Superfood Spotlight: All About Collagen
Research about collagen + collagen supplements has been around forever, but recently there’s been a spike in this *trend* in the health + fitness community. I personally have been using collagen peptides on + off over the past few months + have noticed a difference in my skin, hair, nails + digestion. Before you start adding collagen to your diet, here are the basics on what it is, the benefits ++ how to use it —
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s often referred to as the *glue* which holds the body together as it’s a major component of connective tissues — making up body parts such as tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.
There are two types of collagen on the market — marine collagen [from fish] + collagen peptides [from beef]. Nutritionally, these two types of collagen are not different. The difference is in the sourcing of each [where they come from].
Vital Proteins’ website gives an amazing + in-depth description of collagen + it’s types which can be found here.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Basically, your nails, hair, skin, joints, ligaments, + muscles can all benefit from added collagen. Specific benefits can include: strengthening of the skin by improving hydration + elasticity, relieving achy joints + muscles, preventing brittleness of hair//nails ++ stimulating hair//nail growth. You can read all about benefits + get a more in-depth description of each here.
Some people have also seen benefits with gut//brain health as well as in weight loss. While there’s no conclusive research to back up these benefits, it’s still interesting to note. For example, there have been some reviews of increased mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety after taking a collagen supplement.
As with all supplements, any benefits will be dependent on your body, so one cannot provide any conclusive results or expectations.
HOW CAN YOU CONSUME IT?
While collagen can be found in food sources such as animal skin + bone broth, there hasn’t been any significant studies on whether collagen-rich foods provide the same benefits as supplements. To be sure you’re getting more collagen in your diet, you can take it in pill or powder form. I like to use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides powder because I try to *naturally* get supplements through food vs. taking pills. The most common ways people add collagen powder to their diets are by adding 1-2 scoops to their coffee, smoothies, soups, oatmeal or tea. One of my favorite collagen smoothie recipes can be found on the CHAARG blog here.
With adding collagen + pro//prebiotics, I noticed changes after a few weeks such as:
- Less bloating
- Stronger nails
- Less brittle hair
- A feeling of being fuller after meals
- Decreased fatigue // more mental clarity
It’s important to note, we are not medical professionals + cannot give any medical advice. If you’re interested in taking a collagen supplement, consult your physician or dietician before starting any supplements.
Have you tried collagen supplements? What are your favorite brands? Let us know in the comments!