What Is Collagen And What Foods To Eat

What Is Collagen
Needed In Collagen Supplements
When Collagen's Needed
Sources Of Collagen
Too Much Collagen
Helpful Products

What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is essential for the formation of connective tissues in the body. It is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in muscles, bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.

Why Collagen Is Important?
Collagen is essential because it is the main structural protein in the body. It supports cells and tissues and helps keep them strong and healthy. Collagen is also necessary for wound healing and plays a role in keeping skin looking youthful and elastic. In addition, collagen production declines with age, which can lead to several health problems.

What To Look For In A Collagen Supplement
Hydrolyzed collagen
- Vitamin C
- Hyaluronic Acid

Signs Your Body Needs More Collagen
-Achy joints
-Leaky gut
-Irritable bowel syndrome
-Wrinkles and fine lines
-Dry skin
-Hair thinning
-Blood pressure issues

Sources High In Collagen
- Bone Broth
- Gelatine
- Collagen Supplements
- Egg whites
- Poultry
- Fish and shellfish
-Vitamin C [berries, mangos, pineapple, guava, and citrus fruits]
- Garlic
- Onions
- Cabbage

Risks Of Taking Too Much Collagen
Collagen Supplements: There haven’t been any reported adverse side effects associated with collagen peptides.
Collagen Food Sources: Overconsuming foods rich in can lead to negative consequences and strain your kidney.

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Listen to the audio version of this post for an accessible and easy-to-understand overview of the importance of collagen in your diet.

Importance of collagen in your diet

Collagen is a vital protein in our bodies.[1] It's in our skin, bones, and other tissues.[2] Collagen makes up most of our body's protein, at least 30%.[3] Collagen is a term for skin and tissue proteins. There are 28 types of collagen,[4] with Type I, Type II, and Type III making up 80-90%.[5]

This blog post is all about collagen supplements. They can help your skin and bones. We'll also share tips to spot effective supplements for boosting collagen production over time!

woman putting cream on her face in a post about collagen

What is collagen?

Collagen, the key protein in your body's connective tissues, plays a crucial role. It's the most abundant protein in mammals, making up 25% to 35% of total body protein.[6] Collagen forms long, triple helix fibrils made of amino acids.[7]

You can find it in connective tissues like cartilage, bones, tendons, skin, and it contributes to 30% of your body's protein. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production,[8].

Why collagen is important?

As we grow older, our body makes less collagen, causing skin thinning and wrinkles.[9] So, it's important to add collagen-boosting foods or supplements to your diet. There are only four food sources of collagen: Bone Broth, Certain Organ Meats, Eggs, and Bony meats like oxtail rich in cartilage & joint material.[10]

Not all foods can increase collagen effectively, but some fruits and veggies like citrus fruits, leafy greens[broccoli, leafy greens, and cauliflower], and foods high in collagen can help. [11]A healthy diet can assist in boosting your own collagen production and supporting skin health, so we suggest reading The Lifestyle Guide To Being A Vegetarian.

Did you know: Lots of proof shows that as you get older, your cells have less NAD+. NAD+ is important for cell metabolism and helps enzymes that affect aging.[12]

Examples of collagen in a post about collagen

What to look for in a collagen supplement

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a collagen supplement. When choosing a supplement, always emphasize quality and brand integrity. Research on collagen supplements is fairly new, so it is essential to pick the right one for your needs. Consider consuming amino acids and foods high in collagen to promote collagen production and combat the natural collagen breakdown.

Getting all the collagen you need from your diet is not always possible, but oral collagen supplements can help boost collagen production and address issues like joint pain and skin elasticity.

Hydrolyzed collagen

For the best supplement, choose hydrolyzed collagen protein over gelatine.[13] Hydrolyzed proteins are broken into smaller pieces, making it easier for your body to digest and absorb them.[14]

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps make and use collagen, supporting collagen synthesis.[15] Collagen and vitamin C together are good for the body. Vitamin C makes the collagen supplement work better because it helps make and keep collagen.[16]

When deciding on a collagen supplement, selecting one backed by scientific research is essential to increase collagen levels. Look for a supplement made from grass-fed beef and poultry or from natural marine sources.[17] These animal proteins contain higher collagen and other nutrients for healthy connective tissue.

The supplement should also include other nutrients that support collagen production, such as silica and hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid in a post about collagen

Hyaluronic acid

One study says that hyaluronic acid can help make more collagen in your body.[18] Hyaluronic acid is a sugar[19] that's in your body, like in your skin, eyes, and joints.[20] The primary function of hyaluronic acid is to provide moisture to these areas. Sadly, it goes down as you get older.[21] Eating collagen-rich foods with lots of vitamin C can promote natural collagen production and support your skin's health.[22]

Make sure the supplement doesn't have fake stuff or extra things in it.

