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Natural Ways to Increase Your Collagen

Natural Ways to Increase Your Collagen Intake

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

Sometimes I feel like a “Showcase Showdown” contestant on The Price is Right. Reaching up to spin the wheel, I eagerly anticipate the latest and greatest health trend it will land on. Will it be mushrooms, kombucha, green juice? It’s anyone’s guess!

A not-so-new product that’s created a lot of buzz lately, is collagen. Maybe you’ve heard a thing or two about collagen’s role in supporting healthy hair, skin and nails and wondered if it really lives up to the hype.

The answer lies in understanding what collagen is and the role it plays in your body.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It serves as the building block of skin, bones, connective tissue and muscles. It’s also an important player in gut health, immune system support, detoxification and metabolism. Collagen’s specific roles in hair, skin and nails include:

  • Supporting the growth of new skin cells.
  • Helping replace dead skin cells.
  • Forming elastin, which gives strength and elasticity to your skin and decreases the visible signs of wrinkles.
  • Promoting hair and nail growth.

Foods to Support Collagen Production

Your body makes collagen naturally; however, the amount decreases with age. Luckily there are foods you can eat on a regular basis to help support collagen production.

Bone Broth

Bone broth dates to our hunter-gather ancestors. They found ways to use all parts of the animal, including applying heat to soften the bones and draw out key nutrients like collagen.

Fast forward to modern times and you too can prepare a batch of bone broth. Start with animal bones (cow, veal, lamb, bison, venison, chicken, duck, turkey or fish), add an acidic liquid, like apple cider vinegar, to liberate key minerals and finish with vegetables, garlic and your favorite herbs and spices for flavor. Cover with water and simmer for 12-24 hours in a big pot on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. The resulting broth can be used for soups, sauces or sipping. If you enjoy any bone-in protein, like a whole chicken or bone-in cut of beef, be sure to save the bones to make bone broth at home. Heinen’s Meat Department also has bones available for purchase.

Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth
Photo provided by Bonafide Provisions

If you’re short on time, look for Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth in Heinen’s Frozen Department. It can be easily thawed and used in your favorite recipes like this Bone Broth Tomato Sauce.

Powdered bone broth, otherwise known as dehydrated bone broth, can also be found at Heinen’s. Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein is a wonderful choice from the Wellness Department! The chocolate and vanilla flavors are perfect for smoothies, and the unflavored variety is great for savory applications.

Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein Powder

Protein-Rich Foods

High protein foods, like omega 3-rich fish, beans, grass-fed beef or pasture raised chicken (like Pasturebird Chicken) are abundant in the same amino acids that make up collagen. When you add a modest portion of protein to your meals, you will help support the production of collagen in your body.

Vitamin C-Rich Produce

Most people associate vitamin C with immune health and while that’s true, vitamin C is also necessary to make collagen. Citrus fruit, berries, bell peppers and tomatoes are just some of the produce items you’ll find at Heinen’s that give your body the collagen boost it needs. Serve this Fx™-approved Cold Pepper Salad or Gazpacho with Summer Squash at your next cookout!

Chilled Red Gazpacho
Gazpacho with Summer Squash by Allianna Moximchalk.

Key Takeaway

The experts always tell us to eat like our ancestors, who lived in much simpler times when processed foods didn’t exist.

Consider adding collagen to your daily beauty regimen with this simple 5-Minute Berry Green Smoothie. It has everything you need for healthy hair, skin and nails: a scoop of collagen protein powder plus vitamin C-rich berries.

Melanie Jatsek
By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD
Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. As a publlished author with over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking, Melanie offers expert guidance through Heinen's Club Fx program to help customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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