Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, comprising a third of all the protein you have. It’s found mostly in the skin, bones, and connective tissue. The best way to get collagen is by eating it through food and other natural products. Find out how to increase collagen naturally in this article.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. 

It is found in the skin and connective tissues of the body, including tendons, cartilage, and bone. Collagen is a key component of these tissues, providing strength and support. 

The body produces collagen naturally, but its production declines with age. This can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain. 

Supplementing with collagen can help improve the health of your skin, hair, nails, and joints.

Collagen supplements are marketed as a way to reduce these signs and improve overall health. There’s even some evidence that collagen supplements may provide benefits, but there are also some natural remedies that can boost collagen and offer additional benefits.

See, Is Collagen Vegan and Vegan Collagen Peptides

Health Benefits of Collagen in the Body

1. It May Improve Skin Health

As we age, the skin begins to show signs of wear and tear. Fine lines and wrinkles appear, and the skin can start to look dull and tired. While there’s no single remedy for perfect skin, collagen may be able to help improve your skin’s health.

One study found that taking a collagen supplement for eight weeks increased skin elasticity and hydration.

Another study looked at the effects of a collagen gel on wrinkles. Participants who used the gel had significantly fewer wrinkles after four weeks compared to those who didn’t use the gel.

So, if you’re looking for an anti-aging supplement, collagen may be worth considering.

2. Prevents Bone Loss

Collagen is a protein that helps keep our bones strong and healthy. It also plays a role in the formation of new bones. When we don’t have enough collagen, our bones can become weak and brittle.

This can lead to bone loss, a major concern for many older adults, as it can lead to osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weak and fragile.

This means that collagen can help to prevent bone loss and keep bones strong and healthy as we age.

3. Relieves Joint Pain

Joint pain is a common complaint that can be caused by a variety of reasons, like reduced collagen levels.

According to research, collagen can help relieve joint pain by providing support and reducing inflammation.

In one study, people with osteoarthritis who took a collagen supplement for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in joint function.

In another study, people with rheumatoid arthritis who took a collagen supplement for 24 weeks had a significant reduction in pain and stiffness. They also had an improvement in grip strength and physical function.

So if you’re looking for a natural way to relieve joint pain, consider increasing your collagen intake.

4. Boost Muscle Mass

When it comes to boosting muscle mass, collagen is key. This essential protein provides the building blocks for muscle tissue, making it essential for anyone looking to build muscle.

Collagen also plays a role in helping repair and regenerate muscle tissue, making it an essential part of any post-workout recovery routine.

Plus, collagen helps keep muscles hydrated and can even help reduce inflammation.

One study showed that people who took a collagen supplement for 12 weeks had a greater increase in muscle mass than those who didn’t take the supplement.

Another study showed that people who took a collagen supplement for 24 weeks had better muscle strength and endurance than those who didn’t take the supplement.

5. Heals Burns And Wounds

Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, so it’s no surprise that it plays an essential role in wound healing. 

When you have a cut or scrape, your body forms a “scab” to protect the wound and help it heal. 

This scab is made up of collagen fibers. As your wound heals, the collagen fibers become stronger and thicker, helping to close the wound and improve its appearance.

Research has shown that applying collagen to burns can speed up the healing process and reduce scarring. 

There are many different types of collagen, but one called type III collagen is especially effective at healing wounds. 

A study published in the Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation found that when type III collagen was applied to burns, it reduced inflammation and improved healing. 

If you have a burn or wound that isn’t healing properly, talk to your doctor about using collagen to speed up the healing process.

6. Strengthens Teeth And Gum

When it comes to oral health, collagen is an important protein to pay attention to.

This protein is found in your teeth and gums and is key in helping keep them strong.

Collagen works by providing support to the tissues in your teeth and gums. It helps to keep them healthy and free from damage. 

This protein also plays a role in the production of new tooth enamel.      

How to Increase Collagen Naturally

1. Lift Weights

Weight lifting

Lifting weights can help increase collagen production in the skin. When the skin is stretched, as it is when lifting weights, it signals the body to produce more collagen.

This helps maintain elasticity and firmness as well as fill in any gaps in the skin that may have been caused by sun damage or other factors.

In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who lifted weights for 20 weeks experienced an increase in collagen synthesis compared to those who did not lift weights.

In addition to increasing your collagen, lifting weights can help strengthen the bones, improve bone density, burn fat, improve cardiovascular functions, and promote mental well-being.

