by Melissa Chichester
It makes up 70% of our skin’s composition and is the most abundant protein in the body. However, skin collagen can decrease at an annual rate of about 1% as we age.
Encouraging collagen production is important because it significantly increases skin elasticity and supports healthy skin aging.**
Besides playing a role in skin health, collagen is also important for joint support and is present in the connective tissues.** It is the structural protein in cartilage that forms the web-like matrix around bones and joints. Similar to your car’s shock absorbers, this cushion helps to absorb the everyday pressures put on your body’s structural system.** Plus, collagen is an amino acid-rich substance that can also be used for energy.**
With all that collagen can do, you might be looking for more ways to incorporate collagen into your diet. Here are six ways to add collagen to your daily routine and diet.
Certain foods encourage collagen production or contain collagen. Bone broth contains collagen from animal bones and tendons. Egg yolks and eggshell membranes also contain collagen. In addition, gelatin is believed to support joint health by supplying amino acids such as glycine and proline, which are major components of collagen.**
Surprisingly, citrus fruits are useful in stimulating collagen production. An enzyme from Vitamin C links amino acids together that help form collagen.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate collagen into your diet is by using collagen powder. Add collagen powder to your favorite beverage (especially hot beverages) such as coffee or tea. Stir it with a spoon until it dissolves or use a whisk. You can also pop it into a blender with your favorite smoothie. Most collagen powders are tasteless, but flavored collagen powders are also available.
Most of us go straight for that cup of joe first thing in the morning. If you use creamer, consider using a creamer that contains collagen!
Collagen powder is easy to hide in baked goods and recipes. Since most collagen powder is tasteless, it will not alter the taste of your recipe.
Collagen powder also won’t affect the texture of your food. That means adding a scoop to your favorite recipe will not change the outcome!
It is especially easy to add to sauces, soups, and stews since it easily dissolves into the liquid. The next time you’re making your favorite dish, add a scoop of collagen powder and blend it in! You can even hide collagen powder in eggs, stir fry, and overnight oats.
Tearing open a packet of tuna? Peeling the lid back on a cup of yogurt? Popping a frozen meal into the microwave? Don’t forget to mix in a scoop of collagen powder!
The easiest way to incorporate collagen into your diet is with a collagen supplement. Here are some of our top picks.
With a little bit of planning in very little time, you can add this healthful nutrient to your nutritional routine!
Be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements.