How to Build Collagen Naturally: Part One of a Three-Part Collagen Series

Updated: May 30

If there’s one topic that is super hot right now it's collagen. Shelves in the supplement section of natural food stores are overflowing with new collagen supplements, promising to alleviate joint pain and combat aging skin. Some collagen brands also claim to help with leaky gut, support the immune system, and balance hormones. But are these claims true? And, before jumping to supplementation, can anything be done through food to prevent collagen break down and support collagen synthesis? The short answer is, yes!

In this three-part series, we're about to dive into all things collagen. In part one, we will discuss how to naturally prevent collagen break down and build new collagen. In part two, we will dive into the research behind collagen supplementation and answer the question, does research support their claims? Part three will provide {plant-based} meal plans to prevent collagen break down and support collagen synthesis.

First, let's start with some collagen groundwork.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the main protein in your body, protecting your organs, joints, and tendons, and supporting skin elasticity. It holds your bones and muscles together and maintains the lining of your gut. It's like the "glue" that holds everything together.

{Fun fact: the word comes from the Greek work kólla, which means glue.}

Twenty-nine different types of collagen have been identified. The various collagen types and the structures they form all serve the same purpose, to help tissues withstand stretching. The four main types of collagen are type I, II, III, and IV. Type I is the most common and is distributed in bones, ligaments, and tendons. Type I also is also the type of collagen that is present in skin, where it’s largely responsible for skin’s elasticity and strengt