Collagen. You hear about it everywhere nowadays it seems. Supplements are popping up and nutritional companies are adding it to their products. We see more companies coming out with their own version or brand and even different flavors too (all of us chocolate lovers can rejoice). Four or five years ago no was really talking about collagen and now we all are either taking it or have some knowledge of it. So what's the big deal and why the current love affair with collagen? Hopefully this article will explain and you'll be adding it to your daily supplements!
First of all, what is collagen? Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies hair, tissue, bones, skin, nails, ligaments, etc that is a long-chain amino acid. Some of the amino acids in collagen include: glutamine, proline, glycine, arginine and hydroxyproline . In other words...collagen is like the 'glue' that keeps our bodies together....and looking really good I might add! Below are some of the most notable benefits of collagen in our bodies.
1) Collagen gives hair it's beautiful heatlhy sheen. It helps our hair regrowth and regeneration (which can begin to decline around the age of 30). When we supplement with collagen it can help to strengthen our hair follicles giving more volume as the individual hair strands become thicker in diameter. Ooh la la!
2) Collagen strengthens dry and brittle nails. The amino acid arginine is the most notable in promoting healthy nail growth by increasing blood circulation and nutrients to each nail bed. No need for acrylics when your real nails already look great!
3) Collagen helps strengthen our joints and gives ligaments their flexibility. Over time our bodies produce less cartilage and bones begin to rub against one another causing pain. One way to increase the health of our cartilage is to provide the collagen it needs for repair and regrowth. Now you can do the floss pain free!
4) Collagen provides a strong gut barrier to aid in digestive health. With the added stress of our everyday lives, poor diet, and high consumption of gluten our digestive track is often left in poor shape. Collagen functions by strengthening the protective lining of our digestive track so that toxins and bacteria don't leak out into our bloodstream (leaky gut syndrome). Cheers to good gut health!
The benefits of adding collagen to our daily supplement regime are plentiful and noteworthy. You can purchase collagen in pill, liquid, and powder form. I find that the powder form is the easiest and least expensive form out of them all. With so many collagen supplements popping up on the market it's worth noting that there are a few things to watch out for when shopping around. Make sure your collagen supplement is non-GMO and free of sugar, artificial ingredients, and fillers or other questionable ingredients! You want to make sure you're getting the highest quality supplement that will help heal and repair your body rather than ingest suspicious ingredients. A few of my favorite brands can be found here, here, and here.
What are some ways you can incorporate collagen into your daily life? Glad you asked! Below are quick and easy ways:
1) Stir it to your morning coffee
2) Add it to orange juice for the added benefits of vitamin C
3) Blend it into your favorite smoothie
4) Stir it into yogurt
5) Stir it into water
6) Make collagen bars