Within the past few years, collagen supplements have boomed in popularity. With so many health benefits linked to using collagen, it’s easy to see why these products receive so much hype. But as with many other wellness products, consumers find it challenging to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to using collagen. To decide whether or not taking collagen is worth it, understanding what collagen is and what it does is a great place to start.
What Is Collagen and What Does it Do?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. In fact, this structural protein accounts for up to one-third of your body’s total protein. Connective tissues, bones, cartilage, eyes, and blood vessels all contain collagen. This particular protein acts like the glue that holds everything together.
Of the 28 known types of collagen, most fall into the Type I, Type II, or Type III categories. Collagen is said to:
- Help improve gut health,
- Improve the appearance and strength of hair and nails,
- Support healthy joint growth,
- Aid in maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy heart,
- Support healthy and strong bone formation, and
- Promote healthy liver function.
Are Collagen Supplements Worth it?
Collagen supplements are an excellent way to raise the level of collagen within the body. Using a supplement can aid in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Collagen supplements can improve liver function, help maintain a healthy weight, and help support strong hair, skin, and nails. Increasing collagen levels also promotes strong joint and bone growth as well as heart health. If the benefits of collagen appeal to you, consult with your doctor, and give supplements a try.
Are There Any Risks?
At this time, there have been no major risks associated with the use of collagen supplements. However, many collagen supplements use ingredients that contain common food allergens such as fish, shellfish, and eggs. Anyone with food allergies should do careful research before choosing a collagen supplement.
Add These Collagen-Rich Foods into Your Diet
Aside from taking supplements, you can also alter your diet to increase collagen intake. By incorporating collagen-rich foods into your diet, you can build up the healthy protein in your body. Foods high in collagen include:
- Bone broth,
- Fish with skin, and
- Egg whites.
By adding more meals with these foods to your diet, you can increase collagen levels in your body and work toward improving your overall health.
Boost Your Collagen Absorption Naturally
In addition to taking supplements or changing your diet to increase collagen intake, you may want to consider adding foods that help with collagen absorption to your diet. To naturally aid the absorption of collagen and to prevent collagen damage, consume foods rich in iron, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating the following foods is an excellent way to get the added nutrients needed to absorb collagen naturally:
- Citrus fruits,
- Dark leafy greens,
- Tomatoes, and
- Bell peppers.
Supplements offer an easy and convenient way to get extra collagen without having to change eating habits drastically. Collagen supplements come in many different forms, including flavorless powders, creamers, and water. Many companies also produce topical serums, collagen protein bars, and collagen pills.
With the wide availability of these products at local health and wellness stores, grocery stores, and online, taking collagen supplements can be an easy lifestyle transition. Many supplements are flavorless and designed to be taken on the go or added to food. You can even add collagen powder to smoothies or coffee regularly.
Your Collagen Levels and Your Doctor
Strong, healthy bodies require balanced levels of collagen. With so many different ways to consume collagen supplements, you may want to add taking collagen supplements to your daily routine. If you’re unsure about starting a supplement regimen and the potential health effects, talk to your doctor about your plans before getting started.