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The Scoop on Collagen

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest wellness trends, I’m sure you have heard the craze surrounding collagen. But what is it and is it worth all the buzz? Collagen is a protein that acts as a building block for our skin, hair, nails, and even our joints! It is commonly found in supplement form, but it also comes from foods such as egg whites, beef, chicken, bone broth, certain fish (with the skin)  and much more! As we age, our bodies produce less of it, which may be the reason why it has become one of the fastest-growing supplements within the last 5 years. But its benefits go way beyond just looking youthful.  Let’s dive into the amazing advantages of incorporating collagen into your daily routine. 

 

Let’s start with the obvious benefits – hair, skin and nails!  Collagen boosts skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles and promoting a radiant complexion. Studies have shown that consuming collagen-rich foods or supplements can help improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and promote a youthful complexion. By replenishing collagen levels from within, you can boost your skin’s natural glow and maintain that enviable radiance. In a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, it was found that those who consumed 2.5g of collagen for 56 days saw a significant reduction in eye wrinkle volume. In addition, taking 2.5g of collagen for 180 days led to a significant decrease in the appearance of cellulite and skin waviness on the thighs. It is important to note that collagen in combination with other vitamins and minerals vital to skin health, such as vitamin C, zinc, biotin, and a native vitamin E, yield the best results.  

 

Now, let’s talk about joint support. Type 1 collagen forms more than 90% of your bone mass enabling them to absorb energy. In combination with proteoglycans, water-attracting molecules that support collagen in its role, collagen produces elasticity and lubricates the joints. Since collagen is the main component of joint cartilage, consuming and producing enough is critical to a full range of motion absent of pain. Collagen also helps maintain healthy cartilage, reducing joint discomfort and supporting flexibility. 

 

So, how do we make sure we are getting enough? Supplementing collagen is good in a pinch, but we should all be making a conscious effort to get this structural protein from consuming whole foods. It is true that there are benefits to supplemental collagen, but its price point can be a big deterrent. Perhaps one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to get more collagen in your diet is through consuming bone broth. I know it doesn’t sound the most appealing, but bone broths have a myriad of health benefits. Make sure you are consuming good quality broths from organic and grass-fed animal bones. If bone broths aren’t your thing, no worries. There are plenty of other ways you can add more collagen to your diet. For example, foods such as Bok choy, kale, eggs, salmon, etc are all great sources of this protein. And bonus? These foods also contain lots of other beneficial nutrients that help prevent heart diseases, reduce inflammation, contain anti-cancer properties and much more. 

 

There are endless food sources that can help you increase your consumption of collagen and keep you looking and feeling your best. Remember, self-care starts from within! 

 

References: 

Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019, October 17). A collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density: Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/

Collagen. The Nutrition Source. (2023, February 7). https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen/