Collagen is a protein that is essential for the formation of connective tissues in the body. It is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in muscles, bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.
-Irritable bowel syndrome
-Wrinkles and fine lines
-Blood pressure issues
Fish and shellfish
Vitamin C [berries, mangos, pineapple, guava, and citrus fruits]
Importance Of Collagen In Your Diet
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is found in skin, bones, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Collagen is at least 70% of the human body’s total protein content. Collagen is a general term for skin and connective tissue structural proteins.
There are at least 28 known types of collagen in the human body, of which 80-90% consist of Type I, Type II & Type III collagen.
This blog post will provide you with all the information you need about collagen supplements to increase your intake for more beautiful skin and a more robust bone structure. We will also give you tips on telling if a supplement has what it takes to be effective at increasing collagen production over time!
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is essential for maintaining the elasticity and strength of our skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints. It helps to keep us looking young and healthy! Collagen can reinforce the elasticity of your blood vessels so they remain strong and resilient.
Why Collagen Is Important?
Unfortunately, as we age our natural collagen production begins to decline as we produce less collagen. Hence the tendency towards thinning skin and wrinkles as we get older. Therefore, it’s essential to supplement your diet with collagen-boosting foods or supplements as you get older. There are only four sources of collagen in the food world, namely Bone Broth, Organ meats (only certain), Eggs, and Bony meat like oxtail, rich in cartilage & joint material.
Not all food sources will effectively increase collagen levels in your body, but some fruits and vegetables can help boost collagen production or synthesis. In fact, a healthy diet could help with this, so we suggest reading The Lifestyle Guide To Being A Vegetarian.
What To Look For In A Collagen Supplement
Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a collagen supplement. When choosing a supplement, always emphasize quality and brand integrity. Research on collagen supplements is fairly new, so it is essential to pick the right one for your needs.
Getting all the collagen, you need from your diet is not always possible.
The supplement should be made from hydrolyzed collagen protein rather than gelatine. Hydrolyzed proteins have been broken down into smaller peptides that are easier for the body to digest and absorb.
A good supplement should also contain vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production and absorption. Consuming collagen and vitamin C together gives the body the full advantage of consuming collagen. Vitamin C will optimize the collagen supplement’s bioavailability as Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen.
When deciding on a collagen supplement, selecting one backed by scientific research is essential to increase collagen levels.
Look for a supplement made from grass-fed beef and poultry or from natural marine sources. These animal proteins contain higher collagen and other nutrients for healthy connective tissue. A grass-fed source will ensure that the collagen in the supplement is of high quality.
The supplement should also include other nutrients that support collagen production, such as silica and hyaluronic acid.
One study suggests that hyaluronic acid can help boost collagen production in the human body. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that is naturally found in the body, including the skin, eyes, and joints. The primary function of hyaluronic acid is to provide moisture to these areas. It, unfortunately, decreases as we age. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids (amino acids are molecules that are the building blocks of proteins) can increase hyaluronic acid and collagen levels in the body. Both are important for your skin.
Finally, ensure the supplement doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or fillers.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your collagen supplement range.
How To Select The Best Sources Of Collagen Available On The Market:
Bone broth is made by boiling down animal bones and connective tissue. This nutrient-dense broth is used for sauces, health drinks, and as a base for many soups. Bone broth is one of the most popular sources of collagen because it contains all three types of protein (collagen I, II, and III). It’s also rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium. Our bodies can create glutamic acid, but it is also found in food such as bone broth.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone Broth is a flavorful, nutrient-dense liquid made from simmering marrow-rich animal bones (beef, chicken, turkey, pork) in warm water for an extended period. In addition to the collagen-rich connective tissues and marrow inside these tendons, vegetables like celery carrots onions are also used during this process, giving bone broth its traditional flavor!
Don’t feel like making it yourself, we recommend this bone broth: Bone Broth Collagen Variety Pack.
Since bone broth is often graded by how gelatinous it is upon cooling, sometimes apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is added in small amounts to help break down the animal proteins and connective tissues. This aided breakdown helps provide a broth higher in protein and collagen.
