We often hear celebrities going for collagen-rich filler injections to make their skin look like a twenty-year-old’s, even when they are in their fifties. Also, beauty brands claim many of their products have collagen in them. Have you ever thought about what collagen is?
Meaning Of Collagen
We all have noticed, in recent times brands are promoting products— claiming they are rich in collagen. Collagen in one word it is one of the most resourceful proteins your body ever needs. The same has earned a reputation for itself being the cause of glowing skin, healthy hair, and helping the blood to clot. Also, many fitness brands are incorporating collagen in their products as a necessary supplement to nutrition. Collagen is a shield that protects bones, muscles, and tendons.
In our body collagen is available in abundant amounts. Our body can synthesize only one form of collagen which is known as Endogenous collagen. Endogenous collagen is a natural source of collagen.
The collagen is responsible to perform several important functions. The followings are the different types of collagens—
- Type I collagen: This type consists of 90% of one’s body’s internal production of collagen. Made of intricate fibres, the same provides our body with lustrous skin, healthy tendons, and strong teeth.
- Type II collagen: This type of collagen is constructed of a more loosely held pattern of fibres. The collagen is sourced exclusively inside cartilages.
- Type III collagen: This variety of collagen is very much needed to form the muscle tissues, develop the organs, and construct the arteries.
- Type IV collagen: This type of collagen promotes skin filtration, and can be found in the fold of your body’s skin.
Collagen And Ageing
As we tend to age, our body slows down the production of collagen. Hence, the wrinkles start to form in our skin, cartilages start to weaken, and the body frame becomes fragile little by little. Therefore, in our diet, there should be a provision of foods, which are rich in a collagen supplement.
Collagen Rich Food, For Collagen Supplement In The Body
All collagens are sourced from pro-collagen. The procollagen is formed by combining Glycine and Proline— two amino acids in the right proportion. The whole process needs vitamin C to be used. And also the process needs the support of proline, copper, and glycine. Therefore, one has to carefully carve out one’s diet to get hold of these nutrients, which helps to form collagen supplements in the body.
Berries, especially strawberry
|Non-vegetarians can have glycine directly from consuming pork, chicken, etc.|
Vegetarians can consume Beans, nuts, and seeds for glycine needs
|Non-Vegetarian Food Sources: Organ meats|
Vegetarian food sources: sesame seeds, cocoa powder cashew, and lentils.
Nutrition Facts— Collagen, Taken As A Form Of Supplement
Fourteen grams of collagen peptide contains the following—
- 50 Calories
- 12 grams of protein
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of Carbohydrate
- 0 grams of fibre
- 0 grams of sugar
- 29 milligrams of Calcium
- 44.9 milligrams of sodium
- 0.98 milligrams of potassium
Collagen Supplements are found in three main forms—
Hydrolyzed Collagen: This form is also labelled as collagen peptide or collagen hydrolysate. They can be broken down into smaller amino acid fragments.
Raw Form of Collagen: This is the unadulterated version of collagen. In this composition, every part of a collagen formation remains intact.
Gelatin: The collagen present in gelatin can only partially be broken into amino acids.
Of all these collagens the body absorbs Hydrolyzed collagen most efficiently. The collagen gets absorbed into the body in the same way any protein would get absorbed inside our system. While digesting food, our system breaks down collagen into several parts, and the body starts absorbing it. Many claims that one needs no other supplements from outside to intake, and it is enough just to acquire collagen from food. But also intaking a healthy collagen supplement is not a bad idea, as it accelerates the collagen absorption rate of our body.
Studies proclaim collagen supplements can single-handedly resist the bone density loss and fatigue that often occurs among older adults. The research was performed among a group of women. To half of the calcium was given to maintain bone density, and to the other half calcium along with collagen was given, for the same reason. The second group, those who had taken the calcium-collagen combination performed better in managing bone density, and strength. They had controlled better the levels of the protein in their blood, which is responsible for bone density loss.
Are Collagen Supplements Meant For Vegetarians?
