Collagen, a major structural protein, makes up roughly one-fourth of the protein in you body, according to Protein Data Bank, and some of that collagen makes up the connective tissues in your joints. There are a variety of collagen sources available to boost the production of this substance in your body -- the best sources include supplements and foods. Consult your physician before adding collagen supplements to your diet or eating specific foods to increase collagen.
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Taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help improve collagen. While this supplement does not increase collagen production, it helps preserve the collagen in your joints, according to Protein Data Bank. Glucosamine helps make up proteoglycans, which weave through your collagen to help lubricate it. The chondroitin in the supplements attracts fluids to the proteoglycans. Together, these two substances protect collagen and may help positively influence joint pain. This is particularly useful for arthritis as the wear and tear on your joints destroys collagen.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a critical role in cellular healing as well as the production of collagen in your body, which makes it important for your joints. Adult women require 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day, while adult men should include 90 milligrams of this vitamin in their daily meal plans, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Many people turn to citrus fruit to boost vitamin C intake, although you can also find vitamin C in bell peppers, watermelon, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Foods High in Protein
Because collagen is a protein, you should consume a diet rich in protein to help replenish this vital substance, according to Plasticsurgeons.com. You require 50 to 175 g of protein each day for best health -- this equates to 10 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. Look to cheese, dried beans, veal and other red meat, poultry and roasted squash to boost the amount of protein in your diet.
Foods High in Anthocyanins
Enzymes caused by inflammation may harm your collagen; anthocyanins help kill off those enzymes, and they act as antioxidants, which shield collagen further from environmental damage, says Protein Data Bank. These actions help protect your joints from collagen loss. Since anthocyanins provide the color in many fruits and vegetables, choose bright foods in hues of purple and blue to get more anthocyanins in your diet -- this includes blueberries, grapes, cranberries, raspberries, eggplant and red cabbage.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center: How does Glucosamine and Chondroitin Work
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein
- Chiro.org: Anthocyanins
- Fitday: 7 Foods Rich in Anthocyanidins
- JointRehab.com: Rebuilding Collagen