High Collagen Diet – What Foods to Eat to Boost Collagen
Collagen is a very popular skincare supplement, but following a high collagen diet can also be just what you need to improve your skin’s overall tone and texture and to grow long, healthy hair and nails. Strong collagen fibers are also needed in every part of the body for your health and even your physical strength. If you’ve never heard of following a high collagen diet, consider a few factors about collagen amino acids themselves and why they’re so important, and then how to get more of them in your diet as well as when it might be good to rely on a supplement.
1. Understanding the importance of collagen fibers in your body
When you hear about the benefits of collagen, you may immediately think of how it’s supposed to help your skin look more radiant, as well as help build strong and thick hair and healthier nails. In truth, collagen fibers are needed to keep together virtually everything in your body, including muscles, organs, tendons, and other tissue!
Think of collagen fibers as being like the framework or structural support of your body, connecting cells that make up your muscles, tendons, and organs. When collagen amino acids start to deteriorate or your body doesn’t produce collagen as it once did, your muscles and organs get weaker and begin to lose shape; this includes the organ of the skin, which can start to look sallow and droopy when it’s not fed enough collagen protein. Nails and hair also use these collagen fibers for strength and thickness, so they also benefit from supplements or a high collagen diet.
2. Foods that contain collagen
Collagen protein is a naturally occurring substance that is found in many foods, so if you increase these foods by following a high collagen diet, you may not need a supplement to ensure you get radiant, glowing skin! Consider a few favorite foods for collagen in your diet.
Soy is one of the best sources of collagen protein. Switch to soy milk or use tofu for a stir fry or in homemade soups and stews if you’re not sure how to get more soy. Dark green leafy veggies are very high in collagen protein, so this is yet another reason to have a big salad at least once per day! You might also add some spinach leaves to a sandwich or blend them into a smoothie to have more dark leafy greens.
Beans are also good collagen food sources; butter beans are a nice substitute for mashed potatoes at dinner, or you might have more lima beans or black beans as a side dish. Red fruits and vegetables also contain collagen protein, so opt for more apples, beets, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet potatoes to your everyday meal plan. Be sure to include the skin of these foods, as this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of collagen protein.
3. Include some vitamins and other simple foods in your high collagen diet
While you can get more collagen in your diet from the foods you eat, collagen fibers are also built with vitamins and minerals as well. Increasing these as part of your high collagen diet can mean healthier skin, hair, and nails, as well as stronger muscles and organs.
Vitamin C is a big source of the nutrition you need for your body to build strong collagen fibers, which is just another reason to have your morning glass of orange juice or take an orange with you to the office as a healthy snack. Vitamin A is another great collagen boosting nutrient. You can find this vitamin in carrots and especially in fresh eggs. Try to have carrots raw or as lightly cooked as possible so you get the most amount of this vitamin.
Eggs especially are so full of the vitamins you need to build collagen fibers in the skin that they’re often used as part of masks and facials! You can whip up an egg and apply it right to your skin, let it dry and sit for about ten minutes, and then rinse it off; you may see some immediate benefits with this simple face mask.
Avocado oil can also help your body build collagen fibers, and the oil helps to soften skin and create an even skin tone. Try avocado oil on a salad with a bit of vinegar for dressing, or use it for cooking where you would normally use vegetable oil. You might even try avocado oil for dipping your bread versus standard butter when on a high collagen diet. Flaxseed also has a lot of the collagen amino acids needed to build those strong fibers in your body. Add flaxseed to a smoothie or protein shake, or sprinkle it over a salad for added crunch.
4. When should you be taking collagen supplements?
If you add the foods we’ve discussed to your high collagen diet, you may see a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails. You might also consider other essential nutrients that will help give your skin a radiant glow, such as olive oil and of course lots of water and hydration. Regular exercise also gives you glowing skin, as this increases your body’s blood circulation; blood hydrates and feeds skin and also sweeps away dead cells and other impurities. In turn, your skin may look naturally healthy and radiant when you exercise regularly.
However, if you do follow a high collagen diet and still find that your skin looks a bit sallow and not so firm, it might be time to start taking collagen supplements. These supplements will help to build collagen fibers in your body so your skin stays firm and your hair and nails are less brittle, with less breakage.
As with all supplements, when taking collagen supplements, be sure to check the brand and note if it gets good reviews from customers. Note, also, the concentration or percentage of actual hydrolyzed collagen in each capsule, so you know you’re getting more collagen itself and not so much filler. Take the recommended does but no more, as too much collagen protein in your system will just be metabolized and then eliminated through your digestive system.