All I seem to be hearing about these days is the wonders of collagen. It’s apparently responsible for lusciously thick hair, strong, healthy nails, glowing, youthful skin, and even balancing hormones. The latest I’ve heard is that studies are now showing a link between collagen supplementation and weight loss! When I scroll through Instagram every influencer worth their salt seems to be touting the benefits of some brand of collagen or another, and even my best friend swears by it after experiencing hair loss and thinning after two pregnancies.
First things first. The collagen we’re talking about is not the filler kind that’s injected to plump and firm up sagging, sunken skin. This is far less invasive. Collagen powder is the latest craze, stirred into liquid and ingested (think adding a spoonful your morning smoothie).
I am convinced I need to jump on the bandwagon, but thought it would be prudent to do a little research first. Let’s take a closer look at collagen and collagen supplementation.
So, what is collagen exactly?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body making up 75% of your skin tissue. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons and helps give your skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. It’s essentially the glue that helps hold the body together.
As we age the amount of collagen we produce depletes and therefore contributes to those dreaded wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pains. Lifestyle factors also play a part. A diet high in sugar, smoking, lack of sleep, and high amounts of sun exposure and stress also contribute to depleting collagen levels. By the age of 40 we’ve already lost a third of our collagen!
This is where adding collagen into our diet can get us back on track. If you’ve ever heard of bone broth as a miracle tonic, collagen is the reason why it’s so fantastic. Bone broth is jam-packed with collagen – a protein that is made up of antioxidant-rich, gut-health-promoting, metabolism-boosting amino acids.
Some of the main benefits of collagen:
- Improves the health of skin and hair
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite
- Reduces joint pains and degeneration
- Helps heal leaky gut
- Boosts metabolism, muscle mass, and energy output
- Strengthens nails, hair and teeth
- Improves liver health
- Protects cardiovascular health
How can you get more collagen?
You’ll find collagen naturally in bone broth, non-steak cuts of meat (tendon, neck, oxtail, knuckle etc.), pork skin, salmon skin, chicken skin, and egg whites. This is why our ancestors consumed quite a lot of collagen naturally, as they ate virtually the whole animal, skin, tendons, ligaments and all (we needn’t go to such measures!).
Supplements in pill or powder form. Powder form is heat stable and almost flavourless, so you can mix it into hot and cold drinks, soups and more. Pills are a great option for convenience. Marine collagen is said to be the most bioavailable form of collagen (rather than beef/bovine), so choose this where possible.
Note: Take collagen with vitamin C to heighten its bioavailability (often supplements come with vitamin C already added).
Lastly, eating a well-rounded diet that helps increase absorption of the collagen peptide you consume.
So who’s with me?! I’ll be rushing out to the health food shop to pick up some powder this week. When you see me with luminous skin and a youthful glow you will know my secret!
Written by Ché Miller
About the author
Ché has always had a passion for hospitality having completed a conjoint Bachelors Degree in International Business and Hospitality Management. She has spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. This passion led her to working in a premier health retreat in Australia in her twenties. There she found the knowledge she gained there inspired her to start living a healthier life.
Now Ché loves to combine her two favourite things, hospitality and wellbeing. She scours the island for the best nourishing restaurants, products and services. Ché has been living in Mallorca since early 2017, having moved from her home in New Zealand. She absolutely loves the energy of the island and everything it has to offer.
Ché’s other interests include ashtanga yoga, boxing, reading, writing, and really good coffee.