I don’t know whether you have noticed but Collagen is currently trending in the health industry, and for good reason! This amazing protein is pretty much the ‘glue’ that holds the body together and is the most abundant protein found in the body. It’s found in our muscles, bones, skin and tendons and keeps our skin looking vibrant and youthful.
As with so many other things that sadly seem to decline with age, so does collagen. This decline is exacerbated by diets high in sugar, smoking and excessive sun exposure.
So just how healthy is collagen for you? Let’s look at 5 ways collagen can improve your health
- Improves Skin Quality: As we age, collagen production declines. This contributes to sagging skin, wrinkles and decreased elasticity. While spending money on expensive creams can help your skin externally, your diet has the biggest influence on your skin health, i.e. beauty starts from the inside out. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help you to look younger than all your ageing book-club buddies, which is the most important thing.
- Fights Joint Pain: Bones as well as joint cartilage are largely comprised of collagen, which with age deteriorates leading to all of our aches and pains and even disorders such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Supplementing with high quality collagen may help slow down or even prevent this decline helping your joints to move more easily, reduce joint pain and even reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Supports Gut Health: It is a lesser-known fact that our gut is responsible for a huge proportion of our body’s immune system. This makes sense seeing as it is the first barrier to all the potentially harmful bugs that we ingest daily, and to the bacteria which happily call our digestive tract home. That being said, it is important to support our guts health to prevent the passage of these toxins and potential invaders. Collagen is packed full of the amino acid glutamine, which feed the cells of the gut lining keeping this barrier healthy and ready for any pesky trouble-makers.
- Supports Weight Loss: How can eating collagen help you lose weight? It sounds ridiculous but eating collagen naturally inhibits the hunger hormones secreted in your gut keeping you satiated for longer (thus preventing you from picking up that extra pork-pie in between meals) Adding collagen to your mid-morning or mid-afternoon tea/coffee can be a great strategy to curb these troublesome cravings. Supplementing with collagen can also increase your metabolism. Glycine, found in collagen, helps pump sugar into your body’s tissue to increase energy levels, while amino acids help muscle development. This in turn boosts your metabolism and fat burning potential.
- Improves Sleep Quality & Stress Levels: Collagen can help to support deep sleep because it’s loaded with the amino acid glycine. Glycine helps your body relax and unwind, thus decreasing stress levels and promoting quality deep sleep. While it is not a sedative, glycine helps set the foundation for quality sleep so you can keep your energy levels high, fight off colds and flu, and thrive at work and play.
Sources of Collagen
So its really simple, collagen is good for you, but how does one get enough of this superfood and keep ourselves younger, healthier and fitter than all our work colleagues?
- Bone Broth is a great way to increase collagen intake. It’s a healthy, delicious way to use the bones that we would normally throw away and therefore will save you money for your Christmas shopping or your next spoil. There are many recipes available especially when looking online.
- Collagen supplements are another easy way to increase your collagen intake. Make sure that you get your powder from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows (with no antibiotics or chemicals). Alternatively hydrolyzed marine collagen powder is another fantasticproduct to supplement with. Collagen can be mixed into smoothies, soups or even into baked goods to provide collagen’s healthy benefits without adding any taste to your favourite meals.
- Increase collagen-enhancing foods such as eggs, poultry, fish and milk. It is important to note that Collagen also requires vitamin C, manganese, copper, proline and foods high in Anthocyanidins (such as blueberries and cherries) in order to be activated in the body. Therefore you always want to take your supplements with a source of amino acids and vitamin C, or make sure that your supplement includes these activating nutrients to ensure absorption and usefulness to your body.