2. Limit Sun Exposure

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light increases collagen degradation by stimulating an enzyme called collagenase, which breaks down collagen in our skin. This process can decrease the overall amount of collagen in the skin, resulting in signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin.

Also, UV light causes damage to the collagen fibers. This results in a decrease in the amount of collagen in the skin, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

There are several ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. One is to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Another is to wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats. Finally, limit your time in the sun, especially during the midday hours when UV rays are strongest.

3. Improve Your Sleep

Make sleep a priority

A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall health, and recent research suggests that it may also be important for collagen production.

When we sleep, our bodies produce more human growth hormone (HGH), which is essential for cell regeneration and repair.

This process helps build new collagen fibers, resulting in increased skin elasticity and reduced wrinkles.

In addition, sleep helps to reduce stress levels, which can lead to inflammation and break down collagen fibers.

There are a few simple things you can do to improve your sleep quality: 

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. This will help signal your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  • Create a restful environment in your bedroom by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet. 
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as they can interfere with sleep. 
  • Limit screen time in the evening by turning off electronics at least an hour before bedtime.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you get the quality sleep you need to keep your collagen levels high.

4. Eat More Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are an excellent source of collagen-boosting nutrients.

They are high in protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed to support collagen production. They are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help to protect collagen from damage and keep it healthy.

Additionally, chia seeds contain large amounts of soluble fiber, which can help nourish the gut microbiome and promote a healthy gut environment.

All of these factors work together to support collagen production and contribute to overall skin health.

5. Allium Vegetables

shallots in a silver tin on wooden background

When it comes to boosting collagen levels, few foods are as effective as allium vegetables. Alliums include onion, garlic, shallots, and leeks. These vegetables contain high levels of sulfur-containing compounds, which are necessary to produce collagen.

In addition to boosting collagen levels, allium vegetables also have numerous other health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Allium vegetables can also improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, and boost cognitive function.

6. Use Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is a popular natural remedy for many skin conditions, including burns, frostbite, and psoriasis. It’s also used as an ingredient in many commercial skin care products. Other than that, aloe vera can help boost your collagen levels.

Aloe vera gel contains vitamins C and E, which are both essential for collagen production.

Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen synthesis, while vitamin E provides antioxidant protection against UV damage and other environmental stressors that can lead to collagen breakdown.

The gel also contains amino acids that are the building blocks of collagen. By providing the skin with these key nutrients, aloe vera gel can help boost collagen production for a firmer, more youthful-looking complexion.

7. Steam Bath Therapy

Steam bath therapy

Steam bath therapy is an exciting and easy way to improve your health. It involves sitting in a steam room or sauna for a period of time, usually 15-20 minutes.

The benefits of steam therapy are many, including improved circulation, body detoxification, relief of stress and tension, and relief of congestion and sinus pressure.

It may also stimulate collagen production.

The heat from the steam helps stimulate blood flow and promote cell turnover. This increased circulation can help to nourish and revitalize the skin. The steam also helps to open up pores and loosen dead skin cells, making it easier for your body to produce new collagen.

There are several different ways to enjoy steam bath therapy. You can visit a spa or sauna or purchase a portable steam bath unit for home use.

If you are pregnant or have certain medical conditions, it is important to speak with your doctor before beginning steam bath therapy.

8. Eat Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to boosting collagen production. In fact, studies have shown that vitamin C deficiency can lead to decreased collagen synthesis and reduced skin elasticity.

While you can get vitamin C through supplements, it’s always best to get your nutrients from whole foods. And luckily, there are plenty of delicious foods that are rich in vitamin C.

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries are all great sources.

9. Eat Vitamin A-rich Foods

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that plays a vital role in different body processes. Some of the benefits of vitamin A include aiding proper vision, boosting the immune system, promoting bone health, and maintaining healthy skin.

The skin benefits are especially because vitamin A promotes collagen production. It has also been shown to protect against collagen damage.

Some of the best sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other dark leafy vegetables.

Things That Damage Collagen

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Too much sugar 
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Stress
  • Inadequate intake of vitamin C-rich foods

Final Thoughts

Collagen is a protein that plays an important role in the structure and function of our bodies.

Unfortunately, our bodies produce less collagen as we age, leading to wrinkles, joint pain, and other age-related issues.

However, there are ways to increase collagen production through diet and lifestyle changes naturally.

By including foods rich in vitamins c and A, lifting weights, managing stress, and getting enough sleep, you can greatly boost your levels.

Plus, remember to eliminate foods that can harm your collagen, such as sugar, smoking, refined carbohydrates, and too much sun exposure.

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