A nutrient-rich diet can help build collagen in your body. Collagen is a tough protein that forms the structure and strength of your skin, bone, tendons, cartilages and other connective tissues. Many foods contain nutrients that can boost collagen production in your body.
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Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for proper growth and repair of your body's tissues. This vitamin also aids in the production of collagen, and therefore helps build and maintain your skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and cartilage. Osteoarthritis destroys collagen, and the breakdown of collagen leads to painful swelling and inflammation of your joints. Vitamin C comes from fruits such as oranges, papayas, lemons, kiwis, grapefruits and strawberries. Vegetables are also a good source, including broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, winter squash and turnip greens.
Foods Rich in Copper
The mineral copper aids in the formation of red blood cells, melanin and collagen in the body. Increasing your intake of copper-rich foods can help boost your collagen levels. Good food choices include organ meats, such as liver; oysters; shellfish; dark leafy greens; dried legumes; and nuts.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B-3
The American Academy of Dermatology says vitmain B-3 has been found to raise the formation of collagen and decrease dark spots on the skin. The body uses vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, for many processes, including the breakdown of food into energy. To help increase the collagen in your body, you can consume niacin-rich foods such as brewer's yeast, beets, liver, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, salmon, beef liver and beef kidney.
Foods Rich in Iron
A study in the 2009 edition of the "Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition", says iron can aid in collagen formation. Iron is a building block and co-factor, along with ascorbic acid, silicon, proline and lysine, in the production of collagen. Therefore, consuming iron-rich foods may help boost your collagen levels. Iron can be found in as meat, poultry, fish, spinach, kale, whole grains and nuts.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Linus Pauling Institute: Glossary
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Copper
- "Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition": Effect of Ascorbic Acid, Silicon, Fe, Proline and Lysine on Proliferation and Collagen Synthesis in the Human Dermal Fibroblast Cell; Kim, Lee, et al; Nov. 2009