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10 Collagen-Rich Foods for Your Skin

Collagen is frequently referenced in the world of skincare, but did you know that it’s something that’s naturally present in our bodies? It’s the most abundant protein in the body, present in our skin, bone, muscles, and plays an important role in maintaining skin elasticity. 

Unfortunately, our body produces less and less collagen as we age, and though the aging process differs from person to person, it’s nonetheless in our best interest to start looking for collagen-rich products sooner rather than later.

Of course, there are a number of skincare products that claim to boost your body’s collagen production. But your first line of defense is actually available at your local grocery store. That’s right: there are many different types of food that are chock full of collagen, likely less expensive than a jar of collagen-boosting cream from your favourite brand.

Here are some of our favourite foods that aid in collagen production that you should be eating.

Chicken

Did you know that a number of collagen supplements are derived from chicken? That’s because chicken is actually full of collagen thanks to poultry’s copious amounts of connective tissue, making it a rich source of dietary collagen.

Bone Broth

Bone broth has taken the health world by storm. Made of bones and connective tissue, bone broth also contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, glucosamine, chondroitin, and many other nutrients

Fish

According to some studies, marine collagen is one of the most easily absorbed types of collagen out there. Fish and shellfish have bones and ligaments that are made of collagen, which means that it’s not the body, or “meat” of the fish that contains the most collagen, but parts like the head, scales, or eyeballs. We get that those may not be the parts that you’re most interested in, so you might be happy to know that fish skin is also a source of collagen peptides. Next time you cook a salmon filet, keep the skin on!

Oysters

We know oysters can be off-putting to some, but for those who love a fresh oyster: great news! Oysters are high in the mineral copper, which is another component that’s important to the production of collagen.

Eggs

Eggs are one of the most versatile foods, great scrambled, fried, or boiled. Egg yolks contain collagen, and egg whites carry the amino acids that your body needs to make collagen, making eggs a terrific addition to your diet.

Leafy Greens

You were always told to eat your greens. As it turns out, your parents were right all along. Dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are packed with vitamin C. In addition to that, the chlorophyll present in these greens may help increase the amount of pre-collagen, the precursor to collagen. 

Bell Peppers

Did you know that bell peppers are packed with vitamin C? Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis, making bell peppers will help your body manufacture collagen. But since red bell peppers are mature green bell peppers, they’ve actually got the most vitamin C. 

Tomatoes

Like bell peppers, tomatoes contain a lot of vitamin C. Also boasting a healthy amount of the antioxidant lypocene, which helps to protect skin from sun damage and collagen breakdown, tomatoes give your skin that one-two punch it needs to stay elastic and supple. Plus, who can say no to a perfectly ripe, juicy tomato?

Berries

You may know berries for their antioxidant properties—which help to protect the skin from UV ray damage—but they’re also packed with vitamin C. Berries not in season yet? Frozen berries are just as nutritious as the berries are frozen at their peak ripeness; some studies even suggest that frozen berries can help boost the fruit’s antioxidant properties. 

Legumes

Legumes, including lima beans, chickpeas, black beans, green peas, and peanuts, are chock full of minerals and proteins that aid in the production of collagen. Chickpeas, in particular, are great for collagen synthesis thanks to its vitamin C content.

With so many different types of food offering nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that aid in collagen production, it’s easy to eat in the best interest of the structure and suppleness of your skin. Since many over-the-counter collagen supplements are unregulated, it may be safer to stick to a collagen-boosting diet instead.