Collagen is the component behind that plump, youthful look we’re born with but lose little by little over time. The reason we see our lips start to thin, skin wrinkle and cheeks hollow with age is because as we get older our ability to naturally produce collagen decreases. To supplement what our bodies’ stop producing, we can eat foods that are rich in collagen. What are the best sources? Find out my six favorite collagen boosting foods bellow…
1. Citrus Fruits
Since vitamin C is what our bodies use to make collagen, getting an ample serving daily is key. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are great sources to help you meet the recommended dose of 75-90 milligrams a day. Incorporate these antioxidant packed fruits into your diet by bringing slices with you to work for a healthy snack, or pairing with almonds, chicken, spinach and strawberries for a refreshing summer salad.
Oysters may be known as a natural aphrodisiac but they should get just as much recognition for their high concentration of copper. An essential mineral, copper helps our bodies build collagen and elastin — and oysters have an insane amount! Eating just two of these delicious shellfish gets you to your recommended daily dose for healthy skin.
To keep our skin strong and healthy, we want to focus on eating foods that protect collagen as much as help build it. Turkey does just that by slowing down cross-linking, a part of aging that takes away collagen’s resilience and leaves it brittle. Prolong damage by swapping ground meat for turkey in chili, tacos and pasta dishes.
4. Red Roots and Fruits
That rich pigment found in peppers, beets and tomatoes signals to us that these foods are great sources of lycopene. A powerful antioxidant, lycopene produces a natural SPF in skin to help protect us from sun damage. Since collagen is compromised by UV exposure, eating red foods in addition to regularly wearing sunscreen can help ward off damage.
Ginger, cinnamon and saffron are a few spices high in manganese. This mineral is an imperative component to collagen production — so don’t season sparingly! Not sure how these spices fit in with your favorite foods? It’s easy to incorporate them into things you eat everyday. Ginger tastes great in smoothies or teas, the subtle sweetness of cinnamon is perfect sprinkled on oatmeal, and saffron adds a delicate taste to rice dishes like Spanish paella.
Consuming a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids makes your body the perfect place for collagen to flourish. Ensure you are getting enough by eating fish high in omega-3s, like salmon, a few times a week. If you like sushi, swap your spicy tuna roll with salmon (you probably won’t even notice a difference). Buying wild salmon in cans and using it as an alternative to tuna salad is another way to make salmon a staple in your diet.