Collagen is the "glue" that holds our body together and a crucial protein that supports our health and integrity of our tissues. As we age, collagen production decreases which promotes the signs of aging; wrinkles, joint pain and brittle nails. Adding collagen-rich foods and supplements is an important way we can improve our health.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body.
Collagen makes up around 30% of our total protein. It's found in connective tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage. Collagen provides the structure, strength and elasticity for these tissues to function optimally. Types 1,11, and 111 collagen are the most abundant in our body.
Benefits of Collagen.
Skin Health - eating collagen-rich foods can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improving the skin's elasticity and hydration which promotes a more youthful complexion.
Joint Health - collagen is essential for the maintenance and repair of cartilage in joints which will help alleviate joint pain, improve mobility especially in those with osteoarthritis.
Hair and Nail Strength - collagen improves nail strength, reduces brittleness, supports the structure and strength of hair making it healthier and shinier.
Gut Health - collagen contains amino acids glycine and proline which support gut health and better digestion. Eating collagen-rich bone broth supports a healthier gut.
Muscle Mass and Recovery - collagen is necessary for muscle repair and growth especially as you age.
Wound Healing - collagen play an important role in speeding up the recovery process of healing.
What Can I Do?
Taking collagen peptides daily is a great way to support your health, but incorporating dietary and lifestyle habits to naturally support collagen production are important too.
Minimize alcohol. When we reduce our alcohol consumption we reduce dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic that can deplete the skin's moisture, leading to dryness and decreased collagen synthesis and the ability to absorb vitamin C which is crucial for collagen formation.
Drink water throughout the day. Aiming for 1/2 your body weight in ounces is a good target for improving collagen synthesis.
Use bone broth. Collagen-rich bone broth can help support overall collagen production in the body, contributing to healthy bones, skin and connective tissues.
Cook with collagen-rich cuts of meat. Our modern diet favors steak, chicken breasts and limits meat that includes connective tissues rich in collagen. Consider adding skin-on chicken, slow cooked meats like short ribs, roasts and flank steak.
Include citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit contain antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and zinc to help your body produce more collagen.
Collagen Supplement Suggestions.
There are 28 different types of collagen in your body - 90% of it is "Type l", found in your skin, bones and blood vessels. Type lll is also important because it makes up your muscles and digestive system. Look for collagen with Types l and lll.
Grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine collagen is the highest quality collagen that provides both types.
PaleoValley 100% Grass Fed Bone Broth Protein - paleovalley.com
NativePath Collagen Peptides nativepath.com
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides [Amazon, Costco]
Live Conscious Collagen Peptides [Amazon]
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein acientnutrition.com
Garden of Life Grass fed Collagen Peptides gardenofllife.com /Amazon
Collagen is truly amazing and as we age, it's important to consider supplementing and adding more collagen-rich foods into our diet. I hope these suggestions will encouage you to explore how to include more collagen for better health.
Thanks for reading,