The Numerous Benefits of Collagen
Let’s talk about the benefits of collagen in your diet.
You’ve probably been hearing more about it recently. Most people have heard of it, but not everyone understands what it is, so let’s take a look.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s abundant in our bodies. In fact, it accounts for about 33% of the body’s protein composition.
Collagen provides the building blocks for our muscles, tendons, skin, bones, and ligaments. It’s also found in the corneas of the eyes and the blood vessels and teeth.
There are four main types of collagen:
- Type I
- Type II
- Type III
- Type IV
About 90% of the collagen in our bodies is Type I.
Type II collagen is in the elastic cartilage between our joints that provides a cushion — which we really appreciate when we’re working out!
The arteries, muscles, and organs have Type III collagen.
Type IV is in the skin layers and helps with filtration.
Collagen is a key protein that provides structure to our bodies.
Collagen for Skin
Collagen is SUPER important for beautiful skin.
Sadly, the collagen in our bodies starts slowly declining as early as our 20s.
With the loss of collagen, our skin gets rougher and loses its structure, resulting in wrinkles.
Our joints start to ache and we can have issues with gut health. Not fun.
But, don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to keep your skin looking great, including supplementing with collagen.
The Benefits of Collagen
Because collagen provides structure throughout your body, the benefits of collagen are numerous.
BENEFIT #1 — Studies on humans have found that oral collagen supplementation improves the appearance of both skin and nails.
BENEFIT #2 — Collagen may help with weight loss because, for some people, it suppresses the appetite and decreases sugar cravings. This is because collagen powder is a protein that fills you up.
BENEFIT #3 — Your bones and joints benefit from collagen because it helps replace damaged bone cells and stimulate new bone cell growth. For this reason, collagen also helps with post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
BENEFIT #4 — At least one study showed that collagen supplementation increased muscle mass and overall strength as compared to a placebo.
BENEFIT #5 — Collagen also keeps your digestive system functioning well because it contains glutamine (an amino acid), which aids in digestion while helping repair the lining in your stomach and intestines. Because collagen works to regulate stomach acid secretion, it helps you avoid ulcers.
Increasing Natural Collagen Through Proper Nutrition
Pro-collagen is the precursor of collagen and is the combination of the amino acids glycine and proline.
You can help your body increase its pro-collagen production by getting the right nutrients. Those include:
- Vitamin C
Make sure you get LOTS of Vitamin C by eating fruits like oranges and strawberries.
Some veggies that have proline are bell peppers, asparagus and cabbage. Mushrooms, egg whites, dairy products, and wheat germ are also good sources of proline.
Glycine is a little harder to get for people adhering to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle because one of the best sources is pork skin and chicken skin. Glycine is also in gelatin.
Copper might seem odd to get from your diet, but it’s actually found in several foods. My favorite? Cocoa powder! It’s also in sesame seeds, lentils, cashews, and organ meats.
But, some foods that provide the best building blocks for collagen aren’t so easy to eat, which is why people defer to the collagen supplements.
The Best Collagen Supplement
It’s not always easy getting enough high-quality foods for your body to make its own collagen. Not all of us like eating organ meats, right?
That’s one of the reasons I take a collagen supplement. Of course, I’m partial to Beachbody Collagen Boost, but that’s because I know it’s a high-quality supplement.
The formula is free of gluten, artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners.
You should really will notice a difference if you take it daily for a month.
It’s super easy to take. I add a scoop to my Shakeology shake or my cup of morning coffee. You can even throw a scoop into a bowl of soup or yogurt!
There’s NO funny taste so it’s a win-win!
Beachbody’s formula uses bioactive peptides, so you only need one scoop a day to reap the benefits.
Things That Destroy Collagen
Some things actively damage and destroy collagen in your body. I’m guessing these are things you’re already working to avoid, but they are:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Excessive sugar and refined carbohydrates
Sugar actually reduces your body’s own ability to repair itself. A sugary treat now and then is okay, but avoid eating too much.
You also want to avoid refined carbs like white bread, sugary cereals, and pizza that cause a surge of sugar in your bloodstream.
Smoking? I’m sure I can’t say anything you don’t already know. Smoking is terrible for you, so If you smoke, PLEASE quit.
We all know we should wear sunscreen every day, but do we? The sun’s rays are damaging to your skin and break down healthy collagen.
Sunscreen is for more than the beach. Always wear sunscreen when you’re going outside.
Try a Collagen Supplement for Overall Good Health
There are so many benefits of collagen — from the hair on the top of your head all the way down to your toenails, your body NEEDS collagen!
Our bodies are made up of this super protein, but it’s not always easy getting the amino acids we need for our bodies to make collagen on their own.
If you’re making lifestyle changes in 2021 for a better, more healthy you, consider adding collagen supplementation.
As both Dave and I have said many times, a lifestyle that includes proper nutrition is a MUST!
That’s why I love the Beachbody programs so much, because they combine fitness and nutrition and promote a healthy lifestyle rather than “dieting.”
Have any questions? I’d LOVE to answer them!
If you’re looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes in 2021, you’ve come to the RIGHT place! Click below to learn more about Beachbody’s Collagen: