Ideal for a healthy gut and glowing skin.
The talk about collagen’s benefits is certainly nothing new, with its associations with youth and visual vibrancy well documented in the cosmetics industry. Indeed, this remedy for the signs of ageing has been widely used in hair and skin care products for decades, even though its genuine effects and the validity of its elixir-of-youth like properties have also been at the centre of some pretty heated discussions over the years.
However, whatever your dedication to beauty products, collagen remains an essential component of the body, responsible for healthy teeth, bones, joints and of course, skin.
But how to make sure you’ve got enough of the stuff? The nutrition and well-being experts from Primal Harvest recommend that, while cosmetics may bring some ad hoc benefits, the most effective and long-term way to boost collagen levels is through ingestion and that it can be advantageous not only to your hair and skin, but also to those bones and joints we already mentioned.
That’s why a growing number of people start to pay more attention to ingestible collagen peptide powders and capsules, as well as collagen-rich foods. Read on to learn more about how to get more collagen in your diet and why you should, IDEAL for a healthy gut and glowing skin.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?
Long story short, collagen is made up of essential amino acids, and is the glue that holds you together, as it binds tissues and cells, maintaining their integrity. It is the main structural and most abundant protein in your body, responsible for keeping everything in place. Whenever you consider how strong your joints or teeth are or how exceptional your skin elasticity is (what, you don’t do that?) you have collagen to thank for that.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, our bodies get worse at producing collagen, which leads to (among other things) hair loss, wrinkles, or joint pain. Additionally, a more modern version of consumption (toxins, pollution, stimulants, processed foods) also contributes to the detriment of collagen production. Finding other sources of the good stuff, then, whether via food sources or collagen supplements, is a contributing factor to staying healthy in later life.
There are numerous types of collagen, but people rely mostly on types I-III. You will find type I mainly in your skin, organs, and bones, type II in cartilage, and the third type of collagen in fibres in connective tissue.
THE BENEFITS OF ADDING COLLAGEN TO YOUR DIET
- Improved Mobility – Healthy Joints and Strong Bones
Cartilage is a tissue responsible for supporting your joints, and collagen is essential for maintaining strong tissue. When your collagen synthesis and production decreases with time, people become more prone to developing degenerative joint disorders. According to several studies, consuming collagen in foods and supplements might help you deal with the joint pain that comes with age, improving your overall mobility in the process.
Since a large part of your bones constitutes collagen, the decrease in its production will also lead to bone mass deterioration, hence osteoporosis and other bone density issues often occur as we age, in tandem with collagen production falling. Some preliminary studies suggest that taking collagen supplements and introducing more collagen-rich ingredients into your diet may slow down bone health deterioration.
- Healthy Skin
Collagen is essential for proper hydration and making sure your skin stays shiny, elastic, and strong. That’s why, with age, your skin may get dry, wrinkled, and saggy; because collagen production slows with time. Research says that increasing collagen intake as you get older (whether in the form of collagen supplements or by combining them with the right food) can help you slow the cosmetic ageing processes.
- Healthy Gut
Collagen’s amino acid profile also makes it beneficial for digestion and overall gut health. Collagen helps produce enough gastric juices for proper digestion while also preventing an excess of them, which can be harmful.
Additionally, research indicates that glycine, an amino acid that supports collagen synthesis, is incredibly helpful in gut healing and preventing stomach ulcers. What’s more, this synthesis can also contribute to the recovery of intestinal and stomach lining.
Last but not least, collagen is a hydrophilic molecule – which means that it has an attraction to water and acids. When you ingest it, it surrounds itself with water and stomach acids, moving other foods smoothly through your gastrointestinal tract, in turn, supporting the proper breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates.
- Reduced Cellulite
Collagen boosting foods and supplements may also help you get rid of cellulite. How is that possible, we hear you ask? Well, cellulite is basically fat, pushing your skin out of shape, and collagen promotes proper skin hydration and strengthens connective tissues, making your skin more elastic and firm.
If you want to boost the production of collagen in your body, you will need to find healthy food products which contain different amino acids (e.g., leucine, lysine, proline, glycine), proteins used by your organism to make or synthesize collagen, or certain vitamins and minerals (e.g., vitamin C, copper, zinc, manganese).
To switch to a collagen-rich diet, you may want to include the following foods into your diet:
- lean meat
- stock (sometimes referred to as ‘bone broth’)
- citrus fruits
Moreover, if you want to include more collagen in your diet, conversely, you also need to know what foods you should avoid. Too much sugar, refined carbohydrates, and other processed foods will negatively influence collagen production, no matter how much collagen-rich ingredients you consume. Food for thought, indeed.
THE COLLAGEN DIET – MORE THAN GLOWING SKIN AND A HEALTHY GUT
Maintaining the right amounts of collagen in your body is crucial to your overall health. Since you synthesise and produce less collagen as you get older, you’ll begin to notice several changes – hair loss, dry and saggy skin, joint pain – which are related to this inevitability.
You can decide to supplement collagen in the form of peptide powders or capsules, eat collagen-rich foods, such as fish, dairy, or lean meat, or consume products that contain amino acids and other nutrients necessary for collagen production and synthesis. Remember that whenever your health and diet is concerned, it’s vital you consult with your GP or medical practitioner before enacting changes.