We’ve talked about the benefits of gelatin and how the addition of it to your diet can help optimise your gut health. Today we are focusing on collagen.
Collagen is a substance which is naturally produced by our bodies and is the most important protein in our connective tissue, skin and bones. It is found throughout our body, from our ligaments to blood vessels to our corneas. It gives our skin elasticity, replaces dead cells and is literally the glue that holds our joints and tendons together. It is vital for our gut and digestive health and total wellbeing.
Collagen, whilst very similar to gelatin and having many of the same amino acids, is processed more intensively resulting in the proteins being broken up into smaller pieces for increased digestive ease. Collagen itself has close to 20 different nonessential and essential amino acids and is a great source of glycine, proline and glutamine. Collagen is absorbed faster by the body then gelatin, and unlike gelatin, will not gel when mixed with warm liquid.
Unfortunately as we age, the amount of collagen in our body decreases. By age 25, collagen levels are decreased at a rate of 15% a year. By age 60, over half of our body’s collagen levels have depleted. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, smoking and increased sun exposure also contribute to the decreasing collagen levels. Aside from eating a whole-food diet rich in protein, non-starchy vegetables and good fats, there are two main ways to increase the collagen in your diet:
- Bone Broth: is one of nature’s true superfoods. Making your own broth with grass-fed beef bones and aiming to drink a cup a day and adding it to your cooking where you can will easily increase the collagen in your diet. Beef bones contain bovine, a naturally occurring protein found in the cartridge and bones of cows and rich in amino acids.
- Collagen Powder: is simply the amino acids broken down, making it not only easy to digest but also extremely versatile. In its powdered form it is tasteless and 1-2 tablespoons can easily be added to your smoothie, morning MCT Coffee or to your homemade Almost Paleo Vegie Bread. Ensure you source a powder which contains nothing artificial and uses grass-fed bones. We use and recommend Nutra Organics Collagen Body with Fortibone.
How do you use collagen? Let us know below!