You may have noticed that collagen has become a bit of a trend in the health, beauty and wellness world. And everyday there is a new skincare product, supplement or article touting its benefits.
Ageing, bad nutrition and pollution can weaken the skin's protective collagen barrier.
But with so many formulas, variations and sources of collagen now on the market, it can be confusing to know where to start.
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
As the most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen plays an essential role in the health of our bones, joints and connective tissues, muscles, gut, nails, hair and skin. In fact, 75–80 percent of the skin’s structure is made up of collagen – so ensuring we support our body’s production of it is super important if we want to enjoy a healthy, glowing complexion.
Our bodies naturally make collagen by combining amino acids – from protein-rich foods such as lean meat, fish, dairy and eggs – with key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc and copper. The trouble is however, that as we age, our body’s ability to produce and synthesise collagen naturally declines, leading to fine lines and wrinkles, sagging, dull and lacklustre skin.
THE GUT-SKIN-COLLAGEN CONNECTION
Where there is gut inflammation, there will be skin inflammation and this means an accelerated decline of collagen and elastin as well as susceptibility to skin problems– including acne, congestion and eczema. Although our production and ability to synthesise collagen decreases with age, our diet and lifestyle choices as well as our exposure to free radicals and oxidative stress can also influence the rate at which collagen declines. This is why eating foods rich in antioxidants is so important as antioxidants help to combat the effects of free radicals, which attack collagen.
As we like to say, ‘beauty begins inside’ so nourishing your body with nutrient-dense wholefoods will not only improve your gut health and decrease inflammation, but the ripple effect is that your skin will glow from the inside, out.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR COLLAGEN INTAKE
Nutrition. When it comes to collagen, the old adage that you are what you eat definitely applies.
If you consume meat and fish, there are plenty of options to eat collagen-rich foods.
If you do not consume animal products, plant-based options, while they don’t contain collagen, will support the biosynthesis of collagen in the body.
Try bone broth. There is nothing more nourishing to the gut than bone broth. Rich in glycine – the amino acid that helps to protect and strengthen our gut – as well as proline – which supports collagen production – and L-glutamine – which strengthens the intestinal barrier, bone broth is incredibly anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce both gut and skin inflammation. Check our recipe here.
Up your intake of Vitamin C. When it comes to collagen synthesis, vitamin C is of supreme importance. It also helps to boost the body’s levels of glutathione – the master antioxidant produced by the body to combat free radical and oxidative damage, helping to prevent cellular ageing.
Supplement Wisely. It can be super confusing choosing a collagen supplement and while there are a myriad of both animal and marine collagen options now available, what is even more important for skin health is choosing a supplement that contains ingredients that support our body’s natural production and ability to synthesise collagen, rather than collagen protein alone.
Try our newly released DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COLLAGEN BANANA BREAD, a functional snack bread, with no added sugars or sweeteners, made with ingredients that will support collagen production and with added organic, marine collagen to boost that beauty glow inside of you!