In the wake of maintaining a healthy life balance and ensuring that we look after ourselves inside and out, we have heard a lot of buzz words being thrown around like the only bottle of sun-cream on a sweltering summer day. And while some of these buzzwords are fads and myths, a select few are backed by science, years of research and established evidence.
‘Collagen’ has quickly become a keyword in the health food and beauty industry in 2019 - this article explains what it is and more importantly, how you can harness it effectively to turn back the clock and fight the signs of ageing.
What is Collagen?
Although it is commonly known for its anti-aging and beauty benefits, collagen is actually more than just a beauty supplement. It is the most abundant protein in our body and forms the majority of connective tissue in our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and our gut.
Collagen comes from the Greek word ‘Kolla’ which means glue
Collagen production can be directly attributed to our quality of life and how ‘young at heart’ we actually feel. It’s also why collagen has been marketed as an anti-aging supplement because our body’s natural production of collagen decreases with age which is why the development of wrinkles, hair loss, joint pain and muscle deterioration accelerates in the later years.
So if Collagen keeps me young but my body has slowed down production of it then how do I get more?
Where & How Do I Get More Collagen?
Whilst age slows the production of collagen it does not halt it completely - and making healthy life choices as well as watching what you eat can have a dramatic impact on not only your collagen production but your quality of life.
Poor life choices like excessive drinking, smoking, unhealthy eating habits etc slow down the production of collagen which in turn speeds up the aging process.
It’s why smokers and heavy drinkers generally look older than they actually are.
On the flipside, making healthy choices and watching what you eat will increase collagen production and keep you looking younger and feeling fitter for much longer.
What Foods are Rich in Collagen?
- Dark Green Vegetables
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Bone Broth (since most collagen is present in ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone)
Will Collagen Help Strengthen and Grow Hair?
Let’s break this down into the basic facts…
- Hair is primarily made of the protein keratin - yep, the same protein that makes up your nails and skin as well.
- Your body makes keratin using several amino acids (it gets complicated and all scientific here so we’ll skip that part) and it gets these amino acids by breaking down the collagen and proteins that we consume. It’s a constant cycle.
- Collagen is rich in amino acids that your body needs to build keratin - and since keratin is an essential building block for hair, skin and nails, the assumption is that collagen will therefore promote hair growth (among other things).
This is true in theory and science goes as far as nodding their collective heads in approval, but beyond the theory there is not enough data to confirm if collagen is directly responsible for promoting hair growth.
Will Collagen Make You Fat?
Not at all! In fact collagen helps you lose weight. Apart from being the most abundant protein in the body, it also keeps your metabolism healthy and actively burns fat.
The reduction in collagen production is another reason we tend to get plumper in our later years. Adding collagen into your diet will not make you fat, there’s evidence to show it will actually help you lose weight.
Will Collagen Help with Weight Loss?
As we established above, collagen rich foods and collagen supplements like our delicious range of Beauty Bites can greatly assist with weight loss but for more reasons than you think.
Consuming collagen has been shown to reduce loose skin and the visible appearance of wrinkles and cellulite.
Will Collagen Help Loose Skin?
Collagen naturally helps firm up the skin so it goes without saying that collagen rich foods and collagen supplements can and will help reduce the appearance of loose skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
Read this article on Collagen for Hair, Skin and Nails to learn more
Will Collagen Reduce my Stress Levels?
Collagen can act as an antioxidant and fight damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are compounds that develop in your body as a result of stress, air pollutants, smoking, poor dietary choices, alcohol, and other environmental influences. Too many free radicals can harm your cells, proteins, and DNA. The body’s ability to defend against free radicals decreases with age, just like the production of collagen.
Will Collagen Affect My Gut?
Collagen rich foods and our collagen rich beauty bites have been proven to promote healthy gut cycles and will not give you constipation, diarrhoea or any sort of gut problems, if anything it will help improve gut health.
There are currently no known reactions with drugs, foods, herbs or supplements.
Will Collagen Help Reduce Acne?
Collagen is a key building block in the skin and is also an important component in the healing of wounds, and since acne is essentially a ‘wound’ we know that collagen may help reduce acne and improve the overall appearance of skin on the face.
It is important to note that while collagen rich foods and collagen beauty snacks can help reduce acne, collagen based creams that are applied to the outer dermis can only help to a point, since they are not actually increasing the amount of collagen in your body.
Will Collagen Help Reduce Stretch Marks?
Yes, it can! One of the most common reasons why women ensure their diet is rich in collagen is because of the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and of course, stretch marks.
It is important to note that while collagen rich foods and collagen beauty snacks will help reduce stretch marks, collagen based creams that are applied to the outer dermis can only help to a point since they are not actually increasing the amount of collagen in your body.