Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, it can be found in our bones, muscles, skin and tendons. It is vital for maintenance and structure, and is the glue that holds our tissues together. From around our mid-twenties, we lose collagen at a rate of around 1% per year and it continues to decline as we grow older, which is why we may notice a difference in our skin or joints as we age. Collagen is packed with amino acids to help our body function smoothly which is why we think it’s an essential addition to your diet. Here are our five favourite reasons to include collagen in your diet:
1: Glowing Skin
Collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity and is vital for its structure. It supports our skin cells to renew and repair themselves and has a firming effect which is great for combating wrinkles, or sagging skin. Collagen also helps to keep the skin hydrated, so it’s perfect for dry or winter skin. It can also be used to support healthy thick hair and strong nails too, it’s an all-round beauty booster.
2: Healthy Gut
Just like our outer skin our inner tissues also depend on collagen as a major structural protein. Damage to our intestinal lining is implicated in many inflammatory conditions so it’s important to provide the body with nutrients that can support the health of the gut. Collagen and bone broths are always recommended as part of a gut support protocol as they provide a rich source of nourishment, as well as anti-inflammatory amino acids to soothe the gut lining, supporting the structure of the gut and its overall function.
3: Better Sleep
Collagen is rich in the amino acid Glycine which is a calming neurotransmitter and important for our nervous system. When we are chronically stressed our body struggles to cope and this can play a role in sleep and mood disturbances. Glycine stops our fight or flight response, promotes relaxation and healthy sleep.
4: Joint and Bone Support
As we age and collagen production declines, our joints can become stiff and painful affecting our mobility. Collagen can help us to manage joint pain and keep us active for longer. The high amount of anti-inflammatory amino acids in Collagen are essential for the formation and repair of connective tissues, joint surfaces as well as our bone matrix which is comprised of nearly 90% Collagen. Collagen is very important for bone mineral density, structure and function particularly as we age.
5: Sports Recovery
Collagen can help to strengthen connective tissues and boost tissue recovery after a workout. Its anti-inflammatory protein is ideal for recovery and to repair wear and tear. The amino acid Glycine is needed for the synthesis of Creatine which provides fuel for our muscles during a workout so it can also help to support muscle mass. Collagen is also useful after injury as it is used to rebuild our connective tissues and will help to support bones, cartilage and ligaments on the path to recovery.