I’m a dietitian — these 12 foods will give you a collagen boost

If you’re looking for a diet high in collagen — the world is your oyster, according to a dietitian.

Collagen, which makes up 30% of your body’s protein, gives structure to the skin, muscles, bones and connective tissue, according to Cleveland Clinic. Collagen is also found in your organs blood vessels and intestinal lining.

The body produces collagen naturally but aging and exposure to UV light from the sun can lessen your collagen production. Most people looking to up their collagen intake want to do so in order to improve the youthful look of their skin or have healthier nails. You can take a collagen supplement or get collagen from your diet.

Lauren Manakar, a registered dietitian, wrote an article for Health detailing all the foods people can eat to increase their collagen intake.

Bone broth makes it easy for the body to absorb collagen. Esin Deniz – stock.adobe.com

Bone broth

Animal bones are high in collagen and when the bones are simmered in water, collagen breaks down into gelatin and is more easily absorbed by the body, Manaker explained.

Fish skin is very high in collagen. freeskyline – stock.adobe.com

Shellfish and fish

Fish has a type of collagen called marine collagen. Marine collagen has something called Type I collagen which is particularly beneficial for skin, bone, tendon and tissue health.

The collagen is mostly found in the fish’s skin or scales.

Chicken, especially the skin, has collagen. weyo – stock.adobe.com


Chicken cartilage has something called Type II collagen which can help arthritis and be healthy for joint health. Eating the chicken skin will provide you with more collagen.

Beef, particularly short rib, is a great source of collagen. Maren Winter – stock.adobe.com


Beef collagen, called bovine collagen has Type I and Type II collagen which contribute to the health of skin, teeth, bone, tendons, connective tissue and fibrous cartilage.

Steak is a great source of collagen but short ribs, which have more tendon meat are a better source, the dietitian explained.

Egg whites help the body build collagen. yaroshenko – stock.adobe.com

Egg whites

Egg whites have an amino acid called proline which the body needs to produce collagen.

Certain fruits like berries and citrus fruits help the body create collagen. rh2010 – stock.adobe.com


Citrus fruits and berries both help the body create collagen. Both have Vitamin C which helps the body make collagen.


Garlic also helps the body create collagen because it has sulfur, which helps produce collagen and prevents it from breaking down in your body.

The taurine and lipid acid In garlic help rebuild any damaged collagen fibers, the dietitian said.

Dairy provides building blocks for collagen. Africa Studio – stock.adobe.com


Dairy products don’t have collagen but they support collagen production in the body thanks to the two amino acids proline and glycine, which help make up collagen molecules.


Cashews also don’t have collagen but they have the mineral copper which helps the body make collagen and elastin. Elastin gives the skin both strength and flexibility.

Cashews aid in collagen production. gossip7 – stock.adobe.com

Pork rinds

Pork rinds are made out of pig skin which are a great source of naturally occurring collagen. When people eat this collagen it can be used to rebuild the body’s collagen.

Pork rinds also have protein and glycine which help create collagen.

Oysters have zinc which is essential for collagen production. EdNurg – stock.adobe.com


Oysters have zinc which is essential to making and repairing collagen. Zinc has the collagen building blocks, glycine and proline and it’s great for skin health and healing.