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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Haughton

Eat some collagen!


There are numerous benefits to this protein. Knowing which foods contain it in quantity and quality is vital, especially if we consider that, as we age, we reduce its production.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is found in many tissues and plays a vital role in countless aspects of health: it stops the aches and pains associated with ageing, prevents wrinkles and sagging skin, helps treat persistent gastrointestinal problems, strengthens the immune system, muscles and bones.

However, "we have ignored it for too long", warns clinical nutritionist and natural medicine doctor John Axe in his book The Collagen Diet.

"The diet of our ancestors was rich in collagen, but today we ingest almost none," he says.

Let's see a breakdown of the foods that, according to this specialist, are most recommended for reintroducing collagen into our diet.

Bone broth

This "ancient elixir contains an enormous amount of valuable collagen" as well as minerals that can be easily absorbed by the body. Prepare it from the bones, skin and cartilage of free-range chicken, beef, buffalo, pastured lamb and wild fish.

Chicken skin and fish skin

"When you eat free-range chicken or wild fish, don't throw away the skin," advises Axe. "Season it well when cooking and eat it with the meat. It is tasty and contains large amounts of easily digestible collagen," he adds.


Animal organs are another source of collagen. "Liver contains the amino acids that form the backbone of most of the body's collagen," says Axe.

It contains more nutrients than kale or spinach from lamb, pastured beef or free-range chicken. The heart and kidneys are potent antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. The gizzards (formed by a gland called the thymus gland or pancreas) contain a lot of vitamin C, an element necessary for the body's collagen production.


This type of protein derived from collagen promotes the formation of solid cartilage and connective tissue. Homemade. The bone broth is rich in gelatine. "You can make your own gelatine. Just strain the gelatinous part that remains on top in the broth, leave it to set in the fridge, and use it as a base for desserts, soups and stews," explains the specialist.

Other sources.

Supplements. Although it is always best to get nutrients directly from food, supplements can also help. It is preferable to opt for hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides, which are easier to absorb from all the options. Also, choose bone broth protein powder and bone broth collagen powder, as they contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which are helpful for joint pain.

"We can put a dose or two in our morning coffee or smoothie or in soups and stews," advises Axe. Most people's recommended daily collagen is between 10 and 30 mg. However, this figure can vary with age and other factors.

An animal protein for many purposes

Not vegan. Collagen is a protein found only in animals. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans would have to stimulate their production with other proteins.

Labelling. If collagen is consumed in supplements, it is essential to look at the information on the label. It should state what type of collagen the product contains.

Types. Of the many types that exist, the main ones are I (the most abundant), II, III, V and X, all of which have a specific role.

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