Food items like bone broth and other dietary supplements that contain collagen are increasing in popularity as of late. In fact, this is for good reason as the health benefits of collagen are exponential.
Increasing your intake of collagen produces several positive health effects like reduced joint pain, improved appearance of the skin, better digestion and gut health and more. Believe it or not, it may also have the ability to help strengthen your hair, nails, and bones.
What is Collagen?
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Many people have heard others talk about collagen, but some do not know what it truly is. Collagen is the substance responsible for holding your body together. In fact, collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body. It can be found in your muscles, bones, tendons and even skin, forming strength and structure.
What are the Benefits of Collagen?
Collagen may have the ability to lower your chances of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol. This is because it can treat and prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Plaque is the substance that prevents blood from flowing to your other organs. This is why consuming collagen can help to protect against plaque build-up, reducing your chance of heart attack or stroke. [*]
Joint Pain and Health
Collagen has the ability to provide natural relief for your joint pain and increase the overall health of your joints. In fact, it is possible that collagen may also slow down the deterioration of joints as a whole, especially in those with rheumatoid arthritis, helping to relieve stiffness and pain. [*].
Collagen has some pretty amazing anti-aging properties. In fact, those who take collagen will probably soon notice an improvement in their skin elasticity. It also has the ability to increase the skin’s moisture levels, leading to healthier glowing skin.
If you have found that your nails have become dry and brittle, opt to take in some collagen. Not only can consuming collagen help to increase your nail growth but it can help to protect them from breakage and prevent them from becoming brittle. This is important when it comes to the health and strength of your fingernails. [*].
There are several uncomfortable and sometimes painful conditions associated with the health of your gut. Leaky gut syndrome and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are just two of those conditions in which the stomach lining and digestive tract to become irritated and inflamed. This can cause toxic substances and nutrients to leak back into the bloodstream rather than being processed out.
These conditions have a negative impact on your digestive health and can cause several uncomfortable side effects including, but not limited to fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and malnutrition. This is because rather than being properly absorbed, these conditions cause minerals and vitamins to simply pass through your system.
Consuming collagen, especially using bone broth, is a great way to help increase your gut health and prevent the symptoms of these conditions. This is because collagen allows for the absorption of these vitamins and minerals. [*].
Types of Collagen
There are a few different types of collagen. Some of them serve different purposes so you will want to ensure that you are paying attention.
Type I Collagen
This type of collagen is the most common type of collagen found in the body. It has the ability to strengthen your nails, skin and hair. In fact, this type of collage isn’t just beneficial when it comes to appearance and beauty, it is also a prevalent component of organs, tendons and bones, making it vital to any health, diet and wellness routines. Collagen peptides are chiefly comprised of type I collagen.
Type II Collagen
Collagen II is extremely important to the health of your body. Type II collagen is found in your cartilage and has several benefits to the health of your joints. The idea of taking this collagen type is to help your body use these amino acids when it comes to rebuilding and protecting your cartilage.
Type III Collagen
This type of collagen is found in large quantities in your muscles, intestines, uterus and blood vessels. Type III collagen is most often used with type I collagen to improve the elasticity and hydration of skin and to benefit gut health.
How to Benefit from Collagen
Chances are you are familiar with how popular collagen has become in beauty treatments and products. Collagen has long been acclaimed for its innate ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate your skin, promote hair growth and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
However, before you start trying to replenish your collagen levels by slathering yourself in collagen-rich creams and ointments, it is important to note that topical application doesn’t provide you with all the benefits you need.
This is because you need to consume collagen to truly reap its health benefits. When consumed, collagen has a beneficial impact on your heart, brain, and digestive system. When applied topically, however, the proteins are found to be too large to truly penetrate your skin cells.
This is why it is important to consume collagen by eating it or taking a supplement.
How to Eat Collagen
There are many ways to consume collagen. You can add it to many of your favorite recipes, making it simple to get enough collagen in your daily diet.
There are many different kinds of collagen supplements. Here are the top brands I have tried (I personally like to take supplements that have a mix of type I and type III collagen for hair, skin, nail, and joint support.
Things you can add collagen to:
- Hot chocolate
- And more…
I personally add a tablespoon of collagen to my morning coffee.
Natural Sources of Collagen
- Homemade Bone broth (Kettle and Fire is expensive, but an awesome store-bought brand).
- Citrus fruits
- Tropical fruit
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
- And more…
Related: Here’s how to make homemade bone broth.
One important thing to note though is that Vitamin C aids in the absorption and production of collagen. So simply add in some additional sources of Vitamin C when you are enjoying your collagen concoction.
For example, eat an orange with your coffee, add additional fruits into your smoothie, or put peppers into your soup.
Difference Between Collagen Peptides VS Collagen
The differences between collagen peptides and collagen are very simple. Collagen peptides are usually better at being absorbed by the body’s circulatory system and bloodstream. This is because they are much shorter chains of amino acids than collagen itself. Because collagen peptides are fully hydrolyzed, they are easily broken down into a form that has the ability to enter the bloodstream.
When it comes to the benefits of collagen, there are many. It is important to find ways to work it into your diet. Whether you decide to take a supplement or eat foods that are naturally rich in collagen, you will see the benefits rather quickly.