Collagen… The Secret to Healthy Eating?
In the health and wellness realm, it feels like every few months or so; the old’s chucked out for the new; by now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the in-word ‘collagen’ regardless of whether or not you know what it means. For that reason, I’m here to give you the lay of the land on where you can source collagen, its benefits, and some easy ways to incorporate it into your daily life!
Let’s start with the basics: what the heck is collagen anyway? Though many of us may be unaware (myself included until just recently), collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body! What is more, collagen holds a powerful role in not only forming the very structure of your skin, bones, tendons, muscles, etc., but also in allowing for your blood to clot. Clearly, collagen’s important! With that being said, knowing something’s important is swell but knowing where to get that much-needed protein matters all the more. Luckily, you don’t have to buy collagen supplements to incorporate them into your diet (though plenty of companies would like to have you think so).
Instead, look to animal products such as bone broth, fish, eggs, and meat. Just a side note: though grass-fed meats are always preferable because the quality is sure to be higher than your run-of-the-mill meat, the beauty is that no matter the kind you buy, your meat and resulting bone broth (if you venture to make it yourself) will be just as chock-full of collagen! Nevertheless, if you’re wondering, what one source of collagen is the most potent? Without a doubt, bone broth will never do you wrong!
Need a recipe for beef and chicken stock stock? Click here: Beef, Chicken.
Both a stock or broth will help provide some of the same collagen benefits!
As for the benefits of collagen? Well, there are MANY! To name a few:
Hair, Skin, & Nail Health
Specifically, skin elasticity (i.e., why many collagen supplements claim to give you a ‘youthful appearance’ and though accurate, it’s not to be viewed as a ticket to the past).
Joint Pain & Strength
Of course, I list these benefits while also keeping in mind that everyone’s health is unique to them - but at least for me, because of all it does, collagen’s a keeper! In addition, the benefits notwithstanding, if you’re simply looking for ways to up your protein in a meal or simply want a touch of extra creaminess to a warm drink (more on that later), the addition of collagen’s a great option!
No matter the weather, collagen’s terrific, but as the sun has started to set as early as 4:30 pm, I’m finding myself loving a cup of warm soup full of fall vegetables, ground beef, and bone broth! Now, if you’re unfamiliar with bone broth, you can easily swap it out for chicken or beef stock when cooking, and you’ve got a hearty base for a delicious soup, sauce, etc. However, don’t you worry - though a bountiful and natural source of collagen is bone broth, I’m not suggesting you add it to your coffee or other non-savory foods because gross! Instead, one of my favorite ways to get in the collagen I know my body needs is actually through yogurt, a smoothie, or (my personal favorite and recipe to come) hot chocolate using Vital Proteins’ collagen peptides. I did say that you don’t have to buy collagen supplements, and that’s true; you don’t. But still, I’ll admit that as someone who likes to spice up how I get my collagen, powdered collagen peptides come through!
As I mentioned, I often mix in a scoop or two of collagen peptides into my yogurt as I buy the unflavored kind. Hence, I get a bonus of collagen without compromising the integrity of my morning staple! With that in mind, there’s something mouth-wateringly delicious about the creamy richness that chocolate-flavored collagen peptides add to a morning coffee, so flavored peptides aren’t off the table. Okay, okay - I’ll stop rambling about how much I adore a good scoop of collagen peptides (well, at least for now). Rest assured that you aren’t confined solely to bone broth and meats to include collagen in your life, but if those methods suit you, by all means, stick to it...just know that your coffee’s that bit less creamy because you didn’t add some peptides to it!
With its simple sourcing, plentiful benefits, and delicious forms it takes shape, you don’t have to force me to love collagen! If you’re still not convinced about collagen, no worries because I’ll soon be sharing with you all my all-time favorite, collagen-rich hot chocolate, just in time for the holidays that I’m sure will become your favorite too!
Here’s to health,