What is Collagen: Health Benefits, Food Sources + Types of Collagen

What is Collagen: Health Benefits, Food Sources + Types of Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, making up about a third of its protein composition. It's found in our skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and connective tissues (sooooo pretty much everything that makes us up). It's what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, and it's also responsible for replacing dead skin cells. As we delve into this scientific article, we should keep in mind the importance that collagen has when it comes to our skin health. Okay... let's do this!

What is collagen?

Collagen accounts for about one-third of the total protein content that can be found in our bodies. It is plentiful in our connective tissue which plays a huge role in the way that our skin looks and feels. Collagen plays an important role in maintaining the structure and strength of these tissues, so the more collagen the better.

As we age unfortunately, our bodies produce less collagen, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Additionally, external factors like smoking and prolonged (and unprotected) sun exposure can further damage collagen within our bodies. This is why many people turn to collagen supplements in an effort to improve their skin health and slow the aging process. There are a few different types of collagen, but the most common supplement on the market is hydrolyzed collagen, which is derived from various animal sources.

Some studies have shown that hydrolyzed collagen can help improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles. It can also help with joint pain and osteoarthritis. If you're interested in trying a collagen supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor first to see if it's right for you!

Types of collagen

There are four main types of collagen: Type I, Type II, Type III, and Type IV.

Type I collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in the human body. It is found in the skin, bones, tendons, and organs.

Type II collagen is found in the cartilage and is responsible for its elasticity.

Type III collagen is found in the skin and walls of the intestines.

Type IV collagen is found in the basement membrane of the skin, which helps to keep cells together.

Food sources of collagen

As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen. This can lead to a number of age-related issues, including an increase in wrinkles, heightened joint pain, and osteoporosis.

Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that can help boost your collagen levels, in case you were wondering. Here are some of the best ones in our opinion:

1. Bone broth: Bone broth is super rich in collagen, as well as other nutrients like glycine and proline that help support extra collagen production in the body. Regular intake of this nutrient filled liquid will surely add some benefits for your skin health.

2. Fatty cuts: Fish like beef, salmon, tuna, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy skin and joints. A healthy intake of animal proteins will surely translate to longer lasting skin health.

3. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen synthesis. If you didn't know, including this powerhouse into your lifestyle will boost collagens ability to improve things like skin health and bone density.

4. Red peppers: Red peppers are another great source of vitamin C. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect against sun damage (which can lead to collagen breakdown).

5. Garlic: Garlic contains sulphurous compounds that support collagen production. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are always a bonus.

Collagen supplements

Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people look for ways to improve their skin health and appearance on-the-go.

There are a few different types of collagen supplements on the market, each with its own set of benefits. Here’s a look at some of the most popular collagen supplements, and what they can do for you:

1. Hydrolyzed collagen: This type of collagen has been broken down into smaller peptides, making it easier for your body to absorb. Hydrolyzed collagen is often used in skin care products, as it can help to reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.

2. Collagen peptides: These are short chains of amino acids that are derived from collagen. Collagen peptides are said to be more easily absorbed by the body than other forms of collagen, and they’re often used in sports supplements to help improve joint health.

3. Gelatin: Gelatin is made from collagen that has been heated and dried. It can be commonly used in food products, but it can also be taken as a supplement. Gelatin is said to promote better gut health and help with joint pain.

Let's sum it up

We know that collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and it’s one of the major building blocks of skin, hair, bones, and joint health. Getting enough collagen regularly is important for maintaining healthy connective tissue even as we age. Although you can get collagen from your diet, you may also want to consider taking a supplement to ensure you’re getting the right amount.

When it comes to taking care of your skin, you always want to check for ingredients that help boost collagen production or even skincare products that contain forms of collagen inside them. Aging is a natural process, but based on your routine and nutrient intake you can definitely age gracefully and glow even more.