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The Deal With Collagen

The Deal With Collagen

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up about 30% (nearly a third) of your body's protein supply. It is essential to your body's structural support, but begins decreasing as you age. Collagen is made up of 3 amino acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline.

Benefits

  • Hair growth
  • Strengthened nails
  • Youthful skin and reduced wrinkles
  • Alleviates joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation; also improves flexibility and strengthens tendons
  • Boosts muscle mass 
  • Promotes heart health 
  • Aids in digestion and gut health 

Main Causes of Collagen Loss

There are a number of factors that may decrease the body's collagen production:

  • Aging
  • Excessive sunlight and UV rays 
  • Smoking
  • Diet consisting of too much sugar or refined carbs 

Avoiding the above factors (except aging of course) and being conscious of your health decisions can slow the collagen depletion process and keep your skin, nails, hair, bones, and joints healthier longer. 

Ways to Increase Collagen Production

Though we can't control our aging (at least not yet 😳), modifying diets to incorporate more collagen-inducing foods can give you a natural boost. Some protein-rich foods that contain the necessary amino acids for collagen production include: 

  • Bone broth, fish, chicken, egg whites, gelatin, and chicken & pork skin

Supplements are also a popular way to increase your body's collagen supply and usually comes in the form of powder or pills. Collagen powder can conveniently be mixed into smoothies, tea, water, or any food.

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Fun Facts!

  • There are at least 16 types of collagen.
  • To emphasize their ability to support the body structurally, collagen was literally used to make glue in the past. 
  • Type I collagen is stronger than steel.

Sources

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