Collagen accounts for 30% of your body’s protein. It plays an important role in forming structures of your cartilage, bones, glowing skin, and other connective tissues. Our body naturally produces collagen, but as we age, the rate of production declines. It leads to dry and wrinkly skin, sagging skin, and other signs of ageing.
Collagen loss is inevitable, but some other factors accelerate this process. Our unhealthy lifestyles, including smoking, alcohol consumption, consuming high-added sugar in processed foods, and exposure to direct s unlight, degrade collagen production.
Indeed, switching to a healthy lifestyle is the best solution, but natural collagen loss will still happen anyway. To tackle that, you can consume collagen-rich foods to observe noticeable benefits on your skin and tissue.
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Table of Contents
Popular collagen foods with their nutrition, benefits, and side effects.
1. Bone broth
Bone Broth is believed to provide immense collagen benefits to your body. It’s prepared by simmering animal bones in boiling water, and you can add spices for a better taste. This is by far the most popular technique by word of mouth to boost collagen production.
It contains amino acids, essential fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, collagen, phosphorous, glucosamine, and many other nutrients.
Bone broth includes a structural protein that has anti-ageing effects, improves the immune system, and promotes better digestion, joint health, and sleep.
Bone broth is mostly healthy, but it may promote constipation, bloating, gas, nausea, stomach pain, and increased bowel movements for some drinkers.
2. Egg whites
Eggs white are easily available and show effective collagen benefits. They contain a large amount of Proline, an effective amino acid in collagen production. Also, egg yolks are good for health and muscle building.
Egg whites include more protein but fewer calories. They are also rich in selenium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and folate.
Egg whites can help tighten your skin, may help you get rid of skin pores, and are effective in building strong muscles or maintaining a good muscle mass.
Sometimes egg whites may promote various allergies, rashes, swelling, watery eyes, and itchiness, especially in children. Rarely, it may lead to causing a severe reaction like anaphylactic shock (blood pressure drops, blocking breathing).
Your favourite white meat is also rich in collagen. If you have been eating it all these days, you unknowingly have been taking collagens. Various research supports this claim and suggests that chicken contains connective tissues that deliver the required benefits.
It is a fantastic poultry product that includes carbohydrates, fibre, calories, protein, sugar, niacin, phosphorous, and fats.
Chicken includes type II collagen that’s beneficial for your joints and helps to maintain healthy pH levels in your body. It also helps build muscles, increase protein levels, strengthen your bones, and is good for weight loss.
The biggest side effect of consuming chicken in huge quantities is that it promotes cholesterol, pathogens, and carcinogens. They increase the risk of heart stroke, urinary infection, cancers, and other foodborne illnesses.
All products we discussed until now were animal-based, but vegans also got few options. One of them is guava. However, it’s not as effective as meat or egg options but is responsible for boosting a small amount of zinc, one of the important factors in promoting collagen production.
Guava is considered a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s a tropical fruit with calcium, potassium, vitamins C and A, lycopene, carotene, and antioxidants.
Because of carotene and lycopene, guava is an effective anti-ageing agent. It also helps to repair damaged skin cells, lower blood sugar levels, boost immunity, promote anti-cancer effects, and help to maintain your heart health.
Guava doesn’t show any side effects on a healthy body but promotes constipation and indigestion for people suffering from irritated bowel syndrome. (common stomach intestinal disorder).
5. Green leaves
Green leaf vegetables already provide many benefits, and collagen is a cherry on top. These leaves consume chlorophyll which boosts a chemical compound that helps in collagen formation.
Green salads, spinach, fenugreek, broccoli, kale or any other green leaf vegetable will benefit you with collagen. Also, if green leaves are not your thing, try these recipes for a protein boost.
Green leafy vegetables include important vitamins A, K, E, C, folate, and beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.
Numerous green leaf benefits include reduced risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. They also play an important role in collagen synthesis, providing various skin-related benefits.
Overconsumption may cause temporary side effects, including bloating, gas, and constipation. There is no record of serious damage caused by green leaves.
Cashews are easily available in Indian homes. They are rich in zinc and copper, increasing your body’s ability to produce collagen. Regular consumption of raw cashews will help you notice the benefits.
However, switching to subsidiary options like cashew sweets is not beneficial because the presence of added sugar will do more harm than good.
Cashews are a rich source of magnesium, zinc, vitamins K and B6, copper, manganese, antioxidants, selenium, and phosphorous.
