5 Quick Tips About Collagen
What is collagen? Collagen keeps your skin plump, elastic and smooth. The two main amino acids that collagen is made of are called proline and glycine. These amino acids are essential for the formation and repair of your joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and of course, your healthy skin.
Can I boost my body’s own collagen production? One easy way to boost your collagen is to incorporate the right ingredients into your regular diet. For example, eating foods rich in Vitamins A and C is an easy way to boost your body’s collagen. Vitamin A plays a role in helping to restore and regenerate damaged collagen. And – you can’t even make collagen without Vitamin C! Which foods should you opt for: try dark leafy greens (which are rich in both Vitamins A and C), blueberries (which are rich in Vitamin C), and carrots (which are very rich in Vitamin A).
Is ingestible collagen a new trend? No! This is actually not as “new” of a beauty hack as you might think. People in Asia have been using collagen powders, drinks, and supplements for years. Here in the US, bone broths (which date back to ancient Greece and even Hippocrates himself who recommended them to people with digestion issues) have become popular in diet and beauty circles for the same reason: they provide a way to “drink collagen.” And now we’re seeing a lot of brands developing elixirs and supplements that deliver this powder protein.
What sources do collagen powders come from? Collagen can come from different sources including cows, pigs, and fish. One key factor to remember is that these supplements are not heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so you want to use reputable brands – quality does vary and ingredients do vary. I know many people who opt for bovine or cow based collagen supplements. Another very popular form of collagen is fish collagen. Collagen derived from fish is smaller in molecular size than collagen derived from cows or pigs, and is therefore more “bioavailable.” Translation: fish collagen is more likely to get into your bloodstream and reach the places where it’s meant to work its wonders.
Should I mix collagen powder into my coffee or water directly? Some people do mix collagen powder right into their coffee or cold liquids and enjoy it that way. I personally prefer to mix my collagen powder into a smoothie. Even though most of these powders are tasteless and odorless, I just like to err on the side of masking any hint of flavor. Here is one of my favorite smoothie recipes:
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon collagen powder
- 1 small banana, frozen in chunks
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach or ½ cup loosely packed baby arugula
- **2 stevia leaves if using less ripe bananas and want more sweetness**
- 2 ice cubes, if using fresh blueberries
Combine everything in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 30-60 seconds. Enjoy immediately.