Collagen makes up more than 80% of our skin and plays major roles in bone and joint health and anti-aging. Decreased levels of collagen can accelerate aging.
You can prevent this by eating these foods that are high in actual absorbable collagen or take collagen supplements. These are the 3 ways in which collagen from food can contribute to anti-aging and the foods that contain the most collagen naturally.
3 Ways that Collagen from Food Contribute to Anti-Aging
We all know that collagen plays a major role in skin elasticity and firmness. These two qualities are needed to prevent wrinkles and sagging. We also know that collagen production in the skin decreases with age and this decrease further contributes to wrinkles, sagging and aged skin. To reverse or stop skin aging we must ensure that we take every measure to increase our collagen levels.
Oral intake of collagen can decrease wrinkles by up to 20%.
Oral intake of collagen can also increase skin elasticity by up to 30% in some patients.
Other possible skin benefits of consuming collagen for skin anti aging include improved smoothness, better moisture retention, increased suppleness and prevention of deep wrinkle formation
Collagen from foods can also reduce cellulite and stretch marks. When your skin loses its elasticity, it causes cellulite. Improving your skin’s elasticity through collagen helps reduce that dimpling effect caused by cellulite on your skin.
Bone and Joint Health
Collagen forms an integral part of our bone and joint structure. The decreased levels of collagen that comes with age results in poor bone health and joint problems especially as collagen acts like a lubricant facilitating easy movement of the joints. Most elderly people will complain about some form of joint or bone pain.
A 2012 study showed collagen supplementation to decrease joint pains by up to 20%.
Some studies have shown excellent results of collagen supplementation improving osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
We all know that things take much longer as we get older. Wound healing is one of those things that take forever as we age. Small bruises, bumps, scratches, or even tiny pimples take forever to heal over and renew.
Collagen plays such a major role in wound healing that most dressing companies have started to include collagen into the surgical dressings and plasters, to improve healing time and decrease scar formation.
One study showed that collagen increased the healing rate by a 100%.
Foods with the Highest Amounts of Collagen
There are many types of collagen found in our bodies. The most common types which make up 80% to 90% are collagen 1,2 and 3.
Collagen 1,2 and 3 are best suited for anti-aging can only be found in meat products. In particular skin, organ and bone meat provide the best sources of collagen.
Eggs are a convenient source of collagen that can be consumed at any time. Collagen type 1 is mostly found in egg whites and also in the egg shell membrane. Egg whites are also a good source of proline, a critical component of collagen and there are claims that applying egg whites onto wrinkled skin can promote collagen production and smooth out wrinkles.
Collagen can be found in most parts of the chicken, however chicken skin, cartilage and bones have the highest concentration of collagen. Chicken skin is literally all collagen. Collagen type 2 is mostly found in chicken.
Fish collagen is by far the best source of collagen for supplementation. Collagen type 1 proteins found in fish are in the peptide form that result in greater absorption. Fish collagen is absorbed about 150% more efficiently than other collagen.
Beef and Pork
Beef and Pork are great sources of collagen 1 and 3. It is found mostly in the skin, bones and organs of these animals. Beef collagen is known as bovine collagen and pork collagen is known as porcine collagen. They are both great sources of collagen, especially the bony parts like the shanks, ox tail, and pork trotters. Organic grass fed pork and beef also tend to have better concentrations of collagen.
Gelatin is a by-product of collagen. When collagen is broken down, you get gelatin. Consuming gelatin will provide the same benefits as consuming collagen.
Marine collagen is usually sourced from shell fish and jelly fish. The quality of this collagen is substandard compared to other sources.
Bone broth is a way to use of every part of an animal and was a staple food for thousands of years. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat are slow boiled over a number of days. This slow cooking causes the bones and ligaments to release nutrients like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the powerful health benefits.
Making bone broth yourself can be quite troublesome given the time it takes and the smell. Fortunately there are many pre-made and frozen bone broth products.
Natural sources of collagen are great but are subject to bio-availability problems. Only 27% of the collagen from natural sources are absorbed. This mean you have to eat a lot of these meat products to get a decent amount of collagen. Based on this it is recommended to supplement collagen.
Collagen supplements can be tricky. Mostly because they can come from so many different sources and there are so many different types of collagen. This leaves us with a wide range of supplements that have a wide range of efficacy.
Always ensure that your collagen supplements have sufficient quantities of collagen 1,2 and 3. The types with the most anti -aging effects. Check for the source of collagen, collagen sourced from organic or wild animals are of higher quality. Wild fish collagen is considered to be the best source. Make sure they are hydrolysed collagen proteins as hydrolysed collagen is well absorbed by our bodies.
Avoid collagen products with fillers like maltodextrin and sugar or any unnecessary ingredients. Also, beware of collagen products made in countries with poor manufacturing control.
Add these natural sources of collagen or supplements to your anti-aging regimen and see the effects for yourself. Please comment on bone broth recipes that are shorter in time and any tips to decrease the smell when cooking homemade bone broth.