The best food for collagen formation is collagen! Hydrolysed collagen comes from the skin and connective tissue of animals and fish, and is composed of low molecular weight small peptides, which means it is both highly digestible and easily absorbed and distributed in the human body. It is atypical compared to other proteins due to its abundance of the amino acid hydroxyproline.
After being absorbed in the small intestine collagen peptides are distributed around the body, especially to the skin, where they can stay for up to 14 days. When they reach the skin they have a two-fold benefit – they provide building blocks for the formation of collagen fibres, and they stimulate the production of new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
I love New Chapter’s Collagen Glow powder as it contains Types 1, 2 & 3 collagen that restores skin’s natural elasticity, tone and helps prevent premature aging. It also contains Sea Buckthorn, a rich source of Vitamin C (see below for the importance of Vitamin C in collagen formation). I have one serving every morning in my Breakfast Smoothie.
Bone broth can be a great alternative to collagen peptides as the collagen is released from the beef, chicken or fish bones during the cooking process providing a collagen-rich liquid that can be used for sipping or added to sauces. I love Bare Bones Broth (use code ‘ JennyH’ for a 15% discount).
Collagen is formed from 19 amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Adding protein-rich foods into our diets provide us with the raw materials necessary for collagen production. Choose from high-quality animal proteins such as organic chicken, grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon (we buy all our meat and fish from Butcher Box) or plant-based sources such as tempeh, tofu, lentils, or chickpeas.
Vitamin C is an essential cofactor in the formation and stabilization of new collagen. Guava and kiwi are the two fruits that are highest in Vitamin C, but other citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens are also great sources. My favourite Vitamin C supplement is New Chapter’s Fermented Activated C Complex.
Copper, Manganese, and Zinc are the three minerals that play a key factor in collagen production. Foods high in these minerals include oysters, cashews, sesame seeds, and almonds. I choose New Chapter’s Every Woman’s One Daily Multi to ensure I receive minerals for optimum health.
Fermented foods such as tempeh, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha contain Lactobacillus, a strain of probiotic bacteria that produces superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent collagen breakdown by reducing the production of free radicals. Aim for one serving of fermented foods a day, and consider supplementing with a good quality probiotic such a New Chapter’s Probiotic All-Flora for advanced digestive support.
Please note I work with New Chapter, Vermont-based maker of whole-food vitamins and supplements, however, all opinions are my own. I only work with and recommend companies whose products I love, and I’m so excited to share these with you!