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Foods High in Collagen: Boost Production by Eating These

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<article> <section> <p>We all want to look and feel our best. We eat healthy foods, work out, and pay attention to sleep and self-care. But natural processes can sometimes derail even the best plans. After all, you can’t just choose to stop your body from aging.</p> <p>Or can you?</p> <p> While no one can stop time, there are ways you can use diet and exercise to counteract the effects of aging and stay firm, fit, and healthy. One of the best is paying attention to collagen. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What is Collagen and Why Do I Need it?</header> <p> <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/collagen-protein-the-missing-link-of-the-modern-di/" rel="noreferrer" title="nutrition blog">Collagen is an essential protein</a> that is the building block of our bodies. It makes up most of our connective tissue, so it’s critical for every part of us from skin to bones, including our hair, cartilage, tendons, muscles, joints, and blood vessels. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies!</p> <p>But we lose 1.5 percent of that crucial collagen every year, starting in our twenties. That means less supple skin, stiffer joints, achy muscles, dull hair that breaks easily—all the signs of aging<sup>1, 2 </sup>.</p> <p>Fortunately, collagen isn’t limited to just what our bodies can churn out naturally. We can boost collagen production through smart food choices! </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Is the Best Source of Collagen?</header> <p>Your own body can make all the collagen you need—but it can’t do it alone! It needs help from the food you eat. Like all proteins, collagen is made from <i>amino acids </i>, nutrients we obtain from high-protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, or dairy. When we eat a high-protein diet, our bodies have the tools they need to produce the collagen essential for healthy joints and smooth skin<sup>2, 3 </sup>.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, we need extra help. A variety of other foods can also increase collagen production. You can also support your body’s natural collagen production with supplements like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/go2protein/shop/" rel="noreferrer">Go2 Protein</a>, which is designed specifically to help your body make and utilize collagen better. Instead of just dumping collagen into your system, Go2 Protein adds <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/extraordinary-health-benefits-of-gotu-kola/" rel="noreferrer">gotu kola</a>, an herb proven to help lessen inflammation, improve collagen production, and reduce collagen loss.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/go2-protein-collagen-0159.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/lgo2-protein-collagen-0159.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/go2-protein-collagen-0159.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/go2-protein-collagen-LR-0159.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="go2-protein-collagen-0159"> </picture> <p>Combine that with a diet rich in collagen-supporting foods, and you’re well on your way to turning back the clock!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Do You Increase Collagen Naturally?</header> <p>It’s not hard to increase your collagen levels naturally. The foods you eat play a big part. Smart choices like high-protein foods, bone broths, fruits, and leafy greens will help boost your collagen production.</p> <p>While protein-rich foods like meat and eggs provide the amino acids necessary to build collagen, we also need a range of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and zinc<sup>4, 5</sup>. Both of these nutrients help regulate and promote the natural synthesis of collagen in your body.</p> <p>So, which foods should you be eating to improve your collagen production?</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>9 Foods That Naturally Enhance Collagen</header> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bone-broth-chicken-0024.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/bone-broth-chicken-0024.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bone-broth-chicken-0024.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bone-broth-chicken-LR-0024.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bone-broth-chicken-0024"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">1. Bone Broth and Gelatin</div> <p> Because they’re made from high-collagen animal products, bone broth and gelatin are two of the best sources of collagen around<sup>6</sup>. You can buy high-quality organic <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-science-behind-bone-broth-benefits/" rel="noreferrer">bone broth</a> in cartons or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/homemade-bone-broth/" rel="noreferrer">make your own</a> by simmering bones and scraps in water on the stove or in a slow cooker. Try saving chicken bones and veggie scraps in the freezer and then making bone broth on a weekend. Store in mason jars in the fridge or freeze in zip-top bags. You’ll have collagen-rich bone broth on hand whenever you need a boost!</p> <p> Although you can make gelatin, too, it’s easiest to buy. And yes, those boxes of instant dessert gelatin <i>do</i> contain collagen-building amino acids! However, you’re better off buying high-quality sheet gelatin and making your own skin-enhancing treats with fruit juice or dairy to avoid unhealthy additives and sugars.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lobster-on-ice-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/lobster-on-ice-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lobster-on-ice-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lobster-on-ice-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="lobster-on-ice-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">2. Shellfish</div> <p>Shellfish like oysters and mussels are extremely high in zinc, a trace mineral that’s critical for collagen production. Zinc also supports strong bones and a capable immune system. Beyond making it possible for your body to make collagen naturally, zinc may also slow the breakdown of the collagen you already have. So, load up on clams and oysters to have better skin and more flexible joints!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/blueberries-and-blackberries-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blueberries-and-blackberries-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/blueberries-and-blackberries-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/blueberries-and-blackberries-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="blueberries-and-blackberries-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">3. Citrus and Berries</div> <p>Although citrus fruits and berries don’t contain any collagen of their own, they’re loaded with vitamin C, an essential nutrient for making collagen in the body<sup>4</sup>. No matter how many amino acids you eat or how much protein you load up on, you simply can’t build collagen naturally without vitamin C!