What is Collagen and should I be taking it?
November 12, 2019
Collagen is all the rage right now so I understand why this question is of interest to so many people. Advertised from highway billboards to CVS shopping carts touting health benefits that are truly remarkable like skin enhancement and bone support. There is definitely some truth to those claims, but let me clear something up about supplementation that is a main-stay with my health and wellness ideology: Focus on eating a complete, whole and natural foods diet first, then decide if you need supplementation in addition to that.
Collagen is an interesting supplement to dive into. I’ve put a lot of thought into this protein over the years for multiple reasons. One area of interest is its history. My studies and research have revealed that our society has been deficient in collagen for about four to five decades. It’s not in the foods we’ve been eating or eat on a regular basis. Even now it’s hard to find a dietary lifestyle that includes high quality meat that is prepared on the bone. You see, that is where the real collagen is. It is found in the bones and connective tissue of the animal you are consuming. The powdered, collagen supplement is derived from this (marine collagen comes from fish). When was the last time you ate organic chicken right off the bone? Or a grass-fed (and grass-finished) rib eye? Or sardines? By consuming the collagen of the healthy animal, we reap the collagenous benefits!
Collagen from animals assists in strengthening your ligaments, tendons, and the ends of your bones. It’s not just in your joints ya’ know! It’s also in your skin, arteries, hair and everywhere in between. So you can see how having this fibrous scleroprotien (another term for collagen;) streaming through your body is essential to your health. In my professional opinion collagenous bone broth is a kind of youth serum.
I have absolutely nothing against implementing supplements into your dietary lifestyle, I use them almost every day, but understanding why you are choosing to take the supplement, learn about the quality of the supplement you are taking, and understand if the supplement is necessary for you and your dietary lifestyle. Supplements should be ‘in addition to’ your healthy eating, not ‘in place of’. Relying on supplementation to be your main source of that nutrient won’t get you closer to your desired outcome. For instance, popping a multi-vitamin and chugging a green-drink every morning then eating at a fast-food restaurant isn’t in your best interest.
A great way to get more collagen in your diet:
•Shop and cook organic and sustainably farmed meat and poultry, bone in. If you or your kids prefer not to eat it like that, cook then slice the meat off the bone, chop neatly and serve. The benefits of collagen are still there!
•Make bone broths from the bones of the meat or poultry you have prepared. Drink as a broth or tea and/or and make soups and stews with it. Another option is to add the broth to rice or other dishes for extra flavor and nutrition. The extra broth will stay for about one week in the frig. You can also purchase it frozen.
•Purchase a quality powdered bone broth and make soup or serve as tea
•Purchase a quality powdered collagen powder and mix into smoothies
What to look for in a powdered collagen supplement:
•Ingredients- Like any processed product, know your ingredients. Avoid unnecessary additives, salt and sweeteners. You can add herbs or salt yourself!
•Source of ingredients- Look for information designating what animal the collagen came from. How was this animal farmed? Check the company’s website. You can usually find the information there. If you can’t, that is a red flag.
Collagen is a necessary component of our diets. How you choose to implement is your choice but I suggest adding from natural sources first, then supplement if needed.
Hope this helps!
Peace, Love & Healthy Living
*This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your current diet and exercise program.