Gelatine is produced by processing animal bones, cartilage, and skin. The process extracts the collagen, a fibrous protein that connects muscles, bones, and skin, and turns it into gelatine, a flavorless, colorless, jelly-like substance. Gelatine is a high-protein product. For example, 100 grams (g) of dry gelatine powder contain more than 85 g of protein Trusted Source.
When purchasing collagen, ensure you know how it has been processed. If possible, always choose cold water processing techniques, as these retain more nutrients than high-heat methods like pressure-cooking. This will increase its digestibility and provide a higher concentration of amino acids in general, making it much easier for our bodies to absorb.
Look out for collagen supplements consisting of various collagen types, not just one type. The five most common varieties include:
- type l collagen, (sourced from Beef, Eggshell membrane & Bone Broth)
- type ll collagen, (sourced from Chicken & Bone broth)
- type lll collagen, (sourced from Beef, Fish & Bone broth)
- type V collagen, (sourced from Eggshell membrane)
- type X collagen. (Sourced from Eggshell membrane & Chicken)
These collagens can be found all over the body and therefore form an essential part of our physical makeup.
When selecting a collagen supplement, ensure it is from a reliable source. Collagen peptides are usually considered the best form of collagen for ingestion. Hydrolyzed collagen means that the collagen has been broken down into small peptides, which are accessible for the body to digest.
Look out for a collagen supplement that contains Probiotics and Vitamin C.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re getting the best available collagen supplement that is out there on the market. Some good brands are NeoCell, Vital Proteins, and Reserveage Nutrition.
Why Does Collagen Help With Joint Pain, Hair Loss, And Skin Elasticity?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it’s responsible for elasticity and strength in our skin, hair, nails, joints, and blood vessels. It forms a mesh-like structure that helps keep everything together. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, which is why many of us start to see wrinkles and saggy skin. But by supplementing with collagen peptides, you can help offset some of these signs of aging.
In addition to its anti-aging benefits, collagen has been shown to help treat conditions like joint pain, arthritis, eczema, leaky gut syndrome, and even hair loss. This is because supplementing with collagen helps improve digestive health by strengthening the gut lining. When the gut functions well, it can better absorb all the other essential nutrients from our food.
Collagen Supplements are an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough collagen daily.
Several types of collagen supplements on the market are oral collagen supplements, including powders, pills, and liquids. You can also find collagen in some foods like bone broth and beef gelatine (which can be added to soups/sauces and gelatine-rich desserts. Bone broth is made from bones and connective tissue. Bone broth is rich in magnesium, calcium, collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, amino acids, phosphorous, and many other nutrients.
If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough every day, try supplementing with collagen powder. This type of supplement is tasteless and dissolves easily in any beverage.
If you want to add collagen to your diet but don’t love the taste of bone broth or gelatinous desserts, there are plenty of ways to cook with it. Collagen peptides can be added to smoothies, juices, oatmeal, yogurt, sauces, and baked goods. With creativity, it’s easy to sneak into your diet.
Good options include chicken collagen, fish collagen, eggshell membrane, and colostrum supplements (especially for those with autoimmune conditions).
A person needs 10 grams of collagen daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Start with 5 grams and increase up to 10 grams for an adult. Any age group from 2 years old can benefit from taking collagen supplements.
Eating enough other forms of protein will also help keep your muscles strong so they don’t break down as quickly during exercise. If you’re looking to take some, then try this collagen supplement.
Why Is It Important To Consume Enough Collagen?
Collagen is essential as we age and our bone density decreases.
The benefits of collagen are also related to skin health, aging skin, muscle mass, connective tissue, and bone mineral density. Decreased collagen production is associated with old age, joint pain, and lean muscle mass.
Collagen peptides are also great for your hair, skin, nails, bones & joints, digestive system & gut health (especially when taken with probiotics), heart health, muscles, mobility/flexibility, and energy levels.
Risks Of Taking Too Much Collagen
Are there any risks associated with taking too many supplements or eating too many foods rich in collagen?
