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If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you are looking for the best way to increase collagen production, and foods with collagen are one of the best ways. But before we dive into all of the foods with collagen that will be beneficial to your health and wellness, we should really understand what collagen really is.
While most people hear the word “collagen” and consider it for its anti-aging and beauty benefits in many creams and serums, the truth is that collagen plays a far more important role in our well-being. Simply put, collagen is the most common protein in the body. It makes up the connective tissue of many parts of our being, from the skin to bone to muscle to blood vessels.
Whether you are looking to slow down the aging process or you just want to keep your skin looking healthy, collagen is a great way to do that, and much more. Collagen is necessary for many vital functions of the body, and for the health of our skin, hair, nails, and joints. However, as we age, our natural collagen production decreases. This can begin as early as your mid-20s when fine lines and wrinkles begin to surface, and in later years lead to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Age is not the only factor that can harm our body’s production of collagen. Toxins and environmental pollution, as well as sun exposure, can play a role. Personal choices like smoking or eating foods that are fried or high in refined sugar also slow collagen production.
With so many factors working against us, your best option is to supplement your diet with foods that will give your body the nutrients it needs to produce collagen. Read on to learn the best foods that will boost collagen naturally.
The Best Foods with Collagen
Increasing collagen production in your body begins by consuming foods that are loaded with the vitamins and minerals that make up the collagen in our bodies. In addition, we can choose to eat foods that contain nutrients to preserve the collagen already in our system.
This comprehensive list will give you all the best foods with collagen to restore your body and keep you feeling and looking your best.
I’ll kick off this list with my favorite vegetable, and one that is loaded with collagen-producing nutrients. Carrots are packed with vitamin A, which is essential for the healthy production of collagen. Vitamin A can also play a key role in restoring your body’s natural reserve of collagen. Also, carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, which can help lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, and aid in your weight loss goals.
You can eat carrots raw or cook them, mix them into great soups and stews, or even blend them with chickpeas to make my favorite kind of hummus. If you’re not the biggest carrot fan, try other orange foods like sweet potatoes, squash or cantaloupe, which are also all loaded with vitamin A.
2. Dark Green Vegetables
It’s hard to find a list of superfoods that boost your health and wellness that don’t contain a leafy green. This list of foods with collagen is no exception. Full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, dark green vegetables will aid in your body’s production of collagen.
All of the leafy green goodness in dark green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and green beans have another benefit. They contain chlorophyll, which you may remember from elementary school is what gives plants their beautiful green color. However, what you might not know is that chlorophyll also serves an essential role in the formative stages of collagen production.
Eat these veggies plain, steamed, sautéed, or in a salad, smoothie, or soup. The possibilities are endless, and so are the benefits of adding these foods with collagen to your diet today.
This potent-smelling food is not just a great addition to any Italian dish, it is also one of the best foods with collagen. Garlic, along with its culinary cousins shallots, leeks, chives and onions are loaded with sulfur, which is a trace mineral instrumental in collagen synthesis. The sulfur in garlic also helps to keep skin and joints healthy.
The lipoic acid and taurine in garlic help restore damaged collagen fibers, so hold onto your garlic breath and know you’re keeping one of the best foods with collagen.
Here is another superfood that frequently makes the list. Chickpeas are full of things that support collagen production. Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, thiamine, and protein, this legume deserves to be among the foods with collagen. The B vitamins contained in chickpeas also help to brighten skin and heal wounds. They are also great to help control your blood sugar levels and manage your weight.
Try a healthy dose of chickpeas in hummus, or even in a brownie recipe, and you’ll be on your way to more youthful skin in no time.
5. Red Vegetables
We already gave green vegetables a shout out, but red vegetables deserve mention as foods with collagen. Red veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers and beets are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene. This powerhouse antioxidant is like a natural sunscreen, protecting your skin from damage and increasing collagen levels that may otherwise be damaged by the sun.
These vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber. All of these work to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, reduce your risk of heart disease. Add some red vegetables to your favorite soups, sauces, and salads and enjoy all the benefits.
Fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids like tuna and salmon are key foods with collagen. Omega-3 fatty acids help support skin cells, and a healthy skin cell will be much more likely to produce collagen. These healthy fats also keep your skin moisturized, making you look younger.
Fish like salmon also contains the mineral zinc, which is a trace mineral that can activate proteins needed to synthesize collagen. Add some wild caught fish to your diet today, and you will enjoy a delicious meal while boosting your collagen.
Another of our foods with collagen, oysters are a rich source of zinc. As we read earlier, zinc is needed to make collagen and form bones. Zinc has the added benefits of helping wounds to heal and slowing the breakdown of your body’s existing collagen cells.
Oysters are not without other health benefits as well. They contain vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These delicacies can fortify your immune system, strengthen your bones and help to prevent cardiovascular disease. Enjoy oysters as a treat, and you will receive a wealth of health benefits and boost collagen levels.
Collagen plays so many essential roles in our health and well-being, it is crucial to increase and preserve it. By adding these foods with collagen to our diet, we will not only be able to boost the natural production of collagen in the body, but we will also protect against the damage to collagen cells. Collagen production begins to slow in the mid-twenties, so it is not too soon to start adding these collagen-rich foods to your diet today.
Try eating a balanced diet with plenty of these nutrient-rich foods and let us know in the comments if you notice the results!
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