What is it?
“a fibrous protein that provides strength and elasticity to skin, bones, cartilage and connective tissue” 1
Proteins are responsible for helping to build muscle mass. They are one of three macronutrients our bodies needs. The other 2 macros are fats and carbohydrates. By the way, macronutrients are the three essential types of foods are bodies need to function. We’re going to focus on collagen protein and why we need it and what are the different sources of protein.
Why do we need it?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for about a third of its protein composition. It's one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. You can think of it as the "glue" that holds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word "kólla," which means glue. Type 1 collagen is the major type in our bodies which is responsible for maintaining structure in our skin and bones. 2
At what age does your skin start to show signs of aging? Our bodies naturally produce collagen and around the age of 30 is when your body starts slowing down it’s ability to produce collagen. That’s when you might start to notice a few crows feet wrinkles around the eyes or upper lip. Eating a balanced diet starting at an early age will help your body maintain a sufficient amount of protein so as you age, you’re giving your body an adequate supply of protein. It’s important to maintain collagen not only from an aesthetic viewpoint, but it will help to ward off such degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Sources of Protein?
To increase the collagen in our diet, you can add a collagen supplement, consume collagen-rich bone broth, and /or increase your intake of the nutrients that support collagen production. It’s important to look for a a high quality collagen source whether you choose plant based , bovine, porcine, or collagen sourced from chicken or eggs. Peas, organic soy products and legumes are complete sources of plant based protein. Bone broth is another source of easily digestible collagen. Beyond these direct sources of collagen, you can support collagen production in the body by consuming more of these nutrients which you can only get through plants:
Including these nutrients in your diet, in addition to or independent of collagen supplements can slow collagen loss and rebuild collagen to maintain a youthful complexion, to the benefits of your skin’s appearance.