5 Ways to Incorporate Collagen in Your Diet
Collagen has a ton of benefits that support multiple aspects of our health, including joint, gut and skin health. Incorporating collagen as part of your regular diet may help to replenish depleted collagen stores from age and frequent exposure to toxins, environmental pollutants, excessive sun, high sugar intake, and smoking (1). Here are a few of my favorite simple and delicious ways incorporate collagen into your diet.
01 - ADD BONE BROTH TO YOUR DIET
Our ancestors ate a collagen-rich diet by consuming whole animal parts, including the skin, tendons, and ligaments of the animals they ate. Unfortunately, most modern diets have strayed pretty far from this way of eating and most of our diets are seriously lacking in good sources of collagen. Eating more collagen is good for us, but eating more animal parts is not exactly the most appealing concept. Thankfully, there are a few other ways to get more collagen in your diet without having to chew on a chicken bone!
Bone broth is made from slow cooking animal bones, tendons and ligaments with filtered water, vegetables, fresh herbs and other seasonings. This cooking method releases collagen and a ton of other key nutrients from the collagen-rich animal parts into a delicious broth. You can make bone broth with the pretty much any animal protein, but the more popular recipes use fish, beef and chicken. Each type of bone broth has it own set of benefits. Fish bone broth has the most bioavailable form of collagen. Beef bone broth is especially good for your skin and gut. Chicken bone broth is great for joint health.The important thing is making sure your bone broth comes from animals that are grass-fed, pasture raised, free-range, antibiotic and hormone/chemical free!
Bone broth is great on it's own (pour it in a mug and sip away), but can also be incorporated in your favorite recipes in place of water or stock. I love using bone broth as the liquid base to cook grains, beans, soups, stews, and meats. It's a great way to add nutrients and protein to any savory dish that requires wet cooking.
You can make your own bone broth or buy a high quality pre-made bone broth. Here are some of my favorite brands:
Kettle and Fire Bone Broth
Vital Proteins Organic Protein Bone Broth
Epic Bone Broth
Bare Bones Bone Broth
If you live in New York City, you can grab some homemade bone broth at Springbone Kitchen and Brodo. Bonus alert - Brodo delivers in NYC and a ton of other states on the East Coast. There really is no excuse to not drink bone broth on the regular!
02 - ADD COLLAGEN TO YOUR FAVORITE WARM BEVERAGE
Adding hydrolyzed collagen (aka collagen peptides) to your favorite hot beverage is another easy way to boost your collagen intake. Hydrolyzed collagen is easy to digest and quickly absorbed after ingestion (2). It's also super high in the amino acids glycine and proline, which are essential for building new collagen in your muscles, bones, and gut.
When choosing a collagen supplement its really important to choose a product made from grass-fed, pasture raised, antibiotic-free animals. Here are a few of my favorite products. They are flavorless and odorless and can be added to any cold or hot liquid. I like to add collagen to my tea, matcha and coffee. You can also add them to your favorite recipes (see below).
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Marine Collagen Peptides
03 – GIVE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE A PROTEIN BOOST
Hydrolyzed collagen powder can be added to your favorite savory and sweet recipes to boost their nutrient and protein content. Here are a few of my favorite recipes with collagen peptides.
4-ingredient Chocolate Mousse with Collagen
High Protein Coconut Cream Pie Overnight Oats
Sausage and Egg Muffins
Collagen Teriyaki Cauliflower Rice
04 – USE COLLAGEN PEPTIDES INSTEAD OF PROTEIN POWDER
Vital Proteins collagen has 20 grams of protein per serving, making it a great option for a gluten-free, dairy-free protein powder in smoothies. This collagen powder is virtually tasteless and becomes thick and creamy when blended - yummy!
Here are some of my favorite smoothie recipes using collagen powder.
Cinnamon Apple Smoothie
05 – ADD COLLAGEN PRE- AND POST-WORKOUT
Collagen peptides can be consumed before and after your workouts to help maintain and restore protein in your muscles and joints. According to nutrition scientist Chris Masterjohn, PHD, taking 15 grams of collagen before exercise is the best way to strengthen and replenish your tendons with collagen.
Collagen is also great for preserving and building muscle mass before and after exercise. Not only is it a great source of protein, which aids in building muscle, but It's also high in the amino acid glycine. Glycine helps to form creatine in the body, a key protein for increasing muscle mass and improving athletic performance (3). These collagen packets are great for adding to any beverage when you are exercising on the go.
SPREAD LOVE TO THE COMMUNITY (IT'S THE BROOKLYN WAY)!
Tell us some of your favorite ways to add collagen to your diet. Share your tips and recipes in the comments below. Show us your greatness by tagging @allgreatnutrition or using our hashtag #beallgreat. We want to see how you are slaying your wellness!
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Katta, R., & Desai, S. P. (2014). Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 7(7), 46–51.
Asghar, A., & Henrickson, R. L. (1982). Chemical, biochemical, functional, and nutritional characteristics of collagen in food systems. S.l.: Academic Press.
Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Kang, J., Mangine, G., Faigenbaum, A. D., & Stout, J. R. (2006). Effect of Creatine and β-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Endocrine Responses in Strength/Power Athletes. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,38(Supplement). doi:10.1249/00005768-200605001-01454
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