Yowza! It’s been quite the month, I’ve missed updating this blog with so many adventures, traveling, and readying myself for the next major life step!
During this last month of beautiful chaos, I stumbled upon a little thing called Collagen. As you probably know, collagen is naturally produced by the body and is used in various bodily activities such as wound healing and improving the health of your joints. But, what exactly is collagen?
Collagen: Collagen is the most abundant protein found throughout the body, that is found throughout in skin, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, etc. There are 10 types of collagen in total, each with their own purpose; the most abundant type found within the body is Type I, which helps to form bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
Why is Collagen so Important?
As we age, our collagen production begins to decline – this happens at a faster rate for those with Diabetes and other chronic illnesses as well. While aging is the main reason for a decrease in the production of collagen, lifestyle habits such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking will also contribute to this (which is why smokers tend to suffer from deeper wrinkles in the skin as they age).
But WHY Exactly should I Care?
Healthy Skin & Hair
Collagen assists in improving skin elasticity and health; with more collagen, your skin will be firmer, smoother, and all around healthier! This is due to the increased ability to regenerate cells and shed dead skin cells as new ones begin to form. Suffer from dry skin? Try boosting your collagen intake – I bet you’ll start seeing some awesome results (paired with a daily moisturizer of course)!
A common occurrence, especially in women, as we age is the development of more cellulite. With a sufficient amount of collagen present in the body, skin will not thin out as quickly or as drastically, making the cellulite less visible than it would be with a depletion of collagen production in the body.
Suffering from chronic split ends or hair that just won’t grow? The culprit behind these ailments could be a lack of collagen. You’ve heard of adding keratin and biotin to the diet through chewable gummies or pills, I’m sure you’ve tried it at one point (I have – I cannot lie, I DO have a favorite hair, skin, and nails supplement! Comment if you want to know which one!) but still may not be getting the results you want. Collagen is not only an essential protein in building healthy hair, but can also increase your body’s number of hair building proteins.
It’s Great for Your Joints!
Seeing as our bones, joints, and ligaments are all made from collagen, it’s no wonder why collagen degeneration leads to such intense ailments as we age. When you think collagen, think “gel”; it surrounds our bones, joints, ligaments, etc. and allows for smooth movement and even less pain in these areas. While collagen can aid in motion and a reduction of swelling, this is where Type II collagen comes into play, as this type of collagen mostly surrounds our connective tissues and cartilage. Having people very close to me impacted by degenerative diseases, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am a BIG fan of supplementing with collagen and have seen the effects first hand, if you take nothing else from this article, know that it will help your joints.
Stuck in a Rut from Leaky Gut?
If you find yourself running to the bathroom every hour or so, you may be suffering from a condition such as IBS or Acid Reflux – both results from leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a condition where negative toxins and bacteria are able to pass through the digestive tract, where they otherwise would not be able to. So, how can collagen help here? Seeing as it is a building block protein, collagen will actually begin to heal the tissue lining in the gut by forming more connective tissues, ultimately “re-sealing” the lining of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
While collagen is referred to as one of the body’s natural adhesives, it also aids in absorption. We all know we should be drinking plenty of water, but if that water is not being absorbed by the right parts of the body, it isn’t doing much good. Collagen will pump up the body’s ability to absorb water, and therefore keep things moving and solvent.
How can I Add Collagen to my Diet?
There are various ways to supplement collagen into the body, the two most popular methods being bone broths and powder. Personally, I like to use the powder – I put a scoop into my coffee each morning and it dissolves immediately, I don’t even know it’s there (my brand of choice is from Sports Research: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XQ2XGAA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)! But one of the more tried and true recipes for bone broth can be found in my recipe section for today 🙂
There are TONS of other benefits to consuming collagen such as boosting metabolism and strengthening teeth, but you might just have to discover them for yourself 😉