Present in bone, joints, muscles, skin, and more, collagen is one of the essential building blocks of the human body. You need collagen to build strength and endurance, maintain healthy skin, and even protect your gut’s internal ecosystem. While the human body naturally produces collagen, a fibrous protein, production slows as you age. Also, you can damage your existing collagen reserves with poor habits, such as smoking.
Fortunately, replenishing your collagen levels and promoting natural collagen production is a straightforward task. You can add more collagen-rich foods and drinks to your diet or start taking collagen protein supplements in various forms.
Eat More Collagen-Rich Foods
Collagen naturally abounds in nature, making it easy to incorporate into your daily diet. All you need to do is be intentional about your eating habits and seek the following foods:
- Dairy products
- Bone broth
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy greens
You can also seek out the vitamins and minerals that aid your body in synthesizing collagen: zinc, vitamin C, and copper. Foods that contain these elements in high amounts include:
- Zinc– Oysters, crab, beef, pork, fortified cereals, yogurt, milk, baked beans, almonds, kidney beans, peas, chicken, chickpeas, oatmeal, Swiss cheese, cashews, and pumpkin seeds
- Vitamin C– Red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, spinach, cabbage, and other green vegetables
- Copper– Beef, liver, oysters, salmon, asparagus, sesame seeds, turkey, cashews, mushrooms, chickpeas, avocado, millet, figs, sunflower seeds, spinach, crab, tofu, potatoes, and chocolate
As previously mentioned, the human body’s capacity to create collagen decreases over time. To account for this, many people begin taking collagen pill or capsule supplements once they notice the effects of aging, such as loosening skin, brittle bones, and joint pain. You can easily find collagen supplements in this form online or at drug stores or grocery stores.
To supplement your collagen intake, you can also opt for collagen powder. While some people choose to consume the powder directly, it’s easy to dissolve the powder in your favorite drinks or add it to your meals.
How is collagen powder made? Manufacturers take hides and connective tissues from animals (typically cows), clean them, then soak them in boiling water, which releases the collagen peptides. Next, producers mill and evaporate the liquid from the mixture, creating a powder. The resulting product has no smell or taste, making it a perfect additive to food and beverages.
Not sure how to add collagen powder to your daily diet? Try out a few of these delicious recipes:
- Simple Soups– If the consistency of powder supplements doesn’t sound appetizing to you, start off your new collagen consumption habits with simple soup recipes. Because it dissolves, you’ll hardly notice the presence of the powder.
- Collagen Salad Dressing– Adding collagen powder to your favorite homemade dressing is a delicious, straightforward way to make sure you get your veggies and your protein. Collagen powder works best with oil-based dressings as opposed to creamier options.
- Collagen Cookies– If you love baking, you’ll be happy to hear that you can actually add collagen powder into your baking mixes. This means you can take virtually any baked recipe, and load it up with healthy collagen proteins!
- Collagen Smoothies– Adding collagen powder to your favorite smoothie won’t change the drink’s taste or consistency. Simply toss a scoop of collagen powder into your blender and combine your favorite smoothie ingredients.
- Collagen Coffee– In hot coffee, collagen powder quickly dissolves. No matter how you take your coffee, adding collagen powder to your morning brew will make it easy to hit your daily consumption goals.
Find Opportunities to Consume More Collagen
Changing your eating habits is never easy, but the versatility of collagen powder makes adding the protein to your daily diet much more doable. However you decide to increase your collagen intake, either through foods or supplements, you can rest assured that you’re fueling your body with healthy protein that promotes better skin, bones, joints, heart health, gut health, and more.