Collagen, It’s the secret to plump, youthful, glowing skin, luscious locks, and healthy joints and bones.* But like all good things, collagen production decreases with age, so we find ourselves reaching for anything and everything possible to boost collagen in the body. The good news: There are actually foods that help to support and boost collagen production naturally. We’re talking foods that you can reach for day in and day out without thinking twice.
We tapped some top experts to get the scoop on foods that are sure to support your collagen production. Keep scrolling and add these to your grocery list, stat.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a family of proteins that are actually the most abundant proteins in the animal kingdom. In fact, there are at least 28 kinds of collagen that we know of that exist in vertebrates (yes, us included), but types I, II, and III are the most common in the human body.
Collagen’s role in the body is vital: It helps make up the structure of our skin, bone, cartilage, and muscle, with the purpose of helping tissues be more elastic and withstand stretching (So, for example, it keeps skin looking young and supple).*
We actually make our own supply of collagen, via our cells’ fibroblasts (assuming they have the amino acids and other required nutritional building blocks they need). In fact, it’s made by our body throughout our lifetime, but as we noted, it also decreases with age, and your natural levels can also be reduced by environmental factors and stressors, such as sun exposure and high-sugar diets.
This is why people look to things like topicals, supplements, and—yes—their diet to support natural production levels of collagen.