Should You Be Adding More Collagen To Your Diet?
Nine years ago, I found myself in a terribly unhealthy place. I was eating fast food all the time, I had low energy, and I was plagued by horrible allergies and congestion.
Finally, I became fed up of being in a constant state of unwellness and decided to do a major audit of my health regimen. Along this journey, I discovered Dr. Weston A. Price.
Through extensive global research, Dr. Price discovered that people in healthy cultures ate traditional diets. Among many other principles, these diets are absent of processed foods and included whole-animal consumption—muscle meat, organs, bones, and fat—as some of the most important sources of nutrients.
Through following Dr. Price’s traditional philosophies, I discovered collagen, a long-chain amino acid that is a foundational protein of all animals (including humans).
Alongside a shift to healthy eating and regular exercise, the inclusion of supplemental collagen in my diet was pivotal in achieving a state of health.
My digestion improved, I had fewer food allergies, and I was sleeping better than I ever had before. And I’m not alone: Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Melissa Hartwig, founder of the Whole30 program, claim to love the benefits of collagen, too.
Why collagen is important
Before I go into how consuming collagen will help you look and feel younger, I’d like to explain why consuming it is important.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body; it's the foundation of bones, skin cartilage, blood vessels, hair ligaments, and more. As we age, usually around 20 to 25, our ability to produce collagen on our own diminishes, so we must supplement our diets.
Further, because of the systems of modern food processing, (in which the parts of the animals where collagen is found—connective tissue and bones—are discarded) it's difficult to get enough collagen from our food.
One way to make sure you're consuming enough collagen is to take a collagen supplement.
Here are 5 ways consuming collagen will keep you looking and feeling young and beautiful:
1. Prevent signs of aging.
Consuming collagen increases skin moisture, which helps prevent the onset of lines and wrinkles. Many collagen consumers claim to notice a certain radiance and glow appear after regular use.
2. Reverse the signs of aging.
Not only does consuming collagen prevent signs of aging, it can actually reverse some of the most common symptoms, such as fine lines, deep wrinkles, and reduced elasticity. A 2014 clinical study showed that taking collagen peptides produced a significant improvement in skin elasticity and skin moisture.
3. Improve digestion.
There are a couple of ways that collagen could improve digestion. First, collagen supports hydrochloric acid production in our stomach, which makes it easier to digest foods. Collagen could also help to repair the sensitive lining and infrastructure of our stomach and both small and large intestines. Improving digestion has also been known to improve skin issues such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.
4. Support restful sleep.
20 to 30 percent of collagen is made up of a small, nonessential amino acid called glycine. Studies have found glycine to be effective in calming the nervous system, which can improve sleep quality and efficacy.
Glycine could also reduce daytime sleepiness and improve performance of memory-recognition tasks.
5. Strengthen hair and nails.
Collagen protein is the foundation of your hair and nails. Loyal collagen consumers notice that their hair and nails grow faster and tend to be stronger and more luscious. This is often one of the first noticeable benefits of regular collagen intake.