or breakfast dishes. You can also blend or juice them to make smoothies.
Red and orange vegetables
Red and orange vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers and red onions are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that your body cannot produce on its own. It stimulates collagen production to keep your skin firm and wrinkle-free.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 75–90 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. One large sweet potato contains 37 percent of the daily value of vitamin C you need each day to stimulate collagen production, while one cup of chopped bell peppers provides 141 percent of the daily value you need from vitamin C.
You can add chopped red or yellow bell peppers to salads, casseroles and stir-fries to increase your intake of vitamin C. You can also incorporate sweet potatoes into soups, stews or side dishes by roasting them in the oven until they are tender.
Citrus fruits are an excellent way to boost your Vitamin C intake. Not only do they make a yummy snack, but they’re loaded with bioflavonoids and antioxidants that can help prevent the oxidation of fats in the skin, thus protecting your collagen from breaking down. If you want to get fancy about it, orange peels contain a compound called D-limonene which has been shown to improve skin smoothness after only seven days of use. Try adding grapefruits, lemons, limes or oranges to your breakfast routine; or if you’re more of a juice drinker, have some fresh squeezed juice with pulp for extra fiber!
Egg whites are an excellent source of collagen-boosting protein. In fact, egg white contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health including proline and glycine which are key components in building new collagen fibers. The yolks contain lutein—a carotenoid compound with antioxidant properties that helps protect the skin from sun damage—and biotin. Plus both the yolk and white contain vitamin C.
Poultry contains a substantial amount of protein, and poultry collagen is broken down by cooking. The amino acids within the protein can then be used for production of collagen in your body.
Collagen can also be derived from eating gelatin, which is simply cooked collagen. Therefore, chicken soup and other dishes made with a gelatin-rich broth are excellent sources of this vital nutrient.
Eating these foods helps make sure you have enough collagen in your body to produce healthy skin.
Eating these foods will help ensure you have enough collagen in your body to produce healthy skin. It’s important to eat a wide variety of these foods to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals; this is in addition to taking collagen supplements or drinking collagen peptide beverages, getting lots of sleep and drinking plenty of water.