Collagen is one of the most important proteins in your body. It serves as a major structural protein and makes up about 25% of the total protein in your body.
Not only does collagen keep your skin hydrated, but it also makes the connective tissues in your joints work smoothly.
The best ways to boost the production of collagen in your body is through supplements and food.
While there are approximately 16 types of collagen in your body, most of the collagen (about 80-90%) is made up of types 1, 2 and 3.
Overall, collagen takes care of a variety of functions but knowing which type focuses on what will help you choose which supplements and food to consume based on your goals.
Type 2 collagen is best when it comes to taking care of your joints.
Type 2 collagen makes up about half of the cartilage protein in your body.
Due to a number of factors, including aging and physical activity, your collagen levels drop and the cartilage in your joints gets weak and stops regenerating.
This drop causes joint pain and other joint problems, which is why it’s important to boost your collagen production, especially Type 2, as you get older and/or start to feel pain when moving.
The Best Sources of Collagen for your Joints
The best supplements should be organic and come from grass-fed cows or seafood that is sustainably sourced.
High-quality supplements will be colorless when they’re mixed with water and should have basically no taste (unless they include flavors, extracts, or other ingredients).
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two supplements that are effective in preserving collagen in the joints.
Proteoglycans are compounds that help lubricate collagen, and both glucosamine and chondroitin work to support proteoglycan effectiveness.
Glucosamine helps make up proteoglycans while chondroitin attracts fluid to the compounds.
Vitamin C is great for the production of collagen.
Adult men should take 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and adult women should take 75 milligrams daily.
You can take a vitamin supplement or eat citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons to meet your daily goals.
Other foods high in vitamin C are Brussels sprouts, strawberries, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Protein-rich foods are great when it comes to replenishing collagen.
People should have between 50 and 175 grams of protein daily.
Foods high in protein include red meat, cheese, poultry, and dried beans.
Other foods that will naturally boost your collagen are raspberries, blueberries, red cabbage, and eggplant.
The reason is that these foods contain compounds called anthocyanins, which kill off enzymes that harm your collagen.
Anthocyanins are the pigments that give blue, red, and purple plants their bright colors, so just look for food with these colors and you’ll find food rich in anthocyanin.