by Tracey Pollack
Collagen is causing a stir for its many beauty and body benefits. This guide to collagen shows if it’s worth mixing it into your daily routine.
For the past few years, collagen has been shaking up the beauty and wellness industry. It’s anti-aging promise and health-promoting potential have caught the attention of beauty buffs, health enthusiasts, athletes and weekend warriors who sing and share its benefits. But is collagen more hype than help? Take a closer look at the beauty and strengths of collagen.
Why is Collagen Essential?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your entire body. It’s vital because it helps maintain the youthfulness of your skin, the elasticity of your joints, the flexibility of tendons and ligaments, the integrity of your muscles, and the strength of bones, hair, and nails. It’s also what allows these tissues to repair and renew themselves. Without a steady supply of collagen, your body won’t have the structural support to keep you feeling and looking your best.
Different Types of Collagen
There are 28 different types of collagen, each with a different purpose. Yet three of these types are the most plentiful in your body and popular on the market in supplements. Check out the three main types of collagen to see which is just your type.
Type 1 Collagen – The beauty of Type 1 is how it keeps your skin looking youthful, your hair healthy, your joints flexible, your ligaments limber, and your bones and nails strong.†
Type 2 Collagen – Offers the combined benefits of supporting flexible joints and healthy cartilage.†
Type 3 Collagen – Works with Type 1 to provide structure for skin, joints, muscles, organs, and blood vessels.†
Is Your Body Craving Collagen?
If you’re low on collagen, it will be written all over your face and you’ll feel it all over your body. Your skin will look saggy and wrinkled. Your joints will be sore and stiff. Your muscles will ache. And your bones, hair and nails will be dull and weak.
Ways to Naturally Boost Collagen
While age naturally diminishes your collagen supply, you can increase it by eating a collagen-boosting diet or using a high-quality collagen supplement. Your lifestyle also plays a role. To preserve your collagen levels, protect your skin from the sun, avoid smoking and reduce your sugar intake.
Get a Taste of the Collagen in Food
While time takes its toll on collagen levels, it’s never too late to refill your body’s reserves by filling up on certain foods. As a protein, collagen is made of amino acids. Your body can make these amino acids when you eat high-protein foods, such as bone broth, chicken, fish, shellfish, beef, eggs, dairy and beans. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you still get these amino acids through a balanced, plant-based diet. But collagen isn’t built on protein alone! According to a study published in Nutrients, your body needs other vitamins and minerals to create collagen. The most important is vitamin C, which is in citrus, kiwi, berries, and peppers. You also need zinc and copper, which are in nuts, whole grains, and shellfish.
Supplement Your Collagen
For some people, eating enough collagen is hard to swallow. And even if you’re getting your fill, you may want to get more collagen to support your health or beauty goals. It’s easy to supplement your supply with a high-quality collagen supplement.† Seek out supplements made from the cleanest, non-GMO, hormone-free collagen sources. You can find them as scoopable powders to be used in shakes, smoothies and baking, as well as in tablet form.
Whether you get more collagen on your plate, in powders or pills, this health and beauty wonder may truly work wonders for you.†