You’ve likely heard about it before, but what is collagen? This buzzy protein can be seen everywhere — and it's taken the wellness world by storm! Whether you’re interested in the skin/hair/nail benefits, gut health, or looking for more protein, here is a quick collagen breakdown with all the key info you should know!
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced in our bodies — it’s actually the most abundant protein — and it makes up about ⅓ of the total protein in our bodies, 70% of which is found in our skin. Collagen is the building block for healthy everything: hair, skin, and nails, bones, joints, gut, ligaments… the list goes on and on.
BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN FOR BEAUTY
You always hear that collagen is great for hair, skin and nail health — but what exactly does it do? Well, collagen provides protection to the structural foundation of our second layer of skin and helps to lock in moisture so your skin, hair, and nails are hydrated — this means fewer wrinkles, longer nails, and healthy hair!
OTHER WELL KNOWN BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN
Collagen has been linked to improved gut health, and there is some evidence that the amino acids in collagen may reduce GI inflammation in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and improve overall digestion. Collagen is also known to help improve the functionality of our connective tissues as we age, so getting plenty of collagen into your diet can reduce the chance of osteoarthritis!
WHAT IS COLLAGEN IN FOOD
Collagen is found in the ‘odd bits’ of meat that contain a lot of connective tissues, which nowadays we typically avoid eating, unlike our ancestors back in the day. Collagen is so vital to our overall health — but our natural production declines as we get older and we typically don’t get any collagen in the cuts of meat we eat, so it’s important to get our fix of this ‘fountain of youth’ protein via alternative means.
THE MANY TYPES OF COLLAGEN
There are 16 different types of collagen, but the most prevalent in the human body are types I-III, each of which has a different superpower:
- Type I - Great for skin, hair, nails, organs, bone, ligament health
- Type II - Great for cartilage health
- Type III - Great for tendon and connective tissues
WHAT ARE COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
You’ll generally hear people talking about ‘collagen peptides,’ which refers to the most common way to consume collagen nowadays. It’s usually broken down into a fine white powder that is odorless and tasteless, making it ideal to add to your favorite beverages (like ZÜPA NOMA!)
Collagen peptides are made up of short-chain amino acids — and amino acids are the monomers that make up a protein molecule. So that fine powder in your container of collagen peptides is just a ton of little tiny proteins!
WHAT DOES GRASS FED MEAN?
When you hear the term ‘Grass Fed Collagen Peptides’, this simply means that the animal it was sourced from was grass-fed (as opposed to feed or grain fed) — which is a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly practice, and also yields a higher quality collagen product.
HOW MUCH COLLAGEN SHOULD I TAKE?
As we age, collagen production naturally declines in our bodies, hence why adding collagen peptides to our routines is becoming more and more mainstream! It is advised to take between 10 - 15 grams of collagen per day for optimal body functionality — this is the typical starting range for people who are looking to improve digestion, boost gut health, reduce inflammation, get visible hair skin and hair improvements, and increase energy! You’ll find 10 grams built right into our Kale Avocado with Collagen Superfood Soup.
Ready to get your collagen on and reap all the benefits of this amazing protein source? Explore our Kale Avocado with Collagen flavor made exclusively for the #SOUPSQUAD, in collaboration with the Whole30 team.