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What Foods Are High In Collagen?

Main image courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials.

Have you heard of collagen before but aren’t exactly sure what it is? Did you know it is actually something you can get from the foods you eat? Well, in case you weren’t already aware, you can definitely get collagen from either the food you eat or from supplements. But why would you want to consider adding this to your everyday routine?

Glad you asked, because not only are we going to go over the benefits of including collagen in your day, but we’re also going to discuss:

  • What collagen is
  • How you can get more in your diet
  • Other ways to look and feel your best

What Is Collagen And Why Is It Important?

collagen powder

Collagen is a great addition to any healthy lifestyle. Image courtesy of Envato Elements.

Collagen is found throughout your body, and it is considered to be the most abundant protein. You can find collagen almost everywhere, in your bones, tendons, skin, and organs. Our body is responsible for making collagen, however, as we age, collagen production slows down. Many people first notice the signs of aging as fine lines and wrinkles, and this is the result of the loss of collagen that comes with age. Collagen also has a noticeable effect on hair, nails, and even joints, which makes it a popular supplement option.

There are a variety of different types of collagen, however most collagen supplements are made of:

  • Type I. This is the most common type of collagen, and it is found throughout the body just below the skin surface. 
  • Type II. Another common type of collagen, type II has shown promise when it comes to helping with inflamed or sore joints. 
  • Type III. Type III collagen is included with supplements as it may help when it comes supporting your gut, blood vessels, and muscles.
  • Type V. Type V collagen is typically found in the eye area, specifically in the cornea.
  • Type X. And finally type X collagen may be helpful to include in your day if you find yourself dealing with joint pain or inflammation. 

Collagen can come both from our own body, and outside sources. Typically people who are interested in taking this will take a supplement in a powder or capsule form. The collagen in these supplements can be derived from bovine, poultry, egg, or marine sources. 

Depending on your goals, there are a variety of benefits to adding a collagen supplement to your healthy lifestyle. Taken daily, you can expect to see good results such as:

  • Stronger hair and nails
  • Smoother, firmer skin
  • Reduction in joint pain
  • Helps with gut health
  • Could give your immune system a boost
  • Good for heart health

In addition to supplements, there’s another way you can increase your collagen intake daily—you can include foods that are high in collagen!

What Are Some Of The Best Ways To Get More Collagen Into Your Daily Routine?

food with collagen in it

There are so many foods that can help you boost your collagen levels. Image courtesy of Quick and Dirty Tips.

Collagen supplements are a convenient way to get some of the best benefits of collagen. All you need to do is ensure you create a schedule and stick to it. For collagen to be effective, you’ll want to try and take it daily. It doesn’t really matter what time of day, either morning, noon, or evening you take it, as long as you’re consistent.

If you choose to get a powder, many people choose to add it to their favorite hot beverage like coffee or tea in the morning. They don’t have to worry about whether or not they took it when they do it first thing in the morning, and it dissolves very easily into hot coffee or tea and leaves no aftertaste. 

However, if you’d like it to leave an aftertaste, you can always choose to go with a brand that has flavored collagen peptides. Whether you like vanilla, chocolate, or even citrus or berry, there’s lots of flavored collagen powder out there.

Powdered collagen peptides are also commonly added to smoothies or shakes. Whether you want one in the morning, or post workout, it’s always a good time for a healthy smoothie. Just add all your favorite ingredients and scoop full of collagen and you’re set. 

Don’t want to deal with a powder? Not a problem. Collagen supplements are also available as easy to take capsules. Just make sure to check out the serving size on the bottle of the brand you choose.

However, you can also increase your collagen intake by eating foods that have a high concentration of it. Here are our favorite collagen-packed foods that you should consider adding to your list.

  • Lean proteins. Meats such as chicken, fish (especially salmon and sardines), and organ meats are great ways to get extra collagen in your diet. Consider where most of our collagen is located, underneath the skin, and think of that when eating chicken or fish—and keep the skin on! Organ meat is another under-utilized place for extra collagen. Like humans, the collagen of animals is naturally contained in organs such as the liver and kidneys.
  • Bone broth. When you’re looking for an easy way to add more collagen to your diet, you can’t go wrong with bone broth. Simmering down bones with ligaments and connective tissue could be a good way to get the benefits of collagen into your diet.
  • Eggs. Eggs and especially the whites of eggs, contain larger amounts of proline, which is the building block amino acid necessary to create collagen. There are so many easy ways to include extra eggs in your diet, and don’t forget they can make a great, protein-packed snack.
  • Fruits. Fruits such as citrus fruits and berries are another great way to get collagen in your diet. Vitamin C is one of the precursors to building collagen, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting a good amount of it. And because berries are also high in antioxidants, you can also up your dose of protection from free radicals. 
  • Greens. Leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, and kale should be mainstays in any healthy diet. But did you know the chlorophyll in these healthy items could also help create the building blocks of collagen? So not only do you get the antioxidant properties of green veggies, but now you know you’ll get a collagen boost too. 
  • Beans. Beans are very versatile, and in addition to having the amino acids that help build collagen, they are also packed with protein. 

It’s interesting to note that the foods on this list are also typically included in a well-balanced healthy diet. So by eating right, you’ll also be elevating your collagen levels as well. 

Make Sure You’re Operating On All Cylinders 

man working out

In addition to aiming for a healthy diet, getting exercise, sleep, and decreasing stress is also essential. Image courtesy of Men’s Health.

Adding collagen to your diet through those healthy foods listed above is a great idea to look and feel your best. It can take a few months to notice the effects of collagen, which is why it’s so important to stay on schedule when including these foods (or supplements) into your usual routine. 

In order to stay at your best, continue to keep a healthy diet as well as:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Stay on a good, restful sleep schedule
  • Make time for yourself
  • Try to limit or decrease stress

Increasing your daily collagen intake is easy when you choose the right foods. There are many food items that contain collagen itself or one of its precursors, so you should have no trouble finding your next favorite meal or snack!