Top 3 Benefits of Collagen
By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the latest craze for this supplement in health and wellness — collagen. You can find it in the health foods sections of grocery stores, online and even in certain foods. Unlike many health fads, collagen has been proven beneficial and can be easily integrated into your lifestyle. Here are just some of the reasons I recommend including this powerhouse into your diet.
But what exactly is collagen?
Collagen is the most bountiful protein in your body, helping to compose skin, blood, bone, cartilage, and ligaments. It does everything from providing structure to cushioning joints, and can even help with filtration in the skin. But as you age, your body produces less and less of it so taking it as a supplement is a stellar option to maintain and improve health.
1. Gut restoration and healing
Healing and sealing. This is one of the common ways that collagen can work in your body, by building the lining of the stomach. Often times, the walls of the stomach can become permeable, allowing for bits and pieces from the stomach to enter into the bloodstream. This is one of the common causes of inflammation throughout the body. Taking a collagen supplement thickens the walls of the stomach, preventing gut permeability.
Collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans primarily make up the dermis layer of the skin. When your body produces less collagen at an older age, the bond between the dermis and epidermis weakens, giving skin the aged appearance.
This protein also gives skin its elasticity, making it look more rejuvenated and vibrant. A study done in 2014 tested the effectiveness of collagen peptides by randomly selecting 69 women between ages 35 and 55 years to receive either collagen or a placebo. After four weeks, the group that received the collagen saw significant improvement in skin elasticity.
3. Joint inflammation reduction
As mentioned earlier, collagen composes cartilage but over time, that cartilage can wear down and joints can become painful. Taking collagen supplements rebuilds and strengthens the cartilage, reducing inflammation as well as supporting joint comfort, flexibility, and mobility.
While injuries to your muscles can be a more simple fix, connective tissue needs a specific kind of material to heal the injury. Collagen provides the amino acids that incorporate into your body to create this bond of connective tissue.
How can I increase my collagen intake?
Bone broth provides a plentiful source of collagen. This source of collagen can be easy and inexpensive! Bone broth is made by boiling down the connective tissue and bones of an animal. You can then drink the broth by itself or cook with it.
Another source of this protein is collagen hydrolysate, which is a form that is already broken down into collagen peptides, is tasteless and can be easily absorbed by the body. Be careful when purchasing this product, as some types may not have been tested for heavy metals. You’ll want to look for a kind that is “USDA 100% Organic and Grass Fed.” My recommended brands are Vital Proteins, Great Lakes, and Primal Kitchen.
I recommend using two tablespoons daily. This can be put into any beverage — I prefer mine in a smoothie, but it can be mixed into any drink, even a glass of water.
Start incorporating collagen into your routine today!