Collagen has been a popular supplement as of late, with people taking it for a variety of reasons. So, what is collagen? It is the most abundant protein in your body. Collagen can be found in your bones, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, corneas, and teeth. This protein makes up the building blocks of many of these body tissues. As we age, the quality of the collagen that we make starts to decline. The easiest sign of weaker collagen is seen in the elasticity of your skin, meaning wrinkles develop.
How do you ensure that the collagen your body is making is high quality? It starts with your diet. Collagen starts out as procollagen, which is created from two molecules called proline and glycine. Foods rich in proline and glycine include egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, and pork and chicken skin. Vitamin C is required to help with the conversion of proline and glycine to procollagen. Foods high in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and strawberries. In addition to these foods, eating high quality protein daily ensures that your body is getting the amino acids it needs to build proteins as well. On the other hand, having a diet high in sugar and smoking can damage collagen.
One of my favorite ways to get collagen in my diet is through bone broth! This is taking beef or pork bones and slow cooking for 12-24 hours to break down the bones and release the minerals and proteins. This makes a broth that is delicious to drink, use in soups, or any kind of cooking. The broth should be thick and gelatinous, which means you got all the good stuff, like the collagen, in it!
Bone Broth Recipe: