The world of dietary collagen is a confusing one, as there is lots of conflicting information online about the types of foods high in collagen. In fact, there are only actually a small number of foods high in collagen out there, with others only potentially boosting collagen production rather than being high in collagen themselves.
In our free guide, we break down the foods high in collagen, explain foods that can boost collagen production and share recipes with you so that you can ensure you're consuming collagen rich foods to form part of your healthy diet.
What is collagen?
So, before we break down what the collagen rich foods are, we first need to clarify what collagen actually is.
Collagen is the most abundant protein that your body produces, and your body's natural collagen production is critical for your skin health, hair, bones and muscles.
Why would collagen production help me?
Collagen production results in many key health benefits, including collagen for skin health. Therefore, when your body produces less collagen, this can result in a loss of skin elasticity, a decline in joint health, skin aging and more. That's why it's important to look at ways you can help support collagen production in your body by taking a look at your collagen intake.
What foods are highest in collagen? 5 foods high in collagen
1. Collagen rich foods: Bone broth
If you’re looking to incorporate collagen rich foods into your diet, bone broth is a great way to start. Bone broth is arguably one of the most well-known foods high in collagen and is something you could cook at home to ensure you get more collagen rich food in your diet.
Research has found that animal bones consist of collagen which produces gelatine and amino acids when cooked. Therefore, simmering animal bones and their connective tissues in a broth is one of the many good sources of collagen.
2. Collagen rich foods: Eggs
Unfortunately, egg whites and egg yolks don't actually contain collagen. Instead, it's the shell membrane of the egg which can help to boost collagen levels.
If you're unsure about what the shell membrane of an egg actually is, don't fret! The shell membrane of an egg is the layer between egg whites and eggshells. You've probably never thought about using this element of an egg in your cooking, but throwing it away is a huge missed opportunity for you to boost your collagen levels!
3. Collagen rich foods: Organ meats
Being honest, we have to admit that this option of getting foods high in collagen into your diet doesn't sound the most appealing. However, organ meats such as tripe (the stomach of a cow) and hearts, are collagen protein rich foods, which are great options when you're considering the different sources of collagen. For instance, it's been suggested that compared to typical meat, hearts consist of two times the amount of collagen, meaning they're high in amino acids, resulting in health benefits such as for your connective tissue.
4. Collagen rich foods: Meat on the bone
With this one, we're not talking about only eating the white meat, but the less eaten parts of meat, such as the connective tissues, skin, bones etc. One research study found that middle-aged women who consumed collagen supplements derived from chicken cartilage, reported improvements to their skin elasticity, fine lines and more.
So, if you're looking for sources of collagen that come from meat, then speak to your butcher to ask if they can give you the less well-used parts of the meat that contain collagen.
5. Collagen rich foods: Sardines
There's lots of information out there saying the benefits of marine collagen for your health. Sardines are a great way to get more fish collagen into your diet because they're small and so are easy to eat.
However, the highest collagen levels in fish comes from fish skin, heads and eyeballs, rather than the part of the fish that is typically eaten by humans. So, if you're looking for good sources of collagen, you may want to look at other foods high in collagen before tackling an entire fish!
What are the best sources of collagen rich foods?
So now you're clearer on which foods are high in collagen, let's look at how you can actually include these foods in your diet to boost collagen production.
Recipes high in collagen: Bone broth
We have to admit, bone broth can sound a little daunting and can seem a bit unusual to cook. However, whilst you can drink bone broth on its own, you could add it as a base to a soup, treat it like stock for casseroles or in dishes such as spaghetti bolognese.
Take a look at our chicken bone broth recipe or why not add bone broth as a replacement to the vegetable stock in our mushroom kasha buckwheat risotto recipe or instead of the beef stock in our whole wheat lasagne recipe?
Recipes high in collagen: Egg
You may be wondering how can you utilise the shell membrane of an egg to boost one of your food sources of collagen? One way is that when following a healthy shakshuka recipe, you could crack the eggs into the shakshuka and spoon out the shell membrane and mix it into the tomato base of the dish.
Alternatively, you could include the shell membrane when whisking eggs for a healthy veggie omelette. Either way, it's easier than you think, and with both of these ideas, you're utilising the whole egg whilst getting some all important collagen in your diet!
Recipes high in collagen: Meat skin
One of the easier ways you could consume meat skin to boost collagen in your diet, is by grinding it up and using it as an extra crunch to your dish. For instance, you could get pork skin and crumble it over a Mexican dish, such as a vegetarian burrito bowl sweet potato meal for an added crunch. However, make sure that the pork rinds you use are cooked in their own fat and not from other oils.
Which fruit has the most collagen?
Although many articles online claim that citrus fruits, other fruits and leafy greens contain collagen, they don't. Whilst fruit such as berries contain vitamin c which can help your body produce collagen, the berries themselves don't contain collagen. So, whilst these fruits containing vitamin c have other benefits to you such as keeping your skin healthy, don't be fooled by some sources claiming that they contain collagen, as they can only aid your body's ability to create collagen.
How can I increase my collagen naturally?
One of the best ways of trying to get more collagen into your diet is through eating foods high in collagen like we discussed earlier. However, this is not always possible due to the time and effort needed to create and eat foods to get more collagen into your diet. This is where alternatives such as collagen supplements can help.
Take collagen supplements to help with collagen production
Taking a collagen supplement is a great, easy way to increase your collagen intake as part of your diet. Research has found that taking a collagen supplement helped increase skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles in humans, so it's clear that taking collagen supplements can work. There are different types of collagen supplements on the market, so if you're wondering is marine collagen good for you, we've shared resources to help you better understand which is better bovine or marine collagen.
At Simone Thomas Wellness, we're passionate about helping people feel and look their best. Our award-winning SkinQuencher collagen supplement contains marine collagen and vitamin c to help support your hair, nails, immune system and skin health.
Our consumer survey revealed that after 90 days of taking SkinQuencher, our clients said they had plumper, more moisturised, healthy and refreshed skin. Therefore, our marine collagen for skin supplement is great if you're wanting to prioritise your skin's health. We're passionate about sharing the results of our supplements, with our SkinQuencher supplement helping Cecila get through the menopause and skin elasticity issues she was facing.
Find out more about our SkinQuencher collagen supplements
If you're interested to find out more about our marine collagen and vitamin c SkinQuencher supplement, watch our video below or contact us to speak to an expert.