Unfortunately, as we age the amount of collagen our bodies produce annually decreases by nearly 1.5%. To restore the collagen deficiency, we should eat foods which are rich in collagen. Meat, egg, bone broth and cartilage are the main sources of collagen.
Additionally, there are some foods including fruits and vegetables that don’t have collagen but can stimulate the body to produce more collagen. For example, Vitamin C, mostly found in vegetables, is vital for hyaluronic acid synthesis playing an important role in increasing collagen production in our body.
Although consuming supplemental collagen is a great way to provide your body with the collagen it needs, nutritionists recommend us to have a diet high in collagen before starting to take collagen supplements.
In this article, we are going to get familiar with collagen-rich foods. Keep reading!
The following topics will be covered in this post:
- Having collagen or stimulating collagen production
- Which foods contain collagen
- Which foods don’t have collagen
First and foremost, remember that most supplement companies won’t tell us the fact that we first had better get nutritious materials our body needs from natural foods and taking supplemental collagen should follow it. As a result, we need to put eating collagen-rich foods on priority. However, most people prefer the comfort of taking collagen supplements since, well, they’re extremely easy to use. Having a cup of coffee in the morning? Add a simple scoop of hydrolyzed collagen peptides and you’re good to go!
Having collagen or stimulating collagen production
First of all, we need to distinguish between foods containing collagen and that help the body produce collagen. For one thing, fruits and vegetables which are rich in different vitamins do not contain collagen. However, these foods are the best options to boost collagen production in the body.
Furthermore, you may have read somewhere that for example vegetables are collagen rich foods! In fact, what these statements mean is that vegetables, thanks to having lots of vitamin C, can help your body make more collagen naturally and digest it well.
Consequently, on one hand, we have foods like meat, egg and bone broth that are high in collagen and on the other hand, we have foods like pepper, onion and some fruits that don’t have collagen but make our body produce more collagen. For a healthy, collagen-rich diet, we need both of these types of food. Simple, isn’t it?
Which foods contain collagen
As mentioned above, we should give priority to eating foods rich in collagen before taking collagen supplements. So we first need to know the foods which contain collagen. Collagen can be found in the following foods:
- Bone broth
- Meat on bone
- Certain organ meats
It takes around 3 weeks for an egg to turn into a living creature! It means that an egg which contains a yellow yolk and white substance is capable of creating heart, skin, eyes and so forth during a 21-day period. Isn’t that amazing? That is why many scientists believe that eggs are not only the healthiest but the most complete food that we can eat.
Does yolk contain collagen?
Although yolk is high in iron and different vitamins, there is no science-backed evidence that it is rich in collagen too. However, a few studies indicate that a little collagen is found in the yolk but more studies are needed. As a result, you ought to not look at this popular part of the egg as a source of collagen.
Does egg white contain collagen?
Just like yolk, even though egg white is healthy and nutritious, we should say it is not high in collagen. So if you are looking for a specific part of the chicken egg you eat every day which is rich in collagen, egg white is not that part!
Which part of the egg is high in collagen?
You may be confused. Where the hell is the collagen then?! The layer between eggshell and egg white which is called shell membrane is rich in collagen. This is where supplements in the market get collagen from!
Nearly all of us discard this valuable and collagen-rich part of egg when making breakfast because we don’t have enough information on how collagen-rich it is. Moreover, we do not know how to harvest eggshell membranes!
Nonetheless, good news is that small traces may be leftover from the membrane through the traditional cracking and cooking of eggs but it is only up to 20 percent.
Therefore, If you want to provide the collagen your body needs with egg, the only part of the egg that is rich in collagen is shell membrane, so you need to either harvest your own membrane or look for supplements containing collagen from eggshell membrane, which is a lot easier for us everyday folks.
Our bones are made up of collagen, phosphorus, calcium and many other nutrients. This means that when animal bones are boiled gradually for hours, these nutrients are extracted and the final liquid is extremely nutritious and full of collagen.
Nutritionists recommend us to drink 230 ml to 470 ml of bone broth daily. Given that it may be a bit expensive and has a strange taste, many people prefer to take supplements instead.
Meat on the bone
Does meat have collagen? The answer is yes but the amount of collagen you can get from meat is by far less than other sources. First let’s see which meat contains collagen.
All chicken legs, lamb shanks, fish and pork ribs are rich in collagen. If you cook chicken or fish with the skin and bones, what you eat would be high in collagen. So do not cut off these most nutritious parts of the animal.
The precise answer to the above question is that meat contains a little collagen itself. For example, collagen makes up only 3 percent of muscle meat. As a result, if you are looking for a food high in collagen, you should eat off bone and eat the skin and tendons which are attached to the meat.
Certain organ meats
The meat of some organs such as heart, tripe and kidney is loaded with collagen. Unfortunately, during the past years, many people across the world have gradually removed these valuable foods from their diets and instead prefer to eat ready meals!
Not only are these organs made of collagen but also they have the highest amount of fat which is good for us. Moreover, organ meats have at least 2 times as much collagen as the muscle meat. For example, a cow’s heart is highly rich in collagen that should not be forgotten.
Which foods don’t have collagen?
Generally speaking, collagen is made of a unique amino acid only available in animal bones and tissues. Therefore, collagen can just come from animal sources and other food sources such as vegetables, grains and fruits do not contain collagen.
Vegetarians eat free-meat foods not containing collagen. Instead, they eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. Without this critical vitamin, collagen production in our body is disrupted. On the other hand, human’s body can’t produce vitamin C on its own and must obtain it from other sources. Consequently, vegans help their bodies make collagen itself by eating vitamin C rich foods like oranges, red peppers, kale, and broccoli.
However, scientists are able to modify some fruits and vegetables like soy genetically to have the same structure as animal collagen. Finally, it is up to customers if they want to consume genetically modified foods or natural animal collagen.
Overall, do not forget that plants have no collagen and what you may see here and there about vegan collagen may not be correct. Nevertheless, fruit, veggies and grains have vitamins and minerals that can stimulate the body to produce more collagen.
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in our body and as we get older, we need to take more collagen because our body produces less.
Meat, egg, bone broth and cartilage are the main sources of collagen. Plants do not contain collagen but help our bodies absorb collagen or make more collagen naturally on its own.
In eggs, the layer between eggshell and egg white called shell membrane is high in collagen. Other parts like yolk and egg white have little collagen.
Bone broth is a collagen-rich food which is made by gradual boiling of bone for a few hours.
The amount of collagen you can get from meat is not much (around 3 percent is estimated). Only if you cook meat with the skin and bones attached, what you eat is high in collagen. So do not cut off these most nutritious parts of the animal.
The organs such as heart and kidney are the food sources that are loaded with collagen. They contain at least 2 times as much collagen as the muscle meat.