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Why you should add collagen to your diet – and where you can get it

If the fountain of youth exists, I bet it’s filled with collagen.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, comprising about a third of all our protein and three-fourths of the weight of our skin. It’s elastic properties help keep skin taught and smooth, but it’s also beneficial to all connective tissues in the body. As we age, our collagen levels begin to drop, leading to dry skin, wrinkles, thinning bones, and other health concerns.

To combat the loss of collagen that happens during aging, many are turning to dietary supplements. Fortunately, collagen is available in a variety of forms, so it can fit into anyone’s daily routine. So how exactly does collagen each support a healthy body, and which type is best for you?

Why add collagen to your diet?

Collagen is well known for its age-defying benefits when it comes to skincare. However, collagen is also useful in supporting liver function, heart health, and a strong digestive system. Dr. Amy Myers, MD is a functional medicine physician who strongly believes in the benefits of collagen supplements. She notes that collagen is present all over the body, including in the organs, muscles, blood vessels, and tendons. Long story short, collagen’s benefits extend far beyond skincare.

The digestive system, for example, is more dependent on collagen than you might think. This is because the amino acids glycine, glutamine, and proline, which are present in collagen, also make up the lining of the stomach and intestinal tract. Weak spots in the digestive lining can lead to a condition called “leaky gut,” in which particles leak from the intestines into the bloodstream through damaged areas of the intestinal wall. Inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and food sensitivities are just a few complications of leaky gut, which collagen supplements can help prevent and even reverse.

Adding this special protein to your diet will directly benefit your digestive system as well as your youthful skin. As you read on,  consider your dietary habits and everyday routines to find the best source of collagen supplements for your lifestyle.

Types of collagen supplements

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which collagen supplement is the right one for you. A quick Internet inquiry might flood your browser with product after product, but you’ll soon narrow down your search once you decide how you want to take your collagen.

Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides powder turns any drink into a healthy boost. This Amazon best-seller contains bovine-produced collagen as well as 100% of your daily valued vitamin C plus 80 mg of hyaluronic acid per serving. There are zero added sugars or preservatives, and this particular product is dairy, cholesterol, and gluten-free, too. It’s safe for nearly any diet (including Paleo and Whole 30), and is one of the easiest ways to include collagen in your daily routine.

vital-proteins-original-collagen-peptides-jar
Vital Proteins/Amazon

If you prefer something sweeter, try the Collagen Beauty Blend by Nature’s Bounty.  This non-GMO powder contains both bovine and marine collagen, so you’re getting a diverse blend of amino acids. It’s also vanilla flavored, so you can add it to your smoothie without sacrificing flavor. To use, just add one scoop of the powder to any liquid, hot or cold, and make sure to mix thoroughly.

natures-bounty-collagen-vanilla-jar
Nature's Bounty/Amazon

Collagen doesn’t only come in powdered form. Dr. Emil Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Plus Pills contain five different types of collagen from five different sources: bovine collagen peptides, bovine bone broth, chicken bone broth, marine collagen peptides (seaweed), and eggshell membrane. Each capsule also contains BioPerine, a “black pepper extract shown to vastly improve absorption,” so your body doesn’t have to work as hard to take in the collagen it needs.

multi collagen plus black and blue jar
Dr. Emil Nutrition/ Amazon

Collagen can also come in a liquid – take one tablespoon daily, ideally at the end of the day, and voila! Amazon bestseller Rejuvicare Liquid Collagen Beauty Formula is an antioxidant blend that boasts superstar ingredients such as vitamin B6, biotin (which can also support hair, skin, and nail health), and pantothenic acid. If you’re worried about drinking liquid collagen, don’t be! This product is grape-flavored and delicious, according to many customer reviews.

rejuvicare liquid collagen beauty formula purple bottle
Rejuvicare/ Amazon

If purchasing a supplement has you feeling hesitant, don’t worry. Try powdered gelatin instead, which is the cooked form of collagen and is available in most supermarkets. You can add it to soup, smoothies, or use it as a tea as Dr. Amy Myers recommends. Whatever you decide to try, listen to your body and you’ll find the best collagen supplement for your diet.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring. 

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