When you think of “collagen,” the first place your mind goes is probably a Kardashian. Or maybe a Real Housewife.
But collagen is more than just a lip or fine line filler injectable. Collagen is actually one of the most abundant proteins in your body. It provides struc- ture to your skin, connective tissue, teeth, muscles, organs and joints, among other things. This trans- lates to firmer, healthy-looking skin, as well as fuller lips and luscious hair.
You may be wondering why you’d need to supple- ment collagen if your body has so much of it.
As we age, our body produces lower quality colla- gen, and less of it. This manifests as less supple, less firm skin and weaker cartilage in joints. Certain life- style choices, like smoking, excessive sun exposure or eating too much sugar, can damage the collagen that your body does produce.
There are many natural food sources of collagen, including bone broth and pork skin. But it’s unclear whether simply consuming collagen-rich foods in- creases the levels of collagen in your body, since it’s broken down into amino acids during digestion.
If you think your body could use the boost of col- lagen, hydrolyzed collagen (sometimes called pep- tide collagen, and sold as powder or pills) or gelatin is the way to go. It has already been broken down into smaller peptides, making it easier for your body to absorb. Studies show that this collagen is a prom- ising help for building muscle mass, slowing arthri- tis and improving skin elasticity.
How do you work this powder into your diet? It’s great in smoothies, soups or baked goods (just sub- stitute some of the flour in the recipe for collagen powder). You can also use gelatin to make home- made gummies.
If you’re looking for a simple beauty (and health!) solution that you can do at home, pain-free, colla- gen may be a good bet for you. As with any supple- ment, always check with your doctor or nutritionist to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Ways to work collagen peptide powder into your daily routine:
x Blend into your smoothie
x Mix into soups or bone broth
x Add to scrambled eggs
x Replace flour in a recipe for baked goods
x Add to lattes or hot chocolate
x Stir into oatmeal or yogurt