Skin is likely the structure you’ve heard most often associated with collagen, with beauty products promising to firm and smooth your largest organ.
"As we age, collagen production decreases," dermatologist and author of "Stop Aging, Start Living," Dr. Jeannette Graf, told Coveteur. "That can mean deeper creases and enlarged pores. As your skin becomes less elastic, pores expand because the collagen fibers in the walls around them are diminishing. As we mature, naturally occurring enzymes that erode collagen become stronger than the mechanisms in our skin that combat them."
While wrinkles and stiff joints result from less collagen production as we age, you can help stimulate collagen production by consuming certain nutrients from particular foods, according to Medical News Today.
- Brussels sprouts
- red and green peppers
- citrus fruits and juices
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- green vegetables
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"Foods like bone broth contain a bioavailable form of collagen your body can use right away, making it arguably superior to supplements," registered dietitian Carrie Gabriel told Healthline of why you should look to food before supplements when seeking to increase collagen.
Additionally, over-the-counter supplements are mostly unregulated. According to Healthline, eating collagen-rich foods may help create amino acids, the building blocks needed for increasing skin health.
“There are three amino acids important for collagen synthesis: proline, lysine, and glycine,” said registered dietitian and beauty expert Katey Davidson, who has a master’s of science in foods and nutrition.