Collagen supplements are mainly sourced from animal products. However, these days few companies are claiming they are manufacturing collagen from vegetarian sources as well. Vegan collagen is produced from genetically modified forms of bacteria and yeast – and is as effective as collagen derived from non-vegetarian food sources viz. fish and beef, which vegans skip eating. However, I provide nutrition plans as per the needs of my clients. Everyone’s body is different, therefore it needs exclusive care. Contact me and see sustainable changes in your lifestyle through my recommendations of diet, and exercise.
Natural Vegan Resources To Acquire Collagen
With the help of modern nutrition science, these days collagen can be extracted from vegan sources as well. Generally, in the vegetarian way collagen is made using yeast, and bacteria. The most important role is played by bacteria named P. Pastoris in making collagen, the vegan-friendly way. Now, four combined human genes, that are proven to produce collagen, are put inside the combination of these microbes. Once the genes are at the right place, the yeast or the bacteria then start producing the collagen block that can be absorbed inside our body. If you don’t find collagen supplements available at your hand you can rely upon these natural ingredients which pump up the collagen production in your blood—
- Soy Products: Tofu, paneer, Tempeh, soya chunks
- Black beans
- Pumpkin, sunflower, chia, and squash seeds
- Pistachio, Peanut, and Cashew
- Kidney beans
- Types of legumes
Another good way to maximize the benefit of collagen in your blood is to intake individual amino acid supplements that can be safely consumed. Many vegan-friendly companies are now turning to sell amino acid-rich products, instead of collagen base.
Benefits Of Collagen
There are many proven benefits of collagen—
Can Improve Skin Growth
Collagen is an essential component to boost skin growth. It controls the suppleness of the skin, boosting elasticity and hydration. As we age, our body stops producing so much collagen as we need, to maintain the shine and suppleness of our skin. That is how, in old age, dry skin, and wrinkle is a major issue.
Can Soothe Joint Pains
Collagen keeps the cartilage balance intact. Cartilage is a rubber-like element of our body. It protects the joints and resists internal friction of bones that result in the withering of it. The reason the elder population faces osteoporosis is that they have less amount of collagen presence. Players due to heavy work-out sometimes face bone dilapidation, too. Thus both of them should consume enough nutrient-rich food, that has a high reservoir of collagen in it.
Can Prevent Bone Loss
A great portion of our bone is made of collagen. With our age scaling up, our body drops down its collagen production percentage. That is how bone masses gets affected. Therefore, one should practice taking the right type of foods that are full of nutrition. This will give support to our body in old age when we cannot produce much amount of collagen.
Takes Care Of Heart Health
Collagen takes care of heart health. It makes our arteries more healthy and strong. The blood vessels become more spacious and can carry blood with greater ease. Without enough collagen, arteries may become weak, narrow, and less efficient to carry blood. In old age, many face a disease called atherosclerosis, which is a due cause of collagen deficiency. Therefore, we just can’t compromise on consuming collagen-rich food, food that has vitamin C and glycogen to help address such problems.
Hair and Nail Growth
Collagen is solely responsible for promoting good hair and nail health. It promotes growth, makes the hair shiny, and nail whiter, checking the brittleness of them both.
Collagen helps to cut down weight a lot faster. It boosts the metabolism rate.
Is Collagen Beneficial?
Collagen is no doubt very beneficial. Taking the right proportion of collagen-rich food is extremely necessary to keep our body in the right shape, and workable condition. However, there are some cautions that one should keep in my mind while consuming collagen foods.
- Consuming too much collagen may cause heaviness in the stomach
- It can even result in serious illness, like diarrhoea
- Collagen sometimes causes rashes to come out on the skin
- It may result in causing kidney stones
- It may shoot up the calcium level too much
- It may cause mood swings
However, most people can tolerate collagens without any major issue bothering them. Doctors recommend that an adult should consume at least 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen a day.
Collagen is one of the most plentiful proteins that exist in the mammal world. However, every coin has two sides. Therefore, you need to consume collagen in the right proportion— neither too much nor in a scanty amount.
Only a dietician can carve you out a diet full of foods that are high in collagen resources, with the help of experts. I am an ISSA certified nutritionist, serving several clients in India, and abroad. So book your appointment with me right now, and stay connected with the veg. fit family.