By Kat Odell
Starting the day with foods that help you look your best is a great way to get going in the morning. You know collagen is the ultimate beauty booster—everywhere you go, people are blending it into smoothies, pouring it into coffee, and adding it to muffins. That’s because collagen—a protein our bodies produce naturally—contributes to plump, glowy skin, plus strong hair and nails.
So it’s no surprise that wellness bloggers are into it, and their favorite beauty-boosting breakfasts have ingredients that support our bodies’ own collagen production.
Supplementing is also important, says youtheory® chief scientific officer Dr. Nick Bitz. “Collagen is hands-down my favorite nutrient for overall skin health,” he says. “Your skin is made up of 80% collagen. And the science behind it suggests that you lose about 1% per year after the age of 30. So it’s essential to replenish your collagen stores through diet and supplementation to ensure that this structural protein is plentiful throughout the aging process.”
In addition to tasting great and containing less sugar than many other fruits, berries are jam-packed with good-for-you antioxidants, which is why holistic nutritionist and health coach Bianca Klotsman is especially keen on them as a beauty food. “The antioxidants in berries help with premature aging of the skin by fighting free radicals,” she says. Berries “contain vitamin C, which helps to keep the skin firm by aiding collagen production.”
Try it: Fresh berries are out of season, but no worries—this Purple Magic Smoothie calls for both frozen berries and collagen
2. Manuka honey
Not all honey is created equal. Though nutritionist Tara Milhem says that she’s typically not a proponent of sugar (natural or added), she makes an exception for manuka honey. “It’s New Zealand’s healing potion,” she explains, adding that she loves it “for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory beauty benefits.” (All raw honey has some of these benefits, but manuka is more potent.) You can also apply manuka honey topically, Milhem notes: “Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties can heal blemishes, minor burns, wounds, and skin impurities.”
Try it: Stir manuka honey into your morning beverage of choice, or drizzle it on yogurt
3. Lemon + Nuts/Seeds
A double dose of vitamin C- and E-rich foods is “a winning combination to help improve your skin’s health,” says healthy food blogger Yumna Jawad. She points out that“it’s not easy for our bodies to absorb all the vitamins that we put in it,” so it’s smart to eat good fats, like nuts and seeds, that help the body to absorb those nutrients. Healthy fats also promote healthy cells and help keep skin hydrated. In addition, nuts and seeds are “a great source of vitamin E, which contains collagen-producing antioxidants,” she adds.
Try it: Bake up a batch of Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Chia Muffins
Thanks to its zippy green hue and high level of antioxidants, matcha is a trendy ingredient that’s here to stay. “Matcha contains antioxidants and catechins that provide an anti-inflammatory benefit,” explains holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman. In addition to its skin calming benefits, matcha “also contains chlorophyll,” a green pigment that “delivers significant antioxidants to the skin, helping to slow down the process of aging and purify the skin.”
Try it: Treat yourself in the a.m. with these No-Bake Matcha Collagen Bars
Hungry for more?
- 8 One-Minute Tips for Glowing Skin All Day
- Recipe: Beauty-Boosting Avocado Brownies
- 6 Foods to Get You Gorgeous