|July 2, 2024

What Foods Have Collagen? The Ultimate Guide to Collagen-Rich Foods

By Sarah Kester
Reviewed by Theresa Greenwell for Scientific Accuracy on 06/25/2024

What Foods Have Collagen? The Ultimate Guide to Collagen-Rich Foods

  • Collagen is the primary building block of the skin, bones, ligaments and tissues.
  • If you’re looking for a collagen boost, several foods are high in collagen, including bone broth, fish and shellfish, citrus fruits and berries.
  • Collagen supplements are another popular way to top up the body’s dwindling supply of collagen.

What Foods Have Collagen?

These days, you can’t go into the wellness aisle of any grocery store without seeing tubs and tubs of collagen. It isn’t a coincidence that collagen has soared in popularity in recent years. It’s the body’s most abundant protein that provides support and structure to the body.[1]

People may need to learn that collagen already exists in many foods. Many people already nourish themselves with staple foods, such as chicken, seafood, bone broth and fruits, which naturally contain collagen. Here are the best foods high in collagen, plus a look at collagen supplements.

woman's arm

What Is Collagen?

Collagen plays a vital role in the body. It’s a naturally occurring protein that provides structure to the skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

It may help to think of collagen as the frame of your mattress. Much like a frame supports a mattress, collagen supports the skin’s structure. Since collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, so many parts of the body make use of its benefits. It may improve joint health, strengthen bones and improve the appearance of skin and hair.[2]

Unfortunately, collagen supplies dwindle with age. Genetics and lifestyle habits can ultimately affect the rate at which this degradation occurs. Free radicals, such as UV rays, smoking and air pollution, can all contribute to the signs of aging skin.

Adding more collagen to your diet and supplements can help counteract these effects.

Collagen in Food

Are you interested in taking a food-first approach to collagen? These collagen-rich foods deliver taste and health benefits.

bone broth

Bone broth

Bone broth has always been one of the best sources of collagen, even before Gwyneth Paltrow put it on the map. It’s broth made from animal bones, such as beef and chicken. When these bones are boiled, the collagen in connective tissues breaks down into gelatin, which is more easily absorbed by the body.

There are many flavorful ways to enjoy bone broth, from using it instead of water when cooking to adding it as a base for stews to drinking it straight up.

Skin-on chicken

That mighty crunch of chicken skin is reason enough to leave the skin on. Here’s another: it’s rich in glycine, the primary amino acid in collagen. Glycine may increase collagen production.[3]

There are 1.23 grams of glycine per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of chicken skin.[4] But since chicken skin is higher in fat and calories than skinless chicken, it’s best to consume this form of collagen in moderation.

mixed berries


The nutritional power of berries is not to be understated. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or blackberries are indirect sources of collagen. Much of this concerns the fact that they’re rich in vitamin C. Research has found that vitamin C may support collagen building and structure.[5]

Blueberries, for example, contain 25 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.[6]

Citrus fruits

Like berries, citrus fruits don’t produce collagen. Instead, they have hefty doses of vitamin C, supporting pro-collagen, the collagen precursor. Some of the best fruits to squeeze collagen benefits out include lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit.

fish dinner

Fish and Shellfish

Seafood is already an essential part of a healthy diet. But here’s another reason to dive into the sea: shellfish are chock full of collagen. Marine collagen is mainly type 1 collagen, the body’s most abundant form of collagen.

Many collagen supplements source their collagen from seafood, such as the bones, skin, scales and fins.[7]

Sardines, salmon, cod, and halibut are the best fish high in collagen. For shellfish, load up on shrimp and oysters.

Collagen Supplements

If getting enough collagen in your diet is a concern, collagen supplements make a great addition to any wellness routine.

Collagen supplements come in many forms, such as powders and capsules. As collagen’s popularity soars, new creative ways to try it are emerging, such as liquid collagen drinks, gummies and coffee creamers.

Most collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen peptides. They are collagen that has been broken down into a more absorbable form via a process called hydrolysis.[8]

Pick which collagen supplement to try such as collagen peptides.

There are so many delicious and creative ways to utilize collagen peptides. It can be added to almost any meal or recipe, from soups to smoothies to desserts to oatmeal.

Collagen in coffee is another winning combination. Since collagen easily dissolves into liquid drinks, add a scoop (or two) to your morning brew.

Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein. It provides structure to the skin, bones, cartilage and tendons. The benefits of collagen include plumper skin, increased muscle mass and healthier joints.

Eating collagen-rich foods helps increase production. Dig into chicken, bone broth, berries and seafood. If you need more than the food-first approach, you can also top collagen’s dwindling supply with collagen supplements.

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