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6 collagen-rich foods for healthy joints, skin and hair

Collagen-rich foods in your diet can slow down signs of ageing and increase your hair growth. Know their benefits and side effects.
Best collagen rich foods
Eat collagen rich foods to add the important protein to your diet naturally! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Published: 5 Dec 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Collagen is a protein that has becoming increasingly popular in the health and fitness industry. While collagen supplements are a hit in the beauty market, there are many health benefits of collagen-rich foods in your diet. From improving your muscle and joint health to rejuvenating your skin and hair – there’s a lot they can do.

What are collagen-rich foods?

Collagen is a crucial protein that serves as a building block in our bodies, providing structure to our skin, hair, nails, bones and connective tissues, explains clinical dietitian and nutritionist Eti Jain. Essentially, it acts as a glue that holds everything together. It is found in our skin, bones, tendons and ligaments, contributing to their strength and elasticity. As for collagen-rich foods, they are those that support the body’s collagen production, helping maintain the integrity of our connective tissues.

Collagen foods
Collagen must be a part of your diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the best food sources of collagen?

There are various methods to approach the collagen diet. On the recommendation of your physician, you can take collagen supplement or consume foods high in collagen for your skin and hair. Eating foods that are high in collagen will also encourage your body to produce more of it. Collagen is naturally present in various animal and plant products. Some of the best sources of collagen include:

1. Bone broth

Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, as it is derived from simmering animal bones and connective tissues, the expert tells Health Shots.

2. Fish

Eat fish,  especially those with edible bones and skin. So, salmon, mackerel and sardines are good options.

3. Chicken

Many people like to eat different parts of chicken. It is good for collagen, particularly its skin and cartilage.

4. Eggs

The egg whites are not only good for weight loss, but they are also important for collagen. They contain proline, an amino acid important for collagen production.

Fish pieces
Fish is a source of collagen. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Berries

Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants that support collagen synthesis.

6. Citrus fruits

Go for citrus fruits such as orange and lemon, as these are high in vitamin C, which is a vital nutrient for collagen formation.

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What happens to our body if we consume less collagen?

A deficiency in collagen can lead to several health issues. Collagen is integral for maintaining skin elasticity, joint health, and the strength of bones and connective tissues. So, insufficient collagen intake can lead to decreased skin elasticity, joint pain and weaker connective tissues, says Jain. It may contribute to wrinkles and sagging skin.

What are the health benefits of collagen-rich food?

Collagen-rich foods offer many health benefits, including:

1. Skin health

Collagen enhances skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles and promoting a
youthful appearance.

2. Joint support

Collagen supports joint health by maintaining the integrity of cartilage
and reducing inflammation.

3. Bone strength

Collagen is a key component of bone structure, contributing to bone
strength and density.

4. Gut health

Collagen can help to soothe and heal the digestive tract, supporting a healthy gut, says Jain.

What are the side effects of collagen-rich food?

While collagen-rich foods generally have no significant side effects, excessive intake of supplements may cause digestive discomfort. In your diet, it is crucial to maintain diversity by including various collagen sources. If you are opting for supplements, follow recommended dosages and consult a healthcare professional before starting collagen supplements. Individuals with allergies or specific dietary restrictions should carefully choose collagen sources aligned with their needs.

Collagen-rich foods are safe and effective, but you must still take
care of your diet and health to get the most out of them.

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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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