The Best Collagen Food Sources
By Jayton Miller
Collagen is an essential nutrient for maintaining your skin, hair and joint health in the long-term. But do you need to consume a collagen supplement or are you eating enough in your diet? Let's dig in...
- The Best Collagen Food Sources
- Collagen-Rich Foods Are Nature's Medicine
- Collagen Vs. Whey - The Great Debate
The Best Collagen Food Sources:
Your body acquires amino acids from protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, and fish. Animal bones are especially high in the amino acids that make up collagen, as are the scales in fish. As the body breaks down the dietary amino acids, nutrients like vitamin C aid in the process of collagen synthesis.
In short, the different amino acids are bound together like different strands of rope to form collagen fibrils. In turn, the fibrils bind to form collagen protein. The full collagen structure is a bit more complex than what we just described, but this is a good layman’s explanation.
As mentioned, meat and fish sources contain the highest source of collagen. However, not all collagen is created equal. Different collagen types entail different bodily functions and benefits.
All the independent studies on collagen speak for themselves. So, how do you get more of this invaluable protein in your diet?
1. Bone Broth
Broth is perhaps the best collagen food, bar none. If you enjoy making food from scratch, then we suggest a generous heaping of bovine and chicken bones. Let the bones simmer in a crockpot for a few hours, and you have a soup teeming with health-boosting collagen.
Bovine collagen is a rich source of collagen types 1 and 3. This promotes glowing healthy skin, aids in digestion and regulates healthy sleep rhythms.
Chicken collagen is type 2. This is essentially the collagen for joints, as it’s known to restore cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
If preparing broth from scratch is too troublesome, then you can always consume pre-packaged broth. Aside from the big helping of collagen, broth is also packed with minerals and electrolytes.
It doesn’t matter if you like them scrambled, over-easy or hard-boiled. Much of the collagen is concentrated in the whites and eggshell membrane.
Aside from being a top collagen food, eggs are also loaded with sulfur, which is a natural liver cleanser. Toxin buildup in the stomach and liver is a primary inhibitor of collagen production. Eggs can help you remove that buildup.
Avocados provide a high source of monounsaturated fats and very little of the harmful polyunsaturated fats. It’s also rich in vitamin E. This is often known as the skin vitamin, due to its ability to prevent collagen breakdown in the outermost epidermis layer. One study showed that supplementation with avocado oil increased skin collagen metabolism.
4. Anything High in Vitamin C
Fruits and veggies in themselves aren’t exactly rich in collagen. However, they do have a lot of vitamins, which include the antioxidant vitamin C. Studies show this vitamin helps the amino acids proline and lysine convert into collagen. On top of that, Vitamin C also counteracts free radicals that contribute to premature collagen breakdown.
Since we didn’t list a specific food, you have a lot of options here. Citrus fruits are good choices, as are bell peppers, berries, leafy greens, and kiwis.
Collagen-Rich Foods Are Nature’s Medicine:
Make a daily habit of eating more foods with collagen. This is especially important as you get older.
Of course, we know following a balanced diet isn’t always realistic. This is where supplementation comes in. Collagen from a supplement is valid provided that it’s derived from all-natural sources.
zuCollagen fits this bill, hence why we recommend it for people who typically have to eat while on the go. zuCollagen contains highly bioavailable hydrolyzed collagen from organically raised bovine, fish, and eggs. A single serving will provide the all-important collagen minus the time-consuming food preparation.
Read More: Protein - The Macronutrient Guide
Collagen: The Protein Powerhouse:
Putting all of these amino acids together you get collagen, and putting all the types together you get a powerhouse of a protein. As mentioned before collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and makes up a large portion of the extracellular matrix and connective tissue. Some of the benefits that you get when you consistently consume a good collagen supplement can be very subtle at first but make a big difference over time. It has been shown that consuming collagen has a tremendous impact on the health of joints, and can significantly reduce the amount of joint pain that you have even in osteoarthritis patients.
