Collagen was one of the predicted top food trends of 2017 - and for good reason. Collagen is essential to your overall health, especially for your skin, hair, and bones. But what exactly iscollagen? If you’re not sure what it is, what it can do for you, and most importantly, where to get it from, keep reading…
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body - it contains a mixture of amino acids like proline and glycine, which are found in all connective tissue, including the vital organs. In fact, collagen makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin. However, our natural collagen production declines with age with exposure to modern lifestyle factors, such as stress, poor diet, and pollution. And so, the need to replenish its supply is crucial to maintaining overall health.
What are the benefits of collagen?
Improves health of skin and hair
As you age, there is a natural decrease in collagen production, resulting in wrinkling and dulling of the skin. Increasing collagen levels in your body assists your skin cells to keep renewing themselves and repairing normally - making your skin look firmer and smoother. In fact, in one recent study, women who took collagen supplements daily experienced a 20% reduction in wrinkle depth around their eyes after 8 weeks! It is important to note that although there are various products out there that can help externally, your diet has the biggest influence on your skin.
Reduces joint pain
The building block of healthy joints come from a healthy diet - this includes the consumption of key amino acids like proline, lysine, and glutamine, which support the natural production of collagen in the body. When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more. In fact, a recent study found that collagen supplementation is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint and pain disorders.
In conjunction with the Standard American Diet, digestive issues have increasingly been on the rise; gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, and abdominal discomfort seem to have become the norm these days. The latter are signs of unbalanced bacteria in the gut that can be aided by consuming collagen, which assists in rebuilding and restoring the protective lining of the intestinal tract. In fact, collagen is loaded with the amino acid glutamine, which has been shown to be effective for preventing various digestive issues, such as leaky gut, IBS, acid reflux, Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Collagen supports weight-loss in a unique way by impacting your satiety levels. Adding collagen to your mid-morning coffee or mid-afternoon tea can be a great strategy to curb cravings and make it through to your next meal. Additionally, unlike some weight-loss promoting products, consuming high-quality collagen guarantees no fillers, hormones or any form of harsh chemicals that may affect the normal functioning of your body.
What are the best sources of collagen?
When it comes to sources of collagen we get from our diet, the main ones are foods that are very high in protein, such as beef or chicken. However, it’s the connective tissue of animals that is loaded with collagen - making bone broth an ideal food to consume for upping collagen intake. Simmering bones and marrow of chicken or beef for a long period of time creates a hearty bone broth that has a tremendous amount of easy-to- absorb collagen. Although we believe that the best source of natural collagen is found through the foods that you eat, you can find high-quality collagen supplementation for times where you need a boost or are on-the- go. One of our favourite’s is Organika’s Enhanced Collagen, which is naturally sourced from grass-
fed cows and free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. This collagen is ideal as it is virtually tasteless, making it easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks, such as your morning coffee!
Other tips for getting collagen into your diet:
- making or drinking real bone broth
- using bone broth in recipes - you can consume bone broth on its own or use it in all sorts of savoury recipes
- taking collagen supplements
- eating a well-rounded diet that helps increase absorption of the collagen you consume