Where to Find Collagen in Your Diet
Collagen is an essential protein, and we don’t typically get enough of it in our everyday diet. Here are our top collagen-rich foods that can help. Learn more.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
One of the most abundant proteins in the body, collagen, is vital for skin structure and elasticity. It is also in our muscles, bones, and blood. In this article, we will discuss the top food sources for collagen.
Collagen comes from the Greek word “kólla,” which means glue. It is a protein that helps keep the joints and cartilage healthy. Asa person ages, the body begins to produce less collagen. As a result, consuming foods rich in collagen daily is key. The following foods are excellent sources of collagen:
Chicken contains high amounts of collagen. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, two compounds that can help rebuild cartilage. A study on BioCell Collagen, a hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, found that its consumption reduces aging signs in the face and can affect aging-associated physiological processes. 
Beef bone broth contains Type I collagen, which promotes skin health. Chicken broth contains higher amounts of type II collagen, which supports the joints. Both have an extra benefit: unlike other foods containing collagen, each type of bone broth has a form of collagen your body can use immediately upon consumption. For more information on bone broth benefits (and recipes) from Dr. Pompa, clickHERE.
Fatty fish such as wild salmon and sardines are rich in collagen. They also contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to boost collagen production. Collagen synthesis is increased when consuming omega 3’s, with studies indicating it could improve systemic inflammatory conditions and may represent “a possible noninvasive treatment to improve ligament healing” . The collagen in fish is primarily concentrated in the skin, with other top sources being the head, scales, and eyeballs.
Chicken eggs contain the amino acid proline and trace quantities of sulfur, which is a mineral. Each plays a vital role in collagen production. In addition to consuming collagen, collagen can also be in beauty products. When applied to the skin as a water-soluble cream, the egg membrane protects free radical damage and reduces wrinkle depth on female test subjects. 
Spirulina is a nutrient-dense food high in proteins and the amino acids proline, hydroxyproline, glycine, and hydroxylysine. All play a vital role in collagen production: skin creams with Spirulina platensis extract showed promise for its cell viability, wound healing activity, and genotoxicity in both cosmetical and biomedical applications. 
Collagen synthesis is the process of creating collagen in the body. Many foods that don’t contain collagen can help the body produce it. The following foods assist in collagen synthesis:
Both leafy greens and green plant foods contain chlorophyll, the pigment that produces the dark green color. Chlorophyll helps the body create procollagen, the precursor to collagen. Top leafy greens and vegetables include the following:
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
Even though citrus fruits do not contain collagen, their high vitamin C content increases collagen synthesis. Popular citrus fruits include the following:
Without vitamin C, the body is unable to produce collagen.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich sources of healthy fats and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, zinc, and B-vitamins. Each of these stimulates the production of collagen. The following nuts and seeds are among the most beneficial for collagen production:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
Collagen is a protein that plays an essential role in the health of the joints, tendons, and skin. It helps the skin maintain its elasticity and a healthy, youthful appearance. Many of the foods listed above are rich in collagen, while others are key for collagen synthesis. As a person ages, collagen production begins to decrease, but eating various healthy foods can help the body continue producing this protein. For optimum results, consuming organic foods free of pesticides and GMOs is strongly suggested. Also, there are many collagen supplements available:
Systemic Formulas: #616 – Collagen MB provides collagen peptides rich in branched-chain amino acids and fatty acids. Each stimulates the production of collagen.
Vital Proteins Collagen Protein – Beef Gelatin is a pasture-raised gelatin powder that is 100% pure. This product contains amino acids that are identical to the protein found in the cartilage, joints, nails, hair, bones, and skin.
To see more collagen products that are natural and free of harmful additives or artificial ingredients, visit revelationhealth.com and see the complete list HERE.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Dr. Daniel Pompa. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Pompa and his associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Dr. Pompa encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.