</p> <p>If you’re living a keto lifestyle, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/can-you-have-fruit-on-keto/" rel="noreferrer">fruit can be a tricky topic</a>. However, you can balance a low-carb diet with smart citrus choices, possibly saving your fruit for a cheat day. Within reason, load up on lemons, gorge on grapefruit, and enjoy an orange a day to keep your skin smooth and your hair strong. Vitamin C also helps reduce oxidative stress, supporting your body’s overall health while it improves your collagen production</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-on-vine-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/tomatoes-on-vine-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-on-vine-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tomatoes-on-vine-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tomatoes-on-vine-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">4. Tomatoes</div> <p>Speaking of vitamin C, did you know that a single tomato can provide up to 30 percent of your daily recommended dose? If you’re trying to boost collagen production, you can’t do much better than enjoying a tomato or two. Plus, tomatoes are high in the antioxidant <i>lycopene</i>, which can help prevent oxidative stress, improve skin texture, and reduce collagen loss<sup>7</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bell-peppers-close-up-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/bell-peppers-close-up-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bell-peppers-close-up-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/bell-peppers-close-up-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bell-peppers-close-up-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">5. Bell Peppers</div> <p>Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are a great food source of collagen-building nutrients. They’re high in vitamins A and C, both of which are essential to collagen production. Plus, the <i>capsaicin</i> in these little gems has anti-inflammatory properties, calming your skin and helping build healthy joints.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/onions-and-garlic-cast-iron-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/onions-and-garlic-cast-iron-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/onions-and-garlic-cast-iron-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/onions-and-garlic-cast-iron-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="onions-and-garlic-cast-iron-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">6. Garlic and Onions</div> <p>The pungent compound that gives <i>alliums</i> like garlic and onions their kick is <i>sulfur</i>. This trace mineral is a key component of collagen production, so the more of it you can get through food, the better! Sulfur has also been shown to reduce collagen breakdown, so it really packs a one-two punch for skin and joint health<sup>8</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/leafy-greens-in-garden-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/leafy-greens-in-garden-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/leafy-greens-in-garden-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/leafy-greens-in-garden-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="leafy-greens-in-garden-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">7. Leafy Greens</div> <p>Mom was right: you need to eat your greens! Leafy greens are high in the vitamins and minerals that allow your body to build collagen, like vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. Plus, they’re loaded with calcium for building strong bones and helping all that collagen improve your joint health. They’re also extremely high in <i>chlorophyll</i>, the substance that gives them that deep green color. Studies have shown that chlorophyll supports collagen production, especially in the skin<sup>9</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/walnuts-in-shells-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/walnuts-in-shells-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/walnuts-in-shells-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/walnuts-in-shells-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="walnuts-in-shells-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">8. Nuts and Seeds</div> <p>Beyond being a great source of healthy fat, nuts are loaded with collagen-enhancing nutrients. Cashews contain especially high levels of zinc and copper, which are crucial elements for collagen production. Almonds, meanwhile, contain lots of vitamin E, which helps vitamin C in the precursor phase to building collagen. Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc, so snacking on <i>pepitas</i> is another great choice.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/eggs-in-carton-on-table-0168.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/eggs-in-carton-on-table-0168.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/eggs-in-carton-on-table-0168.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/eggs-in-carton-on-table-LR-0168.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="eggs-in-carton-on-table-0168"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">9. Egg Whites</div> <p> Several amino acids combine to make collagen in the body. One essential amino acid is <i>proline</i>, which is found in large quantities in egg whites. Looking for a great collagen-boosting meal? Try an egg white omelette loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers, kale, and garlic, then sip some bone broth on the side. How can you beat a delicious meal that also firms your skin, reduces wrinkles, eases joint aches, makes your hair shiny, and improves your overall health? </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Can You Rebuild Collagen in Your Skin?</header> <p>Food also plays a big role in restoring the collagen you may have already lost. Eating foods rich in vitamin A can rebuild collagen in your hair, skin, and joints. Load up on carrots, red and orange bell peppers, dark leafy greens like kale or swiss chard, eggs, and dairy. Garlic helps here, too, as it’s loaded with <i>taurine</i> and <i>lipoic acid</i>, which repair damaged collagen.</p> <p>You may also notice improvement in your skin and joints if you eat more antioxidant-rich foods like kale, avocados, and broccoli.</p> <p>Drink plenty of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-green-tea-extract-effects-weight-loss/" rel="noreferrer">green tea</a>, too—its antioxidants play a powerful role in rebuilding collagen in your skin. Black tea and oolong also have these antioxidants, but green tea is a more potent source. You might even want to try a green tea facial!</p> <p>While you’re at it, avoid foods that are high in sugars and carbs. These can cause inflammation, damaging your existing collagen and interfering with collagen production and restoration. </p> <p>Although there’s no way to completely freeze time, adding collagen-supporting foods to your diet, getting plenty of exercise, and increasing your antioxidant intake will boost your natural collagen production. For a little extra help, add a bioavailable collagen supplement like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/go2protein/shop/" rel="noreferrer">Go2 Protein</a> to turbocharge your body’s natural production. In turn, more collagen will lead to healthier skin, bones, hair, nails, muscles, joints, and more.</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li> <a target="_blank" href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajpa.20598" rel="noreferrer">Collagen turnover in the adult femoral mid‐shaft</a></li> <li> <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949208" rel="noreferrer">Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/apnm-2016-0390" rel="noreferrer">Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C" rel="noreferrer">Vitamin C and Skin Health</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7466582" rel="noreferrer">Influence of zinc on synthesis and the accumulation of collagen in early granulation tissue</a></li> <li> <a target="_blank" href="https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/105/1/136/4569849" rel="noreferrer">Vitamin C–enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis </a></li> <li> <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/" rel="noreferrer">An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/87/2/228/4777697" rel="noreferrer">Changes in Collagen Metabolism Caused by Feeding Diets Low in Inorganic Sulfur</a></li> <li> <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4390761/" rel="noreferrer">The Role of Functional Foods in Cutaneous Anti-aging</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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