Could collagen be nature’s elixir of youth? My prediction, collagen will be talk of the town this year. Could it take over the space from coconut water as the next super drink to help us starve off wrinkles, improve health and increase energy? I strongly hope so.
Today i’ll be exploring what collagen is, why we need it, why nowadays we’re so deficient and my top tips for getting more into your diet. Watch this space, collagen will be the buz word of the health world in 2017.
What is collagen?
Well in simple terms it’s the most rich protein in our bodies. It’s in our bones, our muscles, skin, digestive tract and cardiovascular system. Without collagen, our skin would be saggy and our bones like emmental cheese!
Sadly, as we get older, our bodies wear and our natural ability to produce collagen diminishes. That coupled with unfavourable lifestyle choices like diets high in sugar, smoking, stressful jobs and the fact that nowadays we’ve moved towards eating more muscle meats like chicken breasts over bone meats like chicken legs (where all the collagen lies) we’re more depleted in this essential nutrient than ever before.
Benefits of collagen
Helps to minimise joint pain
Join pain is debilitating. As we age the cartilage in our joints diminishes. We get knee, hip and shoulder pains. Darn old age! Collagen gives our joints extra support. Without our joints we wouldn’t be able to move, they’re what keep us mobile so looking after them is crucial to stay active and healthy through life.
It’s the healing plaster for leaky gut
Suffer with digestive issues and bloating? Chances are you have leaky gut. I know I did. Mine was like a bucket where the toxins just flooded out. For me a long course of antibiotics when I was younger destroyed my gut health, soon after which my body started attacking itself in the form of an autoimmune disease. If you’re interested in reading my full story you can find this on the about page but healing my gut was the number one thing that put my ankylosing spondylitis in remission. Collagen in the form of bone broth and supplementation was instrumental to this healing.
Good skin and strong hair
Want to diminish fine lines and have glossy, strong locks? Up your collagen. As we age the elasticity of our skin dimishes. Stress, sunbathing and bad dietary choices all lead to rapidly aging skin. Guys, we all age, it’s a fact of life and not something we can escape but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t age well. Getting more collagen in your diet helps to plump out fine lines and support strong, thick hair.
Deeper, good quality sleep
Ditch your nytol in favour of collagen. The amino acid glycine, found in collagen, helps support deeper sleep and we all know without sleep, we’re cranky, fidgety, predisposed to weight gain and most importantly it’s a feeding ground for inflammation. Swap your night cap for a cup of bone broth.
Why we’re not getting enough collagen today
Collagen is found in the bones and connective tissues of meat. In recent years there’s been a huge dietary shift in favour of muscle meats over bone meats. We’re opting for chicken breasts over legs and thighs or been loin over rib. Whilst yes these are lower in fat, they’re also without the benefits of collagen. We’ve allowed connective tissue proteins to occur only on occasion in our diets, at the expense of our healing.
What are the best sources of collagen?
Bone Broth – It’s simply the best way to include more collagen in your diet because it’s in soluble form meaning that the body can absorb it easily. In my mind it’s natures healer, the best leaky gut repair and the elixir of youth. It literally bathes your cells in nutrients. I’ll be sharing my all time favourite chicken broth recipe later this month. It’s the recipe I make 3 times a week, have drunk every single day for the past 4 years and swear by as one of the most important things that helped put my autoimmune condition in remission.
Meats containing bones and tendons
Supplementation – Taking a hydrolysed collagen powder like Planet Paleo means the protein is broken down into an absorbable form for quick uptake by the body.
My top tips to get more collagen in your diet
Drink bone broth – simples.
Add home made bone broth as a base for soups and stews like my Carrot, Ginger and Cauliflower soup.
Boil your vegetables or mash in bone broth.
Include more meats containing bones – we’re talking chicken legs, thighs, ribs of beef, leg of lamb, Ox tail etc. Boil up the bones afterwards for stock too. Stock can be kept in the freezer for when you need a batch later.
Add a collagen powder like Planet Paleo to water, juices like my Clean Greens, smoothies or to baking, soups and even coffee. Like broth taking a soluble supplement like this ensures it gets into your system quickly and is easily absorbed.
How much collagen should I take a day?
Well it really depends on how deficient you are. If your hair’s thinning faster than in should, if you’re noticing premature wrinkles, you’re suffering with chronic inflammation or painful joints, bloated with digestive issues, lack of strength or injure easily … these are all tell tale signs you don’t have enough collagen. Try including 3 servings a day to supplement your body with the collagen it needs to heal.
I’m so passionate about the benefits of collagen that i’ve partnered up with Planet Paleo to give one lucky winner a tub of their Pure Collagen. This is the one that I currently take every day. It contains 100% highly absorbable collagen peptides, sourced from the hides, bones and connective tissue of pasture-raised cows in South America where traditional cattle ranching methods are utilized and the cattle are allowed to roam freely on pasture lands without pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics. So you know you’re getting the best!
Competition now closed.