7 Natural Sources for Collagen Production
Collagen is an important dietary component. As the most abundant protein in the human body , it provides structure to everything from out hair to our skin, bones, ligaments, nails, tendons and more. If your hair has a shine to it and your skin has an intangible glow, your collagen levels are likely high.
But nothing good ever truly lasts forever, and by the time we turn 40 we have lost 10% to 20% of our collagen . This protein is also under constant attack from some naturally occurring enzymes within our bodies. Even environmental factors such as pollution or the sun play a role in its gradual depletion.
Thankfully, there are a number of foods that we can turn to in order to help replenish some of what we’ve lost. While many supplements exist, their nutrients are not as easily absorbed by the body as natural sources.
Here are our seven favorite natural sources for collagen production.
Gelatin is one of the most plentiful sources available because gelatin is a cooked form of collagen , primarily made from the boiled connective tissue of cows and pigs. It is one of the fastest routes to collagen replenishment, as it is easily digested and absorbed by the body.
While it might be tempting to grab a cart-full of supermarket Jello, that’s not going to get you the best results. Supermarket gelatin is incredibly processed, so any actual health benefits you could reap from it have been stripped away. It’s important to check out what kind of gelatin you’re buying , so that you can make an informed and healthy choice.
2. Bone Broth
Bone broth is exactly what it sounds like. Broth made from the bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints of animals. By boiling down bones and connective tissue, you’re releasing pure collagen , along with a number of other beneficial amino acids, electrolytes, and proteins.
Beef bone broth works wonders for skin health, while broth made from the bones of chickens and turkeys helps the joints.
3. Dark Green Vegetables
All green plants produce a pigment called chlorophyll. This both makes them green and assists in photosynthesis . While chlorophyll help plants to convert sunlight into energy, consuming it can also help the human body produce procollagen , a precursor to collagen.
Dark green veggies are rich in vitamin C, which stabilizes the enzymes that contribute to collagen break down . Spinach and kale are excellent examples of this.
Citrus is a wonderful source of vitamin C, which will help the amino acids lysine and proline convert to collagen within the body. Vitamin C also helps neutralize free radicals , one of collagen’s greatest enemies.
This valuable natural vitamin also acts as an antioxidant to protect against toxins we regularly take in from food, water, and the air. It is especially helpful with skin cell regeneration, so stock up on some oranges!
The yolk and eggshell membranes of chicken eggs contain collagen . Egg whites are also rich in glycine and proline , two amino acids that are the main components of collagen.
Eggs also have a high concentration of sulfur, which is required for collagen production . Sulfur helps to eliminate environmental pollutants and toxins which break down the protein. From membranes containing collagen to amino acids that produce it, to protection against toxins, eggs are a collagen production super food.
6. Sulfur Foods
We spoke a bit in the last section about the importance of sulfur in the production of collagen. This trace mineral is present in a great many foods, such as beef, poultry, and dairy . All of these are excellent sources of the necessary sulfur.
But vegetable sulfur sources contain organosulfur, which is not present in animal food products. Onions, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and garlic are all great choices. Garlic even provides lipoic acid and taurine which can rebuild damaged collagen fibers .
7. Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, beets, and peppers help protect the body’s collagen supply by acting as a natural sun block . This occurs thanks to an antioxidant called lycopene, which exists in all red fruits and vegetables. Lycopene helps to protect skin against the harmful effects of the sun which can lead to the destruction of collagen.
Lycopene is also believed to aid in collagen synthesis, though concrete evidence of this has yet to be discovered . Tomatoes also contain vitamin C which, as stated earlier, helps to produce collagen and protect against the toxins that destroy it.
By keeping some of the foods listed here in your daily diet, you’re helping to win the fight against collagen depletion. You’ll be shocked at how great your skin and hair will look and feel when collagen production is made a priority in your life.