When it comes to collagen supplements, as with any other type, it is essential to speak with your healthcare professional before taking them. Too much of anything can be harmful, and it’s always best to start slowly when introducing a new supplement into your diet.
With collagen peptides, there haven’t been any reported adverse side effects associated with taking them, but again, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider before starting.
As for foods rich in collagen, overconsuming these can also lead to negative consequences. Foods high in protein can strain your kidneys if you’re not getting enough water or have another underlying health condition.
How Much Collagen Must You Take?
How much should I eat each day to benefit from this vital nutrient?
While the answer to that question depends on various factors, including age and activity level, a good rule of thumb is to include oral collagen supplementation or natural collagen-rich foods in every meal.
Food Sources High In Collagen
Foods high in collagen include beef, chicken, eggs, fish, and dairy products such as milk and cheese.
Protein-rich foods or foods that boost collagen production may also help create the building blocks (amino acids) you need. Three amino acids are essential for collagen synthesis: proline, lysine, and glycine.
Only four direct sources of collagen are found in food: Bone Broth, Bony meat like oxtail, rich in cartilage, joint material, and bone. Organ meats (only Tripe), and Eggshell membrane.
Not all food sources will effectively increase collagen levels in your body, but some fruits and vegetables can help boost collagen production or synthesis.
Egg whites have large amounts of one of the amino acids necessary for collagen production, namely proline.
Poultry is rich in connective tissue and is a rich source of dietary collagen.
Fish and shellfish have bones and ligaments made of collagen and, therefore, a good source.
Getting enough vitamin C is critical. Vitamin C plays a significant role in producing pro-collagen, the body’s precursor to collagen. Berries, mangos, pineapple, guava, and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. If you want to know more about Vitamins, read this blog on Vitamins: How They Work and Their Sources.
Garlic, onions, and cabbage have high levels of sulfur dioxide. Sulfite is a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent collagen breakdown.
Signs Your Body Needs More Collagen
You may notice these signs and symptoms if your body lacks collagen. Some of the symptoms you may experience are:
- Achy joints
- Leaky gut
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Dry skin
- Hair thinning
- Blood pressure issues
How To Combat And Minimize Signs Of Collagen-Related Aging:
Physical signs of aging (like wrinkles and muscle loss) start appearing when you turn 40. You don’t need to be 40 to start eating more collagen-friendly, antioxidant-rich foods and taking collagen supplements.
- Stop with sugar and refined carbs.
- Start adding more collagen and collagen-boosting foods to your daily diet.
- Update your pantry with more collagen foods like Collagen peptides and collagen protein
- Eat more vegetables and fruit high in Vitamin C
- Substitute red meat with Legumes.
- Avocado is a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
- Cabbage is packed with Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. Remember, your body needs Vitamin C to produce collagen.
- Brussels sprouts provide 81% of your daily vitamin C needs in each half-cup cooked serving.
- Tomatoes. Source of vitamin C. One medium tomato can provide up to almost 30 percent of this vital nutrient for collagen. Tomatoes also boast large amounts of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant for skin support.
- Dairy products like cheese and milk are another good source of protein.
You can get amino acids by eating and digesting protein-rich foods, like meat, beans, soy, and dairy products. That allows your body to repurpose the amino acids into collagen. During the repurposing process, your body uses vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin C, zinc, and copper.
Thinking about all the good things you can do to support healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints over time, collagen peptides are one of the simplest ways to ensure that your body and skin get the nutrients they need to maintain themselves.
Try this anti-aging cream for wrinkle reduction.
You have now learned all about the importance of collagen in your diet, but is it possible to get enough from food alone? The answer may surprise you. Plenty of foods can provide a healthy dose of protein and other nutrients for your body, including fish, red meat, poultry, beef liver, egg yolks, bone broth, or whey protein powder.
However, if these aren’t sufficient on their own (which they might not be depending on your dietary needs), then taking some supplements like gelatin-rich capsules or tablets is an option worth considering. Just make sure you purchase high-quality supplements made with pharmaceutical-grade ingredients to avoid any unnecessary risks.