If you follow these rules, you can be sure you're getting the best from your collagen supplement, which is essential for healthy skin and overall well-being.

How to select the best sources of collagen available on the market:

Bone broth

Bone broth comes from boiling animal bones and connective tissue. People use this healthy broth in sauces, drinks for health, and as a base for soups.[23] Bone broth is a big source of collagen[24], which is good for your body. It has three types of protein (collagen I, II, and III)[25] and has minerals like potassium and magnesium.[26] Our bodies can make glutamic acid, but it's also in food like bone broth.

bone broth in a post about collagen

What is bone broth?

Bone Broth is a tasty, nutritious liquid made by cooking animal bones (like beef, chicken, turkey, or pork) in hot water for a long time. It also includes the collagen-filled tissues and marrow inside these bones, along with veggies like celery, carrots, and onions, which add flavor.[27]

If you don't want to make it yourself, we suggest trying Bone Broth Collagen Variety Pack. Sometimes, to make bone broth taste better, a bit of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is added.[28]


Gelatine comes from animal bones, cartilage, and skin.[29] They take out the collagen, a protein that connects muscles, bones, and skin, and make it into a jelly-like stuff called gelatine.[28] Gelatine has a lot of protein. Like, 100 grams of dry gelatine powder has over 85 grams of protein.[30]

overview of collagen types


When you buy collagen, make sure you know how they made it. If you can, pick the ones made with cold water methods. They keep more good stuff than the hot ways like pressure-cooking. It helps your body take in the amino acids better.

Also, check if the collagen has different types, not just one kind. The five most usual types are:

  • type l collagen, (sourced from red meat, fish, bone broth and gelatin)[31]
  • type ll collagen, (sourced from Chicken & Bone broth)[32]
  • type lll collagen, (sourced from Beef, Fish & Bone broth)[33]
  • type V collagen, (sourced from Eggshell membrane)[34]
  • type X collagen. (Sourced from Eggshell membrane & Chicken)[35]

These collagens are all over our body and are important for our physical structure. When you choose a collagen supplement, make sure it's from a trustworthy source. Collagen peptides are the best kind for eating. Hydrolyzed collagen means it's broken into tiny pieces that the body can use.[36]

Find a collagen supplement with Probiotics and Vitamin C. If you follow these tips, you'll get the best collagen supplement available. Some good brands are NeoCell, Vital Proteins, and Reserveage Nutrition.

Why does collagen help with joint pain, hair loss, and skin elasticity?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it’s responsible for elasticity and strength in our skin, hair, nails, joints, and blood vessels.[37] It forms a mesh-like structure that helps keep everything together.[38] As we age, collagen production naturally decreases,[39] which is why many of us start to see wrinkles and saggy skin. But by supplementing with collagen peptides, you can help offset some of these signs of aging.[40]

In addition to its anti-aging benefits, collagen has been shown to help treat conditions like joint pain, arthritis,[41] leaky gut syndrome,[42] and even hair loss.[43] This is because supplementing with collagen helps improve digestive health by strengthening the gut lining.[44] When the gut functions well, it can better absorb all the other essential nutrients from our food.[45]

Collagen supplements in a post about collagen

Collagen supplements

Collagen Supplements are a simple way to make sure you get enough collagen every day.

There are different types of collagen supplements you can find, like powders, pills, and liquids.[46] You can also get collagen from certain foods like bone broth and beef gelatine.[47] Bone broth is made from bones and connective tissue[48] and has lots of good stuff like magnesium, calcium, collagen, and more.[49]

If you want an easy way to get enough collagen, you can try collagen powder. It doesn't have any taste, and you can mix it into any drink.[50] If you don't like the taste of bone broth or gelatin desserts but still want collagen, you can use collagen peptides in smoothies, juices, oatmeal, yogurt, sauces, and baked goods. You can be creative and add it to your diet.

There are different types of collagen supplements like chicken collagen, fish collagen, eggshell membrane, and colostrum supplements. Some people with autoimmune conditions might find colostrum helpful.[51]

A person should have 2.5-10 grams of collagen for 8-12 weeks daily for a healthy life.[52] You can start with 5 grams and increase it to 10 grams if you're an adult. Even kids as young as 2 years old can benefit from collagen supplements. If you want to try a collagen supplement, give this one a shot.

collagen in a post about collagen

Why is it important to consume enough collagen?

Collagen is essential as we age and our bone density decreases. The benefits of collagen are also related to skin health, aging skin, muscle mass, connective tissue, and bone mineral density. Decreased collagen production is associated with old age, joint pain, and lean muscle mass.

