Collagen seems to be all the rage right now and I am feeling obsessed with it now too!
You have probably seen it as supplements, powders, and Gummy. Everyone seems to be marketing the collagen is the next big thing.
As a nutritionist, I have defiantly jumped on the bandwagon too!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a key constituent of all connective tissues.
Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility. The intake of collagen ensures the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints.
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine.
The composition of collagen is considered unique given its high hydroxyproline content.
If you lack the amino acids that combine to form collagen, your body's cells can't produce enough of it.
There are many benefits of collagen such as healthy skin promotion and balanced nutrition for athletic performance.
What are the benefits of Collagen:
Strengthens and repairs hair, skin, and nails. Our hair, skin, and nails are made up of collagen. As we age the production of collagen decreases which causes wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
Also, our hair thins as we age and our nails become brittle, these are all caused by a decrease in production of collagen.
When we supplement with collagen in our diet our hair, skin, and nails become stronger and you can start to see a decrease and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen can also improve skin moisture level and skin smoothness.
2. Help protect connective tissues & restore muscles. Collagen allows your joints, tendons, and ligaments to move smoothly and glide over each other. As collagen production decreases your joints tend to get stiff and can become swollen and painful. Collagen supplementation can help to lubricate your joints, tendons, and ligaments and decrease inflammation so that you are able to move easier and pain-free.
3. Helps to Repair Leaky Gut. Nearly 60-80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. As you likely know, leaky gut is a common root cause of autoimmune disease and thyroid dysfunction. When you have a leaky gut, toxins, food particles, and infections can pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream, causing inflammation, and over time this chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmunity. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or thyroid condition (the vast majority of which is autoimmune) then you likely have a leaky gut and you would benefit from adding collagen into your diets states Dr. Amy Myers.
4. Supports Bone Health. Your bones are made up of 1/3 collagen in addition to calcium. By increasing collagen in the diet you can help to support bone density and increase bone growth.
How to add Collagen to your diet:
1. Increase foods that are collagen-rich like spinach, kale, tomatoes, beets, fish, citrus foods, eggs, and avocado.
2. Bone Broth. I have been loving a good cup of bone broth daily recently. I buy mine from a local health food store, pour some into my mug, heat it up and sip it like tea. Bone Broth is made by slowly simmering the bones, meat, tendons/ligaments, and feet of an animal, you are able to transfer their nourishing benefits into an easily digestible liquid. The remaining broth contains gelatin, essential amino acids, and minerals that are giving bone broth the new title of, “superfood”.
You can usually find Bone Broth at your local health food store or you can find a reputable source online that you can order from.
Vital Proteins also sells a powdered bone broth that you can put into hot water and make your own broth.
3. Supplement with Collagen Peptides. This is one of the most convenient ways to increase collagen in the diet. Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. They are Bioavailable which means they are digested and absorbed by the body quickly for maximum benefits.
Some of my favorite products I have been usually lately from Vital Proteins:
Collagen Peptides- These have 20 g collagen per serving, 1 simple ingredient - gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free, Whole30 Approved, and paleo friendly.clean, tasteless, and dissolves & absorbs quickly. This product is great to put in hot or cold liquids, including coffee, smoothies, and baked goods. I use this product mostly to put in my smoothies.
If you are meat-free you can try the Vital Proteins Marine Collagen that is made from the scales of fresh Non-GMO Project verified wild-caught snapper and are highly bio-available, digestible and soluble in cold water.
They are also different flavors that you can add to baking to make protein pancakes, muffins or anything you can think of!
Coffee Creamer- I love the coffee creamer because it adds a little flavor to my coffee without having to use a dairy creamer. These creamers are Whole30-approved and free of dairy, artificial flavors, added sugars, and carrageenan.
A healthy way to start your day, they’re rich in clean collagen protein and healthy fats from organic coconut milk.
They all come in a few different flavors. Just an FYI they definitely taste like coconut, so if you don’t like that taste this may not be the product for you.
Beauty Water- This is a new product that I just started using. This product is a blend of bovine collagen, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, organic strawberry and organic lemon which help support the glow and tone of your skin from the inside out.
Put a scoop in your water and sip on it throughout your day to get added collagen. The flavor is not overly potent and is not sweet at all. It’s a great addition to plain water if you want to spice it up!
Beef Gelatin- I just started experimenting with this product and making Collagen Gummy Bears. I am still perfecting my recipe so, for now, check out some of the other recipes posted online.
Let me know if you try any of these products and your thoughts about them!
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