5 Benefits to Adding Collagen to Your Diet
Photo © Reinaldo Kevin
Collagen is one of the new buzzwords that people cannot stop talking about, and it's creating quite the hype. Collagen companies have named this protein as the 'Fountain of Youth,' but does it work?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in your skin, hair, blood, digestive system, muscles and ligaments. It is also an important building block in the body that plays a vital role in skin elasticity, bones, and joints.
Fortunately, the body produces collagen all on its own. However, as people age, their collagen production begins to deplete. In fact, by the age of 45, your collagen levels can diminish as much as 30 per cent. Also, certain habits can eliminate collagen protein such as too much sun exposure, smoking and an unhealthy diet.
Implementing a healthy lifestyle and making a point to add an extra serving of collagen to your daily diet can have an ample amount of health benefits.
1. Improves Skin, Nails and Hair
Say goodbye to dry skin and wrinkles! Because your collagen depletes as you age, your skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. The consumption of collagen will eliminate those ageing signs by increasing cell renewal, repair skin elasticity and promote skin smoothness. The use of collagen can also give you those long locks and healthy nails that you have been longing for because collagen prevents brittleness.
A study found that women who take 2-5 grams of collagen a week for eight weeks saw an increase in skin elasticity and a decrease in wrinkles and dry skin.
Collagen has also been known to decrease stretch marks and cellulite. As you age, your skin gets thinner, which leaves the body to be more susceptible to cellulite and stretch marks. While there are claims that collagen prevents acne and other skin conditions, there is no scientific evidence to prove this.
2. Reduces Joint Deterioration
Remember when you were running around all the time when you were young, and all the adults always said to enjoy it while you can because when you get older, your body will start to hurt? Well, you are finally going to learn the exact reason why you get stiff and achy as you age.
Collagen acts like glue that holds your body together. As you age and your collagen begins to deplete, you will start to feel achy in your bones and joints. This is because collagen is a gel-like substance that acts as a lubricant to allow your joints to move with ease.
Ingesting collagen can increase this lubricant to ease joint pain, improve joint mobility and reduce joint deterioration. Studies have also proven that an increase in collagen can also treat joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
3. Strengthens Your Gut
Collagen is vital for the digestive system to function correctly. The gut has collagen in its lining, which can support the protective lining of your digestive tract. This can be important in preventing toxins from passing through lesions in your digestive tract and into your bloodstream. This is also known as a leaky gut syndrome. Collagen can infuse the damage cell wall with amino acids to repair the digestive tract lining.
Ingesting collagen can also heal the gut by sealing the protective lining of the digestive tract. Collagen peptides in the digestive tract attract water and acid molecules, which help to break down food and allow food particles to travel through the GI system more efficiently. Additionally, a healthy amount of collagen can also prevent heartburn and ulcers.
4. Prevents Heart Disease
Collagen is known to lower cholesterol and decrease the chance of heart disease. Too much cholesterol and plaque can clog arteries, which will prevent blood from flowing to your organs.
Without enough collagen, your arteries would not be able to carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body because they can become too weak to perform. This can lead to a disease known as atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
A study found that patients who take collagen twice a day for six months saw a significant reduction in their cholesterol levels. It also showed that the collagen both prevented and treated the buildup of plaque in their arteries.
5. Boosts Muscle Mass
Collagen is found in your muscles; in fact, collagen makes up 10 per cent of your muscle tissue. It is vital to incorporate collagen into your daily diet because it will prevent muscle deterioration as you age. Retaining muscle mass is important as you get older because it promotes bone health and posture.
Research has been conducted to show that collagen promotes the synthesis of natural creatine for your body. Additionally, collagen also enhances the integration of lean muscles, which aids in increasing your metabolism as well.
Remember earlier when we talked about how collagen keeps your arteries healthy? Well, by doing that, it also allows plenty of oxygen and nutrients to travel to the muscles. This will keep your muscles healthy and assist in muscle recovery.
Choosing a Collagen Supplement.
Eating foods that are packed with collagen is always going to be the most efficient and safe way to get your daily dose of it. If you still feel that you aren’t getting enough collagen in your diet, collagen supplements can have impressive results. However, many collagen supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is essential to look for a trusted company that has a third-party certification such as one from UL, USP or NSF.