Collagen! Buzz Word?
Super Food? What’s the Deal?
For all the talk of getting enough protein in our diet, would it surprise you to know that the most prevalent protein in the body is one most people don’t eat enough of?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is what gives our skin its flexibility and elasticity and allows our joints to function. But it also helps connect the cells of every gland and organ in the body. More than 30 percent of the proteins in the human body are collagen, making up about 15 percent of our total dry weight.
What does Collagen Do?
Helps with wrinkles!
The protein supports hair and nail structure and you might have friends who supplement with collagen just for the beauty benefits. But there is so much more to this powerhouse. It can help with healing after surgery or skin burns (including sunburns), and deficiencies have been found to lead to premature wrinkling.
Because of the connective effect collagen has on cells, thanks to its abundance of glucosamine, it can be especially healing for the gut. The lining of the gut is meant to permeable but stress, toxins, medications and inflammation can cause it to become overly so, leading to leaky gut. The glucosamine found in collagen can act like a little working crew, mending and rejoining the spots where integrity has been compromised.
If, as they say, “disease starts in the gut”, loving up on it with some healing collagen is a damn fine idea!
Being a pure protein, collagen can help with blood sugar balancing and metabolism. Consuming it before a meal can help fill you up and encourage you to eat less.
Oh My Aching….
Because of the strong connection between collagen and healthy joints, supplementation has been found to help with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is nature’s joint supplement!
And here’s the best-kept secret of collagen: low or poor collagen supports cellulite formation, so supplementing can help keep that at bay and improve the underlying structure beneath the skin, improving the appearance of cellulite.
HOW DO I GET MORE COLLAGEN?
So if it’s such a wonder nutrient, why are so many of us not getting enough collagen? And how do we get it from or in our foods?
One of the best ways to get collagen in your diet is through bone broth. The long, slow cooking of bones and especially joints helps break this special protein down into the broth. But as our diets have leaned less and less toward slow-cooking with whole foods (exactly how our ancestors ate, by the way), we have been consuming less and less collagen.
Want to try it? Check out my Easy Peasy Bone Broth Recipe!
Bone broth continues to be the best source of collagen, but let’s be honest and admit that many Americans can’t (because of time) or won’t (because of time) be making a weekly batch of homemade bone broth.
Fortunately, there are a lot of short cuts now. Although not quite the same as homemade, there are some great pre-made broths that can be purchased and my favorite is The Flavor Chef’s bone broth; small batch and homemade. Check out the coconut-ginger flavor OMG so good. (Use code GPK5 for a discount at checkout!)
Straight Up Collagen
An even better option because it offers more flexibility, are the collagen powders like the ones made by Vital Proteins and Great Lakes. They can be added to your coffee, smoothies, soups or homemade protein bars, or even made into cute little gummies.
On the GO!
I like the individual packets for on-the-go. I always have one my purse to add to my coffee, soup or smoothie when I’m out and about. Since I go through them fairly quickly I’ve found the best deal is to have an auto-ship subscription through Vital Proteins so I never run out! And it really is the best price out there when you subscribe (20% off first order, 10% off following orders!)
While I always have a tub at home I love the minis and always carry one in my bag, I love it!
Obviously there is no one food or nutrient that solves it all, but if you’re looking for improve skin, hair, nails, joints and metabolism, you could do a lot worse than cooking up a giant pot of this bone broth or adding some collagen powder to your smoothie!
For more tips on getting collagen in, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
Check out the full product line-up including collagen creamer, matcha and beauty collagen supplements HERE
I am an affiliate for this product because I trust the quality, sourcing and integrity of Vital Proteins and their products. I do earn a small commission if you decided to purchase through my links which helps support my website and blog! I only recommend products that I personally and trust, and not because I may be compensated.