Antioxidants, zinc, copper, and selenium help your body boost collagen production, making your skin look young and fresh and improving its elasticity. Cashews also boost your brain, health, and immunity.
Eating unroasted cashews may cause blisters, irritation, and redness. They also may cause weight gain, constipation, joint swelling, and bloating.
Like other animals, fish also provide multiple collagen benefits. But it contains less collagen compared to other animals.
Fish contains more collagen in less desirable parts like the head, scales, and eyeballs, which people don’t eat. Still, it helps you with the noticeable benefits of marine collagen, which is among the easiest to be absorbed by your body.
American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week as a part of a healthy diet. It helps your body absorb potassium, zinc, calcium, vitamins D2 and B2, iodine, omega 3, phosphorus, and iron.
Fish mostly helps your skin and delays the ageing effect and wrinkles. It also helps you to deal with weakness, joint issues, and weakened eyesight.
Besides the healthy nutrients, fish may also contain mercury, pesticide residues, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These agents can affect or hinder the growth of the brain cells and the nervous system of a child or foetus.
Garlic is already an important part of Indian vegetables. It adds more flavour to your food, plus collagen benefits your health. The high sulfur in garlic synthesises your body and helps prevent collagen breakdowns. However, it works best when you consume a lot of garlic which is naturally impossible. That’s why it’s recommended to substitute it with other food items on this list.
Garlic is a super food rich in nutrients but low in calories. It includes vitamins B6 and C, manganese, selenium, and fibre.
Garlic prevents collagen breakdown in your body. It boosts your immune system, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevents cancerous infection and Alzheimer’s, and has numerous antibiotic properties.
Overconsumption of garlic promotes upset stomach, heartburn, bad breath, and body odour. Some people are allergic to garlic, which increases their risk of bleeding.
Natural supplements to boost collagen production
Healthy food must be your first choice to obtain collagen benefits, but you must build routine habits and consistency to derive results. It’s just not possible for everyone, and that’s why we have a thriving market of natural collagen supplements.
Here are some trusted products that you can incorporate into your life:
1. OZiva Plant-Based Collagen Builder
It is a pack of 250-gram natural collagen powder that may decrease the impact of pollution and age on your skin. It also revitalises your cells and provides you with radiant skin. The product is suitable for anyone above 16, has healthier nails and hair results, and helps build stronger joints and bones.
2. Himalayan Organics Collagen Builder Capsules
The pack includes 90 capsules to be consumed in three months. They are 100% organic and help you to get better skin, nails, bones, and hair. If you are looking for an easy option to maintain young and youthful skin, these capsules will suit you the best. You can consume one capsule daily without a doctor’s advice but discontinue if you notice side effects.
3. GoYNG TeraBerries collagen syrup
A great alternative for those who don’t like to eat capsules or powder. It’s promoted as a new product in India that is free of chemicals and sugars. It helps to boost collagen levels in your body, fights ageing, and helps in the overall growth of your brain and mind.
4. HealthKart HK Vitals DISOLVE Collagen Strips
If you often forget to take collagen supplements, then keep a pack of these strips in your pocket to consume anywhere, anytime, like candy. It’s easy, help you maintain vibrant skin, and repairs your skin cells. It’s suitable for both men and women.
5. Be Bodywise Collagen Skin Gummies
The pack include 60 collagen gummies that you can instantly consume anywhere. They will boost collagen levels in your body, repair your skin, and help delay ageing. They also include essential vitamins A, E, and C.
Collagen is an essential protein for human health as it directly impacts your skin and bones. But reduced collagen production is a natural phenomenon that happens because of ageing. It cannot be completely stopped by taking food and supplements.
However, we can surely reduce the impact.
Please thoroughly review the side effects before making permanent changes to your diet. Otherwise, you may be left with more damage than good. At last, if you are facing skin and hair issues, then focusing on the collagen part is a must for you.
What are your thoughts about maintaining collagen levels in your body? Tag us on social media with your collagen-rich food picture.
- Hida, A., Hasegawa, Y., Mekata, Y., Usuda, M., Masuda, Y., Kawano, H., & Kawano, Y. (2012). Effects of egg white protein supplementation on muscle strength and serum free amino acid concentrations. Nutrients, 4(10), 1504–1517. doi.org/10.3390/nu4101504
- Schwartz, S. R., & Park, J. (2012). Ingestion of BioCell Collagen(®), a novel hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract; enhanced blood microcirculation and reduced facial aging signs. Clinical interventions in aging, 7, 267–273. doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S32836