Best Foods For Collagen Production + Foods That Harm Collagen
Can our diet help or harm collagen production? On today’s episode of The Sitch, we’re talking about the best vegan foods for collagen production and which foods cause collagen breakdown.
Diet and Collagen Production
On a previous episode of The Sitch, we talked about the research (or lack thereof) on collagen supplementation.
Today we’re taking a step back and talking about how collagen gets destroyed in the first place, and how your dietary choices affect this process. To get the full scoop on collagen, be sure to watch my first video.
To recap, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, and its main job is strengthening bones and muscles and maintaining skin health.
Many companies have started selling collagen supplements, under the assumption that by eating collagen, our bodies will make more collagen, but as you saw in my last video, that’s yet to be proven.
In fact, the irony is that the foods from which companies source collagen are actually the same foods that lead to collagen damage – let me explain.
AGES and Collagen Breakdown
While collagen is naturally broken down as we age, it’s also broken down when we consume AGEs.
A-G-E stands for advanced glycation end-product. You may remember me talking about AGEs in my video on meat and inflammation. AGEs are harmful compounds formed when protein binds to excess sugar. This happens naturally in our bodies, but it also happens when we consume AGEs in our diet.
Aptly named, AGEs are a huge contributor to collagen loss, which occurs with aging. Studies show that the accumulation of ages in our collagen matrix leads to fragility and increased stiffness in our bones.
Foods That Cause Collagen Breakdown
Now here’s the kicker: the primary source of AGEs in the diet is MEAT. AGEs exist naturally in uncooked meat, poultry, and other animal products, and their content is increased with dry cooking methods like grilling, roasting, and frying.
So basically, eating sources of collagen, like beef, results in consuming collagen-degrading compounds — pretty ironic, am I right?
In one study, foods with the highest amount of AGEs included fried bacon, roasted and barbecued chicken, and pan-fried steak. To note, roasted nuts also had considerable amounts of AGEs, suggesting that you may want to opt for raw nuts and seeds when possible.
Vegan Foods For Collagen Production
So what foods support collagen production? Well, no surprise here – PLANTS.
Studies show that certain compounds like quercetin, which is found in green tea, red onions, and kale, may inhibit AGE formation.
Try my Lavender Matcha Latte >>
Because it’s required to synthesize collagen, vitamin C may also support our own bodies production of collagen.
Some of my favorite vitamin-C rich foods include citrus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.
But don’t get too excited – unlike the collagen companies, I’m not going to stand here and tell you that eating an orange a day will keep the osteoarthritis away. But it can’t hurt!
PIN the post! >>
Weigh in: What are your favorite collagen-supporting plants?