Food rich in collagen

Food that has a lot of collagen


What foods are rich in collagen?

Photo of pig. Only animals have collagen.

Collagen is a very large protein that needs to be hydrolysed so that it can be assimilated by the body. Otherwise, it could not be digested completely

It is part of the structures of the animals: bones, spines, scales, cartilage in shark fin, muscles, etc.

In the diet, the only assimilable collagen is that we provide when eating animal gelatinous food rich in protein, which are mainly:

  • Pig’s trotters (pig’s feet)
  • Tripes (containing offal as cow foot, snouts, trotters, etc.)
  • Broth of meat or fish with bones (long cooking)
  • Jellies made with isinglass

People taking gelatin as a protein source should look at the nutrition label and make them sure it contains protein, because in many cases gelatin is prepared with vegetable fiber.

Does meat contain collagen?

Muscle injury
Protein needs increase when muscle injury or suffering broken bones.

Animal meat, although it has collagen, it does not have such a high content nor this collagen is as assimilable as the afoementioned sources.

Meat (meat and fish) contains muscle tissue, whose fibers (actin and myosin) are wrapped in collagen structures (endomysium, perimysium, etc.), but they are not as rich in collagen as the richest sources we have mentioned above.

Collagen molecules in them are more difficult to digest and often the body can not break them down completely.

In non-vegetarian diets, for maximum collagen absorption from meat or fish, it is recommended those food resulting from long cooking of bones of these animals (Collagen appears in the broth after cooking). It is also recommended to eat small fish with bones (eg sardines baked).

Do I need to eat meat to have collagen?

To all this, we should add that it is not necessary to eat meat to have collagen, because a healthy body is normally able to produce its own collagen when all the necessary nutrients are provided in the diet.

Optimal levels of calcium, vitamin D, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E and antioxidants for the maintenance and formation of the bones, joints and skin are necessary.

You may be advised to take foods high collagen or protein, if bone problems, arthritis, fractures in old age. In these situations an adequate supply of collagen can delay or prevent some damages. Always, accompanying these foods or supplements with the proper diet.

* Related Information: Collagen for vegetarians


Do fruits and vegetables contain collagen?

Photo of raspberries
Photo of raspberries

There is not collagen in fruits and vegetables, in addition not having collagen, they are not good sources of protein because they provide less than 1% of the nutrient.

However, these foods are excellent sources of components that help collagen formation and maintenance of its structures:

Collagen in legumes, grains, seeds and nuts

As mentioned above, collagen is primarily part of the structures of animals (bones, tripes, scales, muscles, etc.), so that plant food is not a source of collagen.

Vegetarian foods rich in protein are:

They are all foods rich in vegetable protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins (E, B) and minerals (magnesium, calcium, boron, etc.), nutrients from which the body can produce its own collagen. These ingredients are essential in any diet, especially in vegetarian diets, but must be combined with each other to achieve high biological value proteins.

* More information: Combination of vegetable proteins

Collagen in milk and eggs

dairy products
Photo of dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese). They are rich in proteins needed to form collagen.

Milk and eggs have not collagen because this protein is primarily part of structures such as bones, cartilage and skin of animals.

But these two groups of foods provide high quality protein, with all essential amino acids, from which the body can produce its own collagen.

A diet for joints, bones, osteoporosis or sportsmen should contain quality protein foods at each meal. In strict vegetarian diets, this will be achieved by combining plant proteins.

How can vegetarians get collagen?

Strict vegetarian diets or diets that include dairy and eggs only contain little collagen. However, as it has been explained, the human body manufactures its own collagen and does not need not take animal protein.

In all diets, but especially for vegetarians, one should take into account a number of factors, vitamins and minerals to help collagen formation:

* Related Information: Foods that help the formation of collagen

Factors that decrease collagen

Oxidizing factors accelerate collagen degradation. These factors should be avoided for better health of the skin, tissue, vision, bone and joints:

  • Tobacco
  • Pollution
  • Stress
  • Sunbathing in excess or skin burns

Some drugs, such as taking contraceptives, may decrease the synthesis of collagen in women, as a study shows.

One should take into account the increased protein requirements in special situations, such as fasting or those situations that require more protein intake.

More information on collagen

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 May, 2021

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