Collagen peptides are also excellent. They're good for your hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints. They can help your digestive system and gut health,[53] especially when you take them with probiotics.[54] Collagen is also good for your heart, muscles, flexibility, and energy.[55]

Risks of taking too much collagen

Collagen peptides come from animal collagen. They're heated and made into smaller parts. They can be good for skin, joints, bones, and muscles. But, they can also cause problems:

  1. Constipation: Taking these can make some people constipated. This might happen if you eat too much protein without enough water and fiber.
  2. Less Hunger and Bloating: Some people feel less hungry or bloated after taking them. The bloating happens because your stomach is breaking down the collagen, which can cause gas.
  3. Diarrhea: This can happen if your body has trouble handling all the collagen protein.
  4. Kidney Stones: If you've had kidney stones before, be careful with collagen peptides. They have something called hydroxyproline that can make stones form.
  5. Higher Calcium Levels: These peptides can raise your calcium too much. This can cause nausea, tiredness, constipation, throwing up, and bone pain, especially from marine sources (like shellfish).
  6. Allergic Reactions: Check what the collagen is made from. If you're allergic to things like dairy or shellfish, be careful. Some collagens are from fish, shellfish, eggs, cows, or chickens.
  7. Unknown Ingredients: Some collagen supplements might have bad ingredients. They're not always checked by the FDA. Make sure you buy a good brand.
  8. Mood Changes: Taking lots of collagen can lower another amino acid, tryptophan. This might make you feel anxious or irritable. Talk to your doctor if you have mood issues.
  9. Drug Interactions: Collagen can mess with other medicines. Always check with your doctor first.
  10. Skin Problems: Some people get rashes or acne from collagen supplements. This might be from bad ingredients in them.[56]

How much collagen must you take?

The right amount of collagen to take depends on the kind of supplement and your own health. Here are some easy tips:

  • Hydrolyzed Collagen: This is a common type in supplements. It's easier for your body to use.
  • Undenatured Collagen: Some studies say taking 10-40 mg per day can be good.
  • Gelatin: This is another type of collagen, but it's not as common in supplements.

For reducing wrinkles, studies suggest taking 2.5-15 grams of collagen every day for 8-12 weeks to improve skin smoothness and reduce wrinkles.[57]

collagen foods in a post about collagen

Food sources high in collagen

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Egg whites
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits)
  • Berries
  • Red and yellow vegetables
  • Garlic
  • White tea
  • Leafy greens
  • Cashews
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Beans
  • Avocados
  • Soy
  • Herbs high in collagen (Chinese knotweed, horsetail, gynostemma)
  • Herbs that help to produce collagen (gotukola, bala, ashwagandha)
  • Beef
  • Chicken[58][59]

You should also get enough vitamin C, if you want to know more about Vitamins, read this blog on Vitamins: How They Work and Their Sources. It helps create pro-collagen, which is the beginning of collagen. Many fruits, such as berries, mangos, pineapples, guavas, and citrus fruits, are rich in vitamin C. Garlic, onions, and cabbage contain sulfur dioxide, which aids in collagen production and protection.

before and after of a woman applying collagen in a post about collagen

Signs your body needs more collagen

You may notice these signs and symptoms if your body lacks collagen. Some of the symptoms you may experience are:

  • Achy joints
  • Brittle nails
  • Wrinkles
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Sagging skin
  • Blood pressure
  • Cellulite
  • Decreased mobility[60][61][62]

How to combat and minimize signs of collagen-related aging:

As you reach the age of 40, you may notice physical changes such as wrinkles and muscle loss. However, you can begin consuming foods that are good for collagen and antioxidants, as well as taking collagen supplements, even before reaching this age. Stop with sugar and refined carbs.

  • Daily skin care
  • Using sunscreens
  • Reduce skin exposure to UV radiation
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Green tea
  • Retinol cream
  • Tretinoin creams
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Dermal Fillers
  • Injectable Skin Rejuvenation
  • Autologous Platelet-rich Plasma
  • Botulinum toxin (BTX)
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)[63]

You can obtain amino acids by eating protein-rich foods like meat, beans, soy, and dairy. Your body then converts these amino acids into collagen. During this process, it uses vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, zinc, and copper. When you think about ways to keep your skin, hair, nails, and joints healthy, collagen peptides are a simple choice. They provide the essential nutrients your body and skin need.

Consider using this anti-aging cream for reducing wrinkles.


You learned why collagen is important for your diet. Can you get enough from food? Yes, you can. Many foods can give your body protein and other good stuff. Like fish, meat, eggs, and more.

But sometimes, these foods aren't enough for your needs. In that case, you can take supplements. Like gelatin capsules or tablets. Just make sure they're good quality to stay safe.


What Foods Are High In Collagen?

There are a few different types of collagen, but some of the best sources of dietary collagen include beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, eggs, dairy products, and certain fruits and vegetables. Collagen is also available in supplement form.

What Is The Difference Between Collagen And Gelatin?

The difference between collagen and gelatin is that gelatin has been cooked and then dissolved in hot water, while collagen has not been cooked.


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