Health, News

Why collagen is an important addition to any diet

Written by By Sonny Drinkwater, Co-founder, WellEasy

It’s the beginning of the year, meaning that many of us are trying to build new, healthier habits. For some, that means removing things like alcohol and ultra-processed foods from their diets. While there are undoubtedly health gains to be made from such choices, it’s also important to remember that additions to a diet can be beneficial too. And one of the most beneficial of these is collagen.

You may be familiar with people getting collagen fillers to reduce wrinkles or improve the appearance of scars temporarily. But those aren’t the only benefits of collagen. It can also strengthen bones, improve skin health, and enhance wound healing. Best of all, you can enjoy those benefits without having to resort to injections.

By simply eating a diet that includes foods that are rich in collagen and using the right collagen supplement, you can enjoy the benefits listed above, as well as several others. These include enhanced joint mobility, slowing the ageing process, and providing a protective layer for your organs. But if you do want to enjoy those benefits and increase the amount of collagen in your diet, what’s the best approach for doing so?

Understanding collagen

To answer that question, it’s first important to understand exactly what collagen is and what role it plays in the body.

In essence, collagen is a form of protein that we all have in our bodies. In fact, it’s the most abundant kind of protein in all mammals and is the primary building block for our skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues. It provides these various body parts with structural support, strength, and elasticity.

As we age, however, collagen production starts to slow down. It also starts to do so much earlier than you might think. Most of us hit peak collagen production sometime in our early to mid-20s. From there, it begins to decrease by around one percent a year. While this slowdown in collagen production is natural, it can be exacerbated by external factors, including smoking, sun exposure, and stress.

And while the loss of collagen seemed all but inevitable even just a few years ago, that’s rapidly changing. Randomised trials have shown that diets rich in collagen and the use of collagen supplements can improve skin elasticity as well as joint mobility. Additionally, it can decrease joint pain for people with osteoarthritis and athletes struggling with the condition.

How to ramp up your collagen intake

When it comes to increasing your collagen intake, the best place to start is with your diet. Among the foods that contain the highest amounts of collagen are bone broth, chicken, fish, eggs, citrus, berries, garlic, leafy greens, beans, cashews, and tomatoes.

Once eaten, the collagen in these foods is broken down into its constituent amino acids and peptides. From there, the body uses it for a variety of purposes, including the production of collagen.

It’s also worth noting that those are the kinds of foods typically suggested to anyone who’s looking to improve their health anyway. So, if you’re already eating these foods because you care about your nutritional health, you’re benefitting from increased collagen intake.

But food isn’t the only way to increase your collagen intake. Collagen supplements in the form of pills and powders (and yes, vegan versions are available) can be a useful addition to a collagen-rich diet. That said, not all collagen supplements are created equally. Ideally, you should look for one that provides hydrolyzed or processed collagen. That’s necessary because our bodies cannot absorb pure collagen in its natural state.

It’s also important to remember that a collagen supplement isn’t a like-for-like replacement for a collagen-rich diet. Instead, it should be viewed as a helpful addition, particularly as you get older. It’s something that we’re firmly committed to at Welleasy. We want our customers to thrive in the long term by offering quality products at an affordable price.

No age-reversing miracle cures

Ultimately, it’s also important to remember that collagen isn’t a miracle substance that will reverse the ageing process. No matter how much you consume, you’re not going to look 18 again (and would you honestly want to?).

But by eating a diet rich in collagen and supplementing where necessary, you can give yourself more elastic skin, healthier hair, stronger bones, and improved joint mobility. So, even though you’ll still age, you’ll do so better than those who don’t look after their collagen intake needs. And let’s be honest, isn’t that more important anyway?

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