Collagen protein powder can now be found in matcha lattes with brownies – but what is collagen?
How is collagen produced in the body? Which nutrients are involved in collagen production and what causes collagen breakdown?
Let’s take a look at collagen biology and dive into collagen-related products so you can best navigate the growing collagen products market and know what’s best for you.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein found in bones, teeth, skin, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, hair, and nails. Collagen is a structural protein that plays a key role in structure and essentially holds the body together. Interestingly, there are some types of collagen fibrils, gram for gram, that are stronger than steel.
Think of collagen protein as the glue that holds our bodies together and makes up about a third of our total body protein.
Collagen is made up of three polypeptide chains that are cross-linked in terms of their strength and consist of glycine, proline, hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline – all of which are amino acids and the latter two are not found in any other protein.
Collagen polypeptides are also attached to carbohydrate chains, making them glycoproteins too. Glycoproteins support our immune, digestive and reproductive systems. (1)
How does the body make collagen?
Your body makes collagen from important vitamins, minerals, and through several processes. All proteins contain amino acids and the most common amino acid found in collagen is glycine, an essential amino acid.
As you age, collagen decreases naturally and normally, which can lead to less flexible ligaments, muscle weakness, joint pain and wrinkles, and thinning the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to digestive problems. (2) (3)
Besides aging, the most common reason someone does not make enough collagen is either eating or eating badly, or eating too much sugar because they lack the essential nutrients your body needs to make collagen. (4)
Just as the body can produce collagen, it can also be destroyed by harmful actions such as spending too much time in the sun and smoking.
Important nutrients involved in collagen production
Vitamin C is the key to collagen production. In addition to vitamin C, iron also plays an important role.
You can see, although this seems easy for our body to do in order to maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, connective tissue, tendons, cartilage, bones, and teeth – it also depends heavily on our body’s vitamin C supply.
Vitamin C deficiency is rare these days, but to help your body produce collagen, you should eat foods rich in vitamin C, iron, and other collagen-producing nutrients.
When you eat meat, you are most likely eating a lot of amino acids and nutrients that are necessary for collagen production. Your body will break down collagen in the gut and reuse it to build more protein.
A rich nutrient in meat-rich diets, zinc is a key nutrient in this process and the role of collagenase, which digests collagen in the intestines. While plant-based diets may not contain the same amount of amino acids as meat-rich diets, they can still provide the nutrients needed to make collagen.
Other Food Vegan Beauty Collagen Booster is delicious and easy to add to your daily smoothie, in baked goods, shakes, coffee, almond milk for chocolate milk or even with hot water to make hot cocoa that supports your beauty routine from within. Get 15% off your first order of Further Food Vegan Beauty Collagen Booster with the following code: NUTRITIONAL STRIPPED.
Foods rich in collagen producing nutrients
Foods that contain vitamin C, iron, silicon, proline, lysine, threonine, and zinc are important in the collagen production process.
Foods rich in vitamin C are found in a wide variety of foods that you may already have in the kitchen. These foods include citrus fruits, peppers, cherries, chives, parsley, rose hips, currants, guava, kale, tomatoes, leeks, and many more.
Foods rich in silicone are abundant in plant-based foods such as oats, whole wheat, nuts, root vegetables, seafood, and organ meats. (5)
Proline, the amino acid, is found in gelatin, cheese, beef, soy protein, cabbage, yogurt, asparagus, bamboo shoots, seaweed, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and much more.
Foods rich in lysine are abundant in animal proteins and dairy products. Lysine is also found in plant sources such as avocados, apricots, mangoes, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, peppers, leeks, beets, legumes, soy, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistachios, and grains like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
Iron-rich foods include animal proteins and organ meats such as liver, kidneys, red meat, and shellfish. There are vegetable sources of iron such as spinach, legumes, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, molasses, broccoli, tahini, and tofu.
Threonine is another amino acid that is needed for collagen production. It is important that your body cannot make it so you have to get it from your diet. Foods rich in threonine include lentils, peanuts, eggs, animal proteins, chickpeas, beans, and asparagus.
In addition to food sources, nutritional supplements can be taken to ensure that you are getting enough of these nutrients to produce collagen. However, if you eat a diet high in whole foods, you are most likely getting enough of these important nutrients. If not, just speak to your dietitian to come up with an appropriate plan for your supplement needs
Should I take collagen supplements or use collagen powder?
If you enjoy it, go for it!
There are some studies showing that consuming collagen peptide powders, which are rich in the amino acid glycine, can improve joint health, relieve joint pain, improve skin elasticity, decrease intestinal inflammation, improve sleep quality, and improve wound healing. (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)
As with anything to do with our food selection, give it a try and see if it is unique to you.
There are some great herbal collagen boosters to add to your daily smoothie to get the nutritional boost your body needs to make collagen in the first place.
We love to use it More Food Vegan Beauty Collagen Boosterwhich is rich in vitamins C&E and aloe vera.
Made from high-quality, plant-based, real-food ingredients, it contains tremella, an antioxidant-rich mushroom known for moisturizing and glowing skin. Plus, it tastes decadent with a rich, dark chocolate flavor. We are also impressed with Further Food’s commitment to quality. Each product is independently tested in the laboratory and checked for quality, purity and effectiveness.
Get 15% off your first order of Further Food Vegan Beauty Collagen Booster with the following code: NUTRITIONAL STRIPPED.
In addition to the Plant-based nutrients to help your body produce collagen. The Vegan Collagen Booster tastes delicious and is so easy to add to your daily smoothie, baked goods, shakes, coffee, almond milk for chocolate milk or even hot water to make hot cocoa to support your beauty routine from within.
When you increase the protein in your diet, such as: B. Collagen Protein Powder, increase the intake of amino acids in your diet.
When you get more amino acids in your diet, especially glycine, which are the building blocks of protein, you will benefit from a high protein diet. Protein is heavily involved in collagen production in the body – often sources of protein also contain the nutrients needed for collagen production. Protein is also an important macronutrient for maintaining overall health of hair, skin, nails, etc.
Protein is also instrumental in improving intestinal function and supporting cell turnover – glutamine, for example, is an amino acid that plays a key role in intestinal health and function and is found in abundance in protein-rich foods.
Glutamine is also found in collagen powders, but also in vegetable protein powders and animal protein powders, and even in cabbage.