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Why and How To Get More Collagen Into Your Diet

Collagen is this thing many people have heard of that can help keep skin elastic and ward off wrinkles. There was a time this was all I knew about collagen. Little did I know just how important this protein is beyond keeping me looking younger longer. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and is found in our skin, hair, nails, muscles, bones, tendons, and even in our organs. It is basically what holds everything together, like glue.

It is made up of non-essential amino acids including proline, glycine, arginine, and glutamine.  While our bodies can and do produce these amino acids, as we age our body’s ability to make them as needed slows down. This is why we get wrinkles and aches and pains in our joints as we age. Add in lifestyle factors including a low nutrient, high inflammatory diet, environmental pollution, and stress, this process slows down even quicker.  Not good! Luckily we can help our body out and consume collagen from an outside source.

Benefits Of Adding In Collagen

Collagen, in the form of bone broth, is one of the oldest known healing foods, It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years! Chicken soup when you’re sick truly does help you feel better faster (when made with bone broth.)

Skin and hair

Collagen makes up around 70% of the protein in our skin. As collagen production slows, our skin will show it first. It will become thinner and lose its elasticity, thus creating wrinkles. Luckily, it appears that consuming gluten can actual reverse this process and decrease wrinkles! A double-blind study saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles after participants collagen in it’s peptide form for 8 weeks. (1)

Joint Health

Just like our skin, our joints will lose moisture, become stiff, less mobile and painful. A double-blind study out of Penn State University performed at 24 week long study to see if adding in collagen hydrolysate would have any effect on joint pain in athletes. They found that those who were treated with the collagen hydrolysate reported less joint pain while at rest, walking, and lifting. (2) It has even been found to be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. (3)

Digestive Health

It has been found that people who have digestive issues like leaky gut, dysbiosis, or digestive related autoimmune disease, also have lower serum concentrations of collagen in the intestinal lining. Collagen has been found to restore the lining of the intestinal tract and help keep its integrity. (4) Consuming collagen can support a healthy digestive tract.


One amino acid collagen contains is glycine. Glycine is a precursor for glutathione and might improve Phase II detox. Phase II detox is when the liver wants to remove a toxic chemical or drug, and render it less harmful. Glycine is one of the amino acids necessary to help bind to these chemicals, help make it water soluble and then be removed from the body. (5)

How To Get Collagen

Bone broth, collagen protein powder, and collagen peptides are 3 ways to consume this awesome protein.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is the most gentle on your digestive tract. I love this form because it is nutrient dense, easy to make, and, again, easiest on the gut. If you have an inflamed intestinal lining, this form will be the least likely to cause stomach upset.

How To Make Bone Broth

  • 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source (either beef, poultry, or fish)
  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 entire bulb of garlic, broken apart but cloves do not have to be peeled
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • filtered water
  • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste.


  1. In a large Crockpot or stockpot, place bones in the bottom and cover the bones with filtered water. Add in apple cider vinegar.
  2. Rough chop vegetables and add to pot. Add in seasonings. Heat on the lowest possible setting for allotted time for the bones you chose:
    1. Beef broth: 48 hours for crockpot, 12-18 hours for stove top on low
    2. Chicken or poultry broth: 24 hours for crockpot, 4-8 hours stove top on low
    3. Fish broth: 8 hours for crockpot, 1-3 hours stove top on low
  3. Remove all ingredients and toss. Strain broth to remove the stuff floating around and store in glass containers. up to 3 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
  4. Drink 1-3 cups per day as a tea and use for cooking.

Collagen Powders

I highly recommend finding collagen powders that are from humanely raised, pastured sources. Two of my favorite brands are Vital Proteins and Great Lakes. Collagen powder is what is used to make foods like jello.  I have also been known to add it to my coffee and soups in the winter. Then there is collagen peptides, which dissolve in cold liquids. I like to add this powder to my green smoothies. The summers in Phoenix are way too hot for broth, so this form is a great option. I use 1 tbsp a day when I use these forms.

What is your favorite way to consume collagen? Let me know in the comments!

collagen diet road to living whole marian mitchell



32 thoughts on “Why and How To Get More Collagen Into Your Diet”

  1. I love this post 🙂 I have recently started making mine own and am really enjoying it! Great to hear what it actually does for me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am so glad you mentioned the option of using chicken and fish for those of us who do not eat red meat. I love making it from chicken – I am always stunned when people discard chicken bones after cooking a whole chicken. The broth is the best part!

  3. I love fish broth during the fall and winter months. This will be a great addition to my broth recipe box for the family. I’m going to drink it more often for its benefits. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Great article. I am just beginning to learn more about the importance of collagen in the body. Thank you for sharing your bone broth recipe. I am going to try it! Thank you!!

  5. This is great information, I didn’t know how important collagen was to the entire body. I’ll be making bone broth soon!

  6. Carey Michelle

    Really enjoy your explanations of why a certain nutrient is needed, thus the reason for the recipe… feel even more inspired to try a new recipe/food when understanding all the benefits too. Thanks for the informed info:).

  7. Sounds like a delicious broth recipe! Collagen is important, I have actually never really thought about ways to add it into my diet!

  8. I think its a great idea to try and eat your way to more collagen! I think its the best way to get nutrients for your body rather than trying to use supplements!

  9. Your post was so informative! Just the excellent read I needed today as I’m battling dry skin, hair and nails. Later this afternoon I’ll be stopping by GNC to pick up a bottle of collagen. Thank you so much for this awesome vitamin recommendation. It’s so helpful!

  10. i use collagen as part of my daily skin care and it is even better to take it in as part of health supplement! great article and im considering for sure!

  11. Very informative post, I am sure this will be very helpful for people who like to stay away from supplements and look for nutrients in food.
    We use so much bone broth in our home, saw my grandmother using it all the time, for cooking, drinking alone and especially when someone is sick or recovering from a sickness. Natural things cannot be compared to anything!

  12. Collagen has so many benefits for us. It is so important to try to get more into your diet. I will have to give these a try.

  13. i love how detailed and informative this is. yes to broth, especially this time of year! i can’t get enough of soups, and now i know even more health benefits about them!

  14. Yes Collagen must be included in out diet. It is an important building block for elasticity, and its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And I thought you can only get them from supplements. Thanks for sharing these tips

    1. Marian Mitchell

      All supplements come from somewhere! I much prefer getting my nutrients from food sources as they are usually paired with other nutrients needed for maximum absorption and much cheaper than supplements. I’m glad you found the blog useful!

  15. Great article on how to add more collagen to our diets. I love this home made bone broth recipe and it will be good for this fall season as well.

  16. I honestly had no idea that collagen was so important. Maybe I need to start paying more attention to adding this to my diet!

  17. I’ve recently added collagen to my diet and it has made such a difference with the growth of my hair and nails. Need to make your bone broth… it looks amazing!

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About Us

Hi friend!

I’m Marian Mitchell, Health Coach, Chronic Illness Warrior, Mom, and Food Lover. I help you navigate the food and lifestyle side of Chronic Disease Management with coaching, meal plans, recipes, podcast, and this blog. You can thrive without eating the same 4 things every day. I’m here to show you how.

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