10 Collagen-Boosting Foods for Better Skin, Hair, and Joints

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You know how saying a word enough times in a row starts to not even sound like a real word anymore? That's kind of how collagen feels. We hear about it everywhere, but what is it, actually? And why do people want more of it?

"Collagen is one of the main components that make up our skin. The elasticity, or the ability of our skin to bounce back and look young, is in part related to collagen. It's not necessarily a 'more is better' situation; it's more of a 'having the right amount in the right places is better' situation," Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, explains.

In addition to helping our skin look more youthful, collagen can also help keep our gut lining healthy. "This aids in absorption of additional nutrients affecting our overall health," Taz Bhatia, Integrative Health Expert and author of Super Woman RX, says.

"Foods with collagen don't do anything to boost your collagen levels because you break down the collagen into basic proteins/amino acids, the building blocks for muscle," she explains. They're still good for you, but if you want to boost your collagen levels, you should eat foods that contain the nutrients your body uses to produce it. She says that foods containing fairly high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, or zinc are particularly effective. "We use these nutrients for patients at the hospital who have pressure injuries and need to heal their skin," she says. So, yeah, they're pretty effective. Keep reading to see 10 foods with collagen-boosting abilities.