What is Collagen and what foods to eat

COLLAGEN EXPLAINED

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 makes up at least 70% of the human body’s total protein content. Collagen is a general term for structural proteins in the skin and connective tissue.

There are at least 28 known types of collagens 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 to know about collagen supplements so that you can increase your intake for a more beautiful skin and stronger bone structure.

We will also give you tips on how to tell if a supplement has what it takes to be effective at increasing collagen production over time!

lady look at her skin after eating collagen rich food

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 important 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 be effective in increasing collagen levels in your body, but some fruits and vegetables can help to boost collagen production or synthesis.

collagen supplements

What to look for in a collagen supplement

Here are a few things you should look for when choosing a collagen supplement. When choosing a supplement, always emphasize quality and brand integrity. Research on collagen supplements is fairly new and that is why it is so important to pick the right one for your needs.

It’s not always possible to get all the collagen you need from your diet. Here is a good collagen supplement we recommend. You can even use the “FLASH10” and get 10% off your order.

Hydrolyzed collagen

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.

Vitamin C

A good supplement should also contain vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production and absorption. Consuming both collagen and vitamin C together gives the body the full advantage of the collagen being consumed. 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, it’s essential to select one that is backed by scientific research and has been shown to be effective in increasing collagen levels.

Look for a supplement that is made from grass-fed beef and poultry, or from natural marine sources. These animal proteins contain higher levels of collagen and other nutrients needed 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.

hyaluronic acid for collagen production

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 the levels of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the body. Both are important for your skin.

Finally, make sure the supplement doesn’t contain any 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

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 kinds of 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 on its own, but it is also found in food such as bone broth.

bone broth made at home for collagen supplementation

What is Bone Broth?

Bone Broth is a savory, nutrient-dense liquid made from simmering marrow-rich animal bones (beef, chicken, turkey, pork) in warm water for an extended period of time. In addition to the collagen-rich connective tissues and marrow inside these tendons; vegetables like celery carrots onions are also used during this process which gives bone broth its traditional flavor!

Don’t feel like making it yourself, we recommend this bone broth.

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

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 flavourless, colourless, 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.

Collagen

When purchasing collagen make sure that 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 not only increase its digestibility but provide a higher concentration of amino acids in general which makes it much easier for our bodies to absorb.

Look out for collagen supplements that consist of a variety of collagen types and 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 types of collagens can be found all over the body and therefor form an essential part of our physical makeup.

When selecting a collagen supplement, make sure that it is from a reliable source. Collagen peptides are usually considered the best form of collagen for ingestion. Hydrolysed collagen means that the collagen has been broken down into small peptides, which are easy 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 to look for 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 be helpful in treating conditions like joint pain, arthritis, eczema, leaky gut syndrome, and even hair loss. This is because supplementing with collagen helps improve overall digestive health by strengthening the gut lining. When the gut is functioning well, it can better absorb all the other important nutrients from our food.

collagen tablets

Collagen supplements

Collagen Supplements are an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough collagen every day.

There are several types of collagen supplements on the market that 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 also 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 a 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 even baked goods. With a little creativity, it’s easy to sneak this 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 per day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Start with 5 grams and increase up to 10 grams for an adult. Any age group as from 2 years old can benefit in 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.

collagen powder

Why is it important to consume enough collagen?

Collagen is essential as we age and our bone density decreases.

Read more on the benefits of collagen. 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 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 of supplement, it is important to speak with your healthcare professional before starting to take 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 health care provider before starting.

As for foods rich in collagen, overconsuming these can also lead to negative consequences. Foods that are high in protein can put a strain on your kidneys if you’re not getting enough water or have another underlying health condition.

How much collagen to take?

How much should I be eating each day to get the benefits of this important nutrient?

While the answer to that question depends on a variety of factors, including age and activity level, a good rule of thumb is to try to include oral collagen supplementation or natural collagen-rich foods in every meal.

collagen rich foods

Food sources high in collagen.

Foods that are high in collagen include beef, chicken, eggs, fish, and dairy products such as milk and cheese. 

Eating collagen-rich foods or foods that boost collagen production may also help create the building blocks (amino acids) you need. There are three amino acids important for collagen synthesis: proline, lysine, and glycine.

There are only four direct sources of collagen found in food namely 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 be effective in increasing collagen levels in your body, but some fruits and vegetables can help to 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, therefore, a rich source of dietary collagen.

Fish and shellfish have bones and ligaments made of collagen and is therefore a good source.

Getting enough vitamin C is critical. Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of pro-collagen which is 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, then read this blog on Vitamins: How They Work and Their Sources.

Garlic, onions and cabbage have high levels of sulphur dioxide. Sulphite is a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent the breakdown of collagen.

Signs your body may need more collagen

You may notice these signs and symptoms if your body is low on collagen. Some of the symptoms you may experience are:

  • Achy joints
  • Leaky gut
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Dry skin
  • Cellulite
  • Hair thinning
  • Blood pressure issues
before and after of having a healthy collagen diet

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 a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as 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 important 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 proteins.

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. Your body uses vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin C, zinc, and copper during the repurposing process.

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.

Collagen Explained Conclusion

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. There are plenty of foods that 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 type of 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 so as to avoid any unnecessary risks.

Questions And Answers

Collagen For Weight Loss

Collagen supplements may help with weight loss in a few ways. Collagen is known to increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness. This can help you eat less and lose weight over time. Additionally, collagen supports gut health, which is integral for maintaining a healthy weight.

Collagen Benefits For Men

For men, taking a collagen supplement can also improve skin elasticity and hydration, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, collagen may boost hair health by strengthening follicles and promoting new hair growth.

Collagen Vascular Disease

Collagen vascular diseases are a group of autoimmune diseases that affect the connective tissues and organs of the body. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, or underlying medical conditions.

Can Collagen Cause Acne?

There is no clear evidence that collagen can cause acne, although some people may be allergic or sensitive to it. However, collagen vascular diseases are autoimmune diseases that occur when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. So if you are experiencing acne problems and you also have a collagen vascular disease, it's possible that the two are related. Consult your doctor for more information.

Can Collagen Cause Constipation?

It's possible that collagen supplements could cause constipation if they contain a high amount of calcium. Too much calcium can bind with other minerals in the intestine and prevent them from being absorbed, leading to constipation.

Collagen vs Biotin

Collagen and biotin are both important for healthy hair, skin, and nails. However, between biotin and collagen, remember that you can get the full benefits of biotin by simply taking a biotin supplement. Biotin is essential for hair growth, skin health, and nail growth. Collagen, on the other hand, is mainly responsible for keeping your skin looking young and elastic.

Collagen Deficiency

A collagen deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms, including wrinkles, brittle bones, thinning skin, and joint pain.

Collagen For Dogs

Collagen supplements can improve mobility in dogs afflicted with arthritis. It's a natural substance that helps keep joints lubricated and flexible, which is important for dogs because they rely so much on their mobility. In addition to helping with arthritis, collagen has been shown to improve the appearance of hair and skin, as well as strengthen nails.

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