Ya'll know I'm a big supporter of eating Real Food and getting nutrients from food sources as much as possible. While supplements are necessary for some specific concerns obtaining vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from supplements poses multiple problems, more on that here. One whole food that is critical to our skin, hair, nails, bones and joints is collagen.
Found in animals, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and the building block to many structures. It helps maintain gut health, supple skin, mobile joints, and strong hair. Collagen is derived from either cows, pigs, or fish and is easy to incorporate into our diets. It can be added to a tea, mixed into smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal, added to raw treats, homemade gelatin snacks...really the possibilities are endless.
Here are the benefits of collagen
- Improved skin moisture
- Promotes more youthful skin
- Reduces number of wrinkles
- Triggers bone formation (great for bone loss)
- Supports join mobility and reduces arthritis pain
- Maintains nitrogen balance
- Restores muscles post workout
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
Probably something we can all benefit from, right? I know I can.
How to get collagen in our diets
- Bone broth is a nice source of collagen, especially when made with collagen rich chicken feet, wings, and skin. You can frequently find my crock pot one with a continual batch of bone broth simmering, especially in the wintertime.
- Snack on foods that boost collagen production like berries, garlic, wild fish, and grass fed meat.
- Eating fish scales, which I don't particularly like to do as they get stuck in my teeth
- Using a high quality collagen powder-which is my second fav choice next to bone broth. With that being said, in order to get good amounts you'd have to drink a heck of a lot of broth. So, I typically also supplement with collagen as well.
The company I know and trust for high-quality collagen is Vital Proteins. Not only do they have strict standards for cattle rearing, the cows are 100% grass fed and finished, processing the hides is done gently and safely, they also have no fillers, additives, or artificial anything, and they prohibit Ractopamine. As well as they screen for heavy metals and biologics in every lot and are transparent about their manufacturing process. Many other companies don’t even begin to hold a candle to these high standards, some come close but none as high as Vital Proteins that I've found.
There's two types of collagen: collagen peptides and collagen protein.
Collagen protein is gelatin, it can be used to make treats you want to gel. Such as "jello" gigglers, orange cream pots, and fruit snacks.
Collagen peptides are nutritiously the same as gelatin but broken down one step further into peptide chains, this allows for no gelling. Which, makes it easy to take in just about anything. I love mine in tea or hot cocoa and I always add a scoop to my girls oatmeal.
Vital Proteins has both Marine Collagen Peptides and Beef Collagen Peptides as well as the Beef Gelatin. The marine collagen is derived from wild-caught non-GMO project verified red snapper and has 11 gm of protein per serving, perfect for those who don’t eat beef. While this product is nearly tasteless, I do detect a slight collagen taste when taking in drinks. My daughters don't noticed its addition to their oats, ever. The Beef Collagen Peptides are actually tasteless and has 18 gm of protein per serving. I add this to my tea in the mornings for a great am protein boost.
What's your favorite way to get the body wide bennefits of collagen in your diet?
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