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Foods containing collagen

Foods containing collagen

Nutricionist Luisa Castillo

28/03/2023 Last modified: 06/11/2023

Collagen is a protein that is present in our body. In fact, it is the main component of bones, skin and joints. Over the years, the amount of collagen in our body decreases, which is why we lose elasticity in our skin, and muscle and joint pains start to appear. But with a good diet and healthy lifestyle habits, we can delay this ageing process and improve our quality of life. Do you want to know which foods contain collagen? How to increase collagen naturally? Keep reading this new Welthy Magazine article and we will explain it to you! In addition, we will also advise you on some of the best collagen supplements you can find in the market that can work for you.

Why is collagen important?

Collagen is an essential protein for the structural elements of our body. Bones, joints, skin, connective tissues, teeth… All these elements, for the most part, are made up of this protein. Collagen is created from combinations of amino acids, creating a fibrous protein that allows us to maintain the basic structures of our body. But as in many other functions of our body, over the years this synthesis is more difficult to do, causing a decrease in collagen in our body. If, as we have explained, collagen is vital for the health of bones, joints and ligaments, a lack of this protein will have a major impact on these areas. This is why, as we get older, wrinkles appear, muscle and joint pains appear and bones break more easily. Although it is not possible to defy time and the passing of the years, we can promote the production of collagen through healthy lifestyle habits and a correct diet. This will not stop time, but we can reduce the deterioration of our cells and improve our quality of life. In this way, we will not only improve our health, but we will also look and feel better. After all, the skin is the largest organ of our body and our first letter of introduction. A good diet that helps to create collagen will help to prevent its deterioration and make it look healthier and more vibrant.

Foods containing collagen

As you will see below, most collagen-rich foods are part of what any healthy diet should be. In this sense, it is not necessary to do great feats to get the right amount. In any case, it should be something to take into special consideration for older people, since with age we see a reduction in the amount of collagen, and it is necessary to prioritise this type of food. Finally, we would like to stress that we should not opt for just one of the foods on this list, but that they should all form part of our diet. That said, these are the foods that contain collagen:

Meats

We can only get collagen directly from foods of animal origin. Meat is the main source of this nutrient. This is especially relevant in those cuts or pieces that have connective tissue (whether tendons, ligaments, or cartilage). Beef, pork, chicken, or lamb provide us with proteins of high biological value, as well as a large amount of collagen. However, you should bear in mind that many of these meats are also high in fat, so they should not be consumed in excess.

Blue fish

If you notice, whenever we make a list of healthy foods or important nutrients, oily fish is always in the middle. The benefits of this type of fish are many and varied. Tuna, sardines, or salmon are not only a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but also of collagen, making them a great alternative for maintaining the health of our skin and bones.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits, in general, and oranges and lemons, in particular, are another of the foods that we should keep in mind to increase our collagen levels. Much of this is due to their high vitamin C content, an antioxidant that helps to synthesise collagen in our body, delay the action of free radicals and, in short, to keep collagen levels within acceptable limits.

Eggs

We are not discovering anything new if we say that eggs are one of the foods with the most complete and highest quality protein. But we cannot obtain it by eating it only. At this point we will make an exception, we will leave the kitchen and give cosmetic advice. Most of the collagen present in eggs is found in the membrane that separates the inner part of the shell from the contents of the egg. In fact, this part can be used to make peelings and masks that help regenerate the skin.

Red fruits

This is very similar to the case of citrus fruits. As they are a great source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, they can become a great ally in maintaining collagen levels in the body. They are also a great source of minerals, especially magnesium, an essential micronutrient for the formation of collagen in the body. Recommended berries include blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

Gelatine

Although when we think of gelatine we usually think of those colourful desserts from our childhood, gelatine is obtained naturally from the cartilage and bones of animals. But the traditional gelatine we eat in desserts, which is made from these products, is nothing more than pure collagen formation. There are many ways to include it in our diet, but perhaps the easiest is to do so through meat broths that include bones and cartilage (which we do not need to eat afterwards).

Aspargus

It may come as a surprise to many that we include asparagus in this list of collagen-boosting foods, and we will explain why. There are essentially 3 reasons: its high magnesium content, which as we have already explained is essential for synthesising collagen, its high vitamin C content, the importance of which we have also revealed, and the amount of arginine it contains, one of the essential amino acids for synthesising collagen.

Nuts

Another of the foods that we never fail to include in healthy lists are nuts and dried fruits, and of course, they are also present in this list of foods rich in collagen. Among the nuts and dried fruits we would like to highlight walnuts, which, as well as having a very high fatty acid content, provide us with almost all the amino acids needed for our body to create collagen.

How to boost collagen naturally

Over the years, our body gradually stops producing collagen. Among other things, this is one of the reasons why with age we experience muscle and joint pain, loss of vision, loss of teeth in the mouth, deterioration of the skin, and so on. Keeping collagen intake in mind in our diet can be a good way to avoid all these age-related problems as much as possible. But we cannot focus solely on the intake of collagen through foods rich in this nutrient, and we will explain why. As we explained in the previous section, there are certain parts of some animals that contain collagen (e.g. beef ligaments or pig’s feet), but eating these foods just for the collagen will also mean that we are ingesting a lot of saturated fats, which is not beneficial in the long run. On the other hand, when we eat products with collagen, our body does not assimilate it directly, i.e. the collagen does not go directly into our bones and tissues, but is first broken down and then put back together again. It is important to understand that collagen is created by the amino acids with which proteins are created, so the best option for maintaining adequate collagen levels is to follow a diet with quality proteins. And what is meant by quality proteins? Well, proteins whose composition includes all 22 amino acids, such as fish, poultry or eggs. This does not mean that vegetable protein is not good, in fact, it is, and very good. What happens is that they do not normally incorporate all the amino acids. This is the reason why it is usually recommended to take combined vegetable proteins (rice and lentils for example), as the amino acids that are not found in one are found in the other. In short, although in theory it would be enough to eat a lot of meat to have good levels of collagen, the reality is that in addition to collagen, we would also be consuming a dose of fats beyond what is recommended. This is not a balanced diet either. A healthy diet is a balanced diet, so the solution is to eat quality proteins in combination: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, soy… In short, a healthy menu like the ones we create at Welthy and which we talk about every week on the blog. In addition, if you want a supplementation, collagen supplements can also be a good way to include this element in your diet:

The Best Collagen For Your Skin

As we have explained throughout this article, collagen is the protein with the greatest presence in our body, and its main function is to maintain the structures of our tissues. That is why when the amount of collagen decreases, we notice it, especially in our skin, causing the appearance of wrinkles and marks. Precisely because of this, it is one of the most used ingredients in the world of cosmetics, especially in regenerative and rejuvenating cosmetics, as it has the ability to moisturise our skin, protect it from external agents such as the cold, the sun or pollution, as well as prevent flaccidity and help us to maintain a youthful complexion. But you have to be careful about what you buy, because no matter how much collagen is advertised, in many cases the amount of collagen in many of the creams on the market is really small. This is not the case with Smart Collagen XYZ, which has been tested on thousands of women and has been shown to be effective in just 12 weeks of use. This is because it has a double effect: on the one hand, it reduces the destruction of collagen and, on the other hand, it increases its production. All this makes the results noticeable.

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