Have you ever ordered soup, and the next day it gets all congealed and gross – you know, like Jello gone terribly wrong? Or, remember the glorious 70s in French cooking where aspics were actually in style? Cringe! Images like these have kept me away from collagen, until my doctor stepped in.
As it turns out, true collagen is way better for you than that silly packet of jello and can work wonders for your overall health!
Read on to learn more about the many wonders of Collagen…
Q. So what exactly is collagen?
A. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is a fibrous protein that gets its strength from having three strands that wrap around each other, kind of like rope does, in a triple helix pattern. This allows the collagen to flex and move, which is why it is needed for healthy ligaments and joints.
Q. Where can you get it?
A. Collagen is naturally found in the connective tissue of animals. Remember those old school knuckle soup recipes? Well, it turns out that grandma knew what she was doing with that soup. You can also get it from gelatin, which is basically connective tissue from animals that has been boiled down and dehydrated. However, be sure to get the good stuff – organic and grass fed is important. You can also get it in supplement form. I personally try to hit all three and have noticed a difference in how I feel.
Q. So what are the benefits?
- Ever injure yourself at the gym, you know, like, more than just muscle soreness? Like, painful tendons and stuff? Well, collagen allows your tendons, joints and ligaments to have flexibility. Having enough in your diet can not only prevent injury, but also help you heal quicker.
- Skin: I have heard stories of my mom, in her early 20s, carrying around a tub of Oil of Olay, and putting it on every so often – she swore by it. And it worked – she looks amazing! However, we should also help our body internally to try and prevent wrinkles and premature aging – especially for those of us in Southern California who may be in the sunshine a lot. It will do more than any topical creme.
- Pain Management: If your joints and ligaments are nicely plumped up with collagen, chronic pain due to overuse goes down significantly. If you are the type to train hard – you will likely need to add this to your arsenal.
- Cellulite: We had to go there – and it makes sense – doesn’t it? Cellulite has to do with the strength of our connective tissue. Collagen strengthens connective tissue, meaning, the skin will not stretch so much, because the skin will be well hydrated, tight and healthy. Of course, the biggest culprit is fat – but we have all met skinny girls with plenty of it. Collagen can only help matters.
- Arteries: Healthy arterial walls prevent the arteries from bursting. Enough said.
Another thing to consider when getting collagen in your diet – are the things your body needs to process and retain it. I will be adding a separate post for that – as this is getting waaaay to ‘sciency’ for one post.
So, at my doctor’s suggestion, I started taking it as a supplement, and guess what? My back got much better. My skin started to look amazing. Migraines got waaaay better. Overall I started to feel so much better. I am not sure if this is something that may help you, but it certainly is worth the research. Again, I am not a doctor – please do your research, as I only share my opinions and experiences. You never know, collagen may just be one of the many building blocks to help you get your healthy on!