But it doesn’t just help with medical-related joint pain it has also been shown to help athletes with joint-related issues as well. The most significant benefit that many people love about collagen is the anti-aging effect that it has on the skin of the human body. Collagen has almost a magical way of bringing the skin back in years. Allowing it to look, and feel younger every single day.
On top of the benefits that collagen has on the human body, it can also be extremely effective in helping with weight loss. It has been shown that collagen can help to increase satiety and thus help individuals adhere to a weight loss regimen (caloric restriction). The same cannot be said of whey protein. Most collagen supplements have only 80 calories per serving and are jam-packed with 20 grams of high-quality protein, making this powder a good tool to use.
Read More: Why You Should Stop Eating Whey Protein
Collagen vs Whey - The Great Debate:
Is Whey Protein Really All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
The main issue with whey protein is that it does not give you the results that it claims to be good for, namely, reducing appetite, gaining muscle, and helping recovery.
In fact, there is plenty of research on whey protein showing that it has no effect on appetite, it increases the blood sugar response, it contains massive amounts of estrogen (this is bad for both men and women alike), it actually decreases anabolic hormone levels, it causes acne, it slows down fat burning, and lowers T in men.
Another big issue with almost all commercial whey protein powders that you will find on the market is the presence of fillers. These fillers and additives have been shown to lead to less bioavailability of the protein, and actually inhibit protein absorption in general, which seems to defeat the entire purpose of the supplement itself.
Not only that, but many companies add polyunsaturated fatty acids to the whey protein supplements as fillers, such as sunflower oil. And we all know how terrible PUFAs are for us.
And if this wasn’t all bad enough, Consumer Reports released a report finding heavy metals like arsenic and lead contaminating many popular whey protein supplements. If you think this doesn’t apply to your favorite whey supplement – think again. The Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Standard – the most popular whey protein supplement on Earth was tested and it contains massive amounts of heavy metals.
They found that these heavy metals, specifically in the whey protein supplements can lead to cancer and reproductive disease risk.
Why a High-Quality Collagen Supplement Is Superior to Whey Protein in Every Way
I truly believe that both men and women should stop taking those low-quality whey protein supplements and instead opt for getting their additional protein sources through a high-quality collagen supplement with multiple fiber types, such as zuCollagen Protein, or using a bone broth supplement like our zuBroth that contains both collagen and gelatin.
In this article, I’ve listed a myriad of amazing reasons to use collagen protein, especially in relation to its amazing amino acid profile and the benefits those amino acids have on your body. I’ve also pointed out the major risks of consuming most whey protein supplements, and how they’re absolutely going to do more harm than good for your body.
Collagen has a great amino acid profile. With these amino acids having phenomenal benefits to the health of the human body on their own, when put together to form the collagen protein molecule they become an absolute superhero for your health.
Not only do they help with your health but as a downstream effect, it helps improve not only the way that you feel but the way that you look as well by making your skin look younger and more vibrant each and every day. If you are serious about taking your health to the next level and really want to achieve the ultimate level of Thermo, then collagen has to be a daily addition to your diet no matter what.
When looking for a good collagen supplement you want to first and foremost make sure that it is a grass-fed collagen supplement to help avoid any potential exposure to hormones and antibiotics found in conventionally raised animals.
Next, you want to make sure that the collagen is hydrolyzed. This will allow for the best absorption of collagen and allow the body to almost completely absorb and utilize it. Then you want to make sure that it has a good variety of collagen types, having at minimum types I, II, III and ideally having V and X as well. This allows the collagen to be readily used for a variety of different things in the body rather than having to go through a conversion process in the body.
If you want to try out the amazing benefits of using a good collagen supplement for yourself, I highly recommend you use our zuCollagen Protein supplement. And remember, we have a 60-day money-back guarantee, so if you're not satisfied for any reason, we will refund your purchase.