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publishDate

August 17, 2021

author

Anisha Rao, MPH
How Can Food Help Me Boost My Collagen?
Author

Fact Checked By Anisha Rao, MPH
 August 17, 2021

Boost My Collagen

As we reviewed in the last article, we produce less collagen as we age.

Collagen stems from the Greek word "kólla," which means "glue." It's strong fibers act like glue for many parts of our body.

Collagen protects the strength and function of our organs. And as the body's glue, this vital protein connects cells and tissues all over our body.

What Are the Types of Collagen?

Some scientists claim that there are 16 types, while others debate that there are 28 types.

Let's discuss the benefits of the five most common types of collagen.

• Type I provides the structure for our hair, skin, nails, eyes, bones, organs, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. 80% of our skin's collagen is Type I.

• Type II comprises loosely packed fibers to cushion our joints, line our gut, and structure our cartilage.

• Type III supports our skin, ligaments, blood vessels, muscles, organs, and arteries.

• Type IV supports our eye health and forms the structural support for many of our tissues. Type IV is crucial for neonatal development, particularly the placenta.

• Type V forms our cell surfaces, hair, placenta, blood vessel wall, joint capsule lining, tendons, lungs, bones, cartilage, and skeletal muscles.

Collagen strengthens our muscles and helps us recover. Our body's glue coordinates our cells, prevents the death of cells, and forms new bones.

Collagen is a must; from our brain and eyes, liver and lung, cartilage and blood vessels, to our hair and skin.

Each type of collagen allows our body to function and thrive, so I am all about eating healthy meals.

How Does Food Boost Your Collagen?

Eating collagen-rich foods can help us boost our collagen and create the necessary building blocks for our body's glue.

Bone Broth

Bone broths are usually created using the bones of cows, chickens, and fish.

Each broth has different ingredients and quality, which determine the nutritional value and benefits.

Bone broth is highly nutritious, protects joints, reduces inflammation, supports immune functioning, heals the gut, and helps us sleep better (1).

Most bone broths contain crucial amino acids, such as glycine, glutamine, gelatine, and proline.

When buying bone broth from the store, head to the freezer aisle. Freezing the bone broth helps preserve the nutrient value.

Read the ingredients and research the brand.

If you see any questionable ingredients, like broth listed twice, contact the company to ask why.

A company you can trust should be able to explain the reasoning.

Your bone broth should gel if it is rich in collagen.

Order the bones from a reputable local butcher if you wish to make your bone broth at home.

Simmer the bones in water and add vinegar. Then add spices for more benefits and flavor.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are abundant in glycine and proline.

These amino acids help us produce collagen. The yolks are also rich in vitamin D and healthy fats to maintain healthy skin, hair, bones, and muscles.

Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

A single large, boiled egg offers us vitamin A, Folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, and zinc.

Pasteurized, omega-3 enriched eggs are even healthier.

Most of us usually do not get enough choline, a nutrient to help us build cell membranes.

Whole eggs contain more than 100mg of choline.

Adult women should consume at least 425mg of choline daily.

Breastfeeding women and adult men should consume at least 550mg of choline daily.

Eggs also equip us with beneficial cholesterol. The nutrients in eggs are vital for eye and heart health.

Do not overeat eggs, as eggs are a source of saturated fat.

Too much saturated fat can lead to harmful cholesterol levels and increase our risk for cardiovascular disease.

Eating more than three eggs is uncharted territory, scientifically speaking.

Citrus Fruits

Fresh citrus fruits are delicious and rich in vitamin C to support your collagen production.

From key lime, lemons, to oranges, fresh citrus should be a staple of our diet.

  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
  • Rich in fiber.
  • Improve digestive health and weight.
  • Protect against cancer.
  • Boost heart health.
  • Protect brain health.

Count me in! I strive for three to four servings of fruits per day.

Discuss with your healthcare provider which fruits and how many may be best for you.

As with everything else, do not overeat your fruits — you may experience bloating, cramping, and stomach pain, among other concerns.

Berries

Do you enjoy your strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries?

They are rich in antioxidants, which are crucial to slow cell damage caused by free radicals.

Our cells produce free radicals to react to the environment.

If our body cannot efficiently process and remove our free radicals, we may experience oxidative stress.

We may then harm our cells and body functions.

Among several other health conditions, oxidative stress changes structures and functioning and significantly contributes to all (2):

  • Inflammatory conditions (arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematous, adult respiratory diseases syndrome).
  • Ischemic diseases (which occur when there is a lack of blood and oxygen).
  • Neurological disorders (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy).

Garlic

Garlic adds flavor and boosts our collagen production. Garlic also helps us prevent the breakdown of collagen. Garlic helps us:

  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Prevent and decrease inflammation, pain, and fatigue.
  • Support immune functioning.
  • Reduce blood clotting.

Garlic is safe in regular quantities. Too much garlic, especially raw garlic, may cause heartburn and an upset stomach.

Beans

Beans are rich in protein and contain many of the amino acids necessary to produce collagen.

Beans are also:

  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Beneficial for heart health.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
  • Improve gut health.

Some of the most popular bean varieties are lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, soybeans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and red beans.

Boil your beans for at least 10 minutes before you eat them. Some people may experience gas and intestinal discomfort after they eat beans.

We empower you to research using scholarly sources to learn more about nutritious foods that can help you.

Remember that these are guidelines.

Your healthcare provider or a nutritionist can help you create the most suitable diet for your health, body, collagen levels, and preferences.