What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up one third of the body’s full protein content. It is found in muscles, joints, bones, skin, blood vessels, tendons and the digestive system. Collagen can be considered the glue that holds the body together, and has been long prized for its benefits in boosting the skin’s elasticity and strength, as well as replacing dead skin cells.
Why do we need collagen?
Our body’s natural production of collagen declines as we age, and if not supplemented appropriately through dietary choices, may lead to signs of ageing like wrinkles and loose skin. A subpar diet that is high in refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods may further contribute to the decline in collagen production. Therefore, a collagen-rich diet is a great way to slow down your rate of ageing to maintain glowing skin from the inside out. When trying to boost collagen levels, those on plant-based diets run into the challenge that collagen is richest in animal meat and bones. However, there are ways to naturally boost your collagen with plant-based sources, and we’re here to help!
6 Ways to Get More Collagen In Your Diet
Beans are a protein rich food that often contain the amino acids necessary for collagen synthesis by the body. Many bean types are also rich in copper, another nutrient necessary for collagen production. Our range of 16 different Beans & Pulses are super versatile for home-cooking to boost your collagen intake; from curries and dips, to salads and veggie patties.
Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of pro-collagen, the body’s precursor to collagen, therefore getting sufficient dietary vitamin C is critical. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are all brimming with vitamin C and including these in your diet will encourage synthesis of collagen.
Though citrus tends to get the highest praise for its vitamin C content, berries are another excellent source. Strawberries actually provide more vitamin C than oranges by weight, while raspberries, blueberries and blackberries offer a decent dose too. Our Dried Fruit range includes many variations of vitamin C-rich fruits in their dried state. Snack on them as they are or add to breakfast bowls and baking for a little extra sweetness.
Next time you reach for a handful of nuts to snack on, make it Cashews! These satiating, creamy nuts contain zinc and copper, both of which boost the body’s ability to create collagen.
Garlic may add more than just flavour to your savoury dishes, it could boost your collagen production too! Garlic is high in sulfur, which is a trace mineral that helps synthesise and prevent the breakdown of collagen in the body. It’s important to note, however, that how much you consume matters, and you probably need a lot of garlic to reap the associated collagen benefits. Not a fan of fresh garlic? Try including this tasty superstar in your diet via Garlic Powder or Garlic Salt.
Some studies have shown that consuming chlorophyll increases the precursor to collagen in the skin. Chlorophyll is what gives green vegetables and superfoods their green colour, and is super rich in energy-boosting antioxidants. Spirulina has a super high content of this green molecule. Add a teaspoon of this superfood into your morning juice or smoothie for an extra collagen boost.