Collagen is an essential part of our joints, bones, muscles and – as evident in almost every single anti-aging commercial – skin. Collagen is a protein that is present in our body but should be supplemented, dietician Ayşenur Fişek says, pointing out that our collagen depots start depleting after the age of 25. Underscoring the benefits of collagen as a building-block for healthy skin, muscles and joints, Fişek said that the protein has healing effects on the eyes and hair as well. The protein helps maintain the integrity of the cartilage in your joints, and makes them more flexible, which could even relieve joint pain. It can also stop the rapid aging of the organs, especially the eyes and the skin, which collagen is a major component of. The protein not only strengthens the skin but may also help with its hydration levels and elasticity. It can also reduce the risk of bone disorders such as osteoporosis and prevent bone loss, as bones themselves mostly consist of collagen as well. With aging, decreasing calcium levels coupled with a rapid loss of collagen can make bones brittle and cause them to break more easily.
Fişek suggests people should consume one bowl of bone broth to supplement their daily collagen intake. “Your daily diet should include products such as meat and bone broth,” she said, adding that green and leafy vegetables, such as asparagus, were also very rich in collagen. However, Fişek also warned people against consuming it in excess amounts, saying: “Just because we suggested bone broth, people have started to drink it by the bucketload. Due to that, their cholesterol levels have skyrocketed and they have gained fat. I suggest bone broth but only up to one bowl a day.”