he benefits of collagen are numerous, and thankfully, collagen can be found in many places. However it’s often difficult to be sure we’re getting an adequate amount from our daily diet, and to be sure that collagen is of the highest quality, you’re looking at spending a pretty penny in the form of grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chickens or pastured pork (among others)! If you’re not aware of the benefits of sipping on homemade bone broth, or consuming soups, stews and gravies made with homemade bone broth, then taking a collagen supplement may prove beneficial if you’re looking to reduce unnecessary inflammation.
As we continue through our Healthy Changes, focusing on reducing unnecessary inflammation in the body, the benefits of collagen for improved hair, skin and nail health may seem alluring. However, the true benefits of collagen are to our thyroid (and subsequent hormone production), bone/joint health, liver function, metabolism and digestion.
How does Collagen Reduce Inflammation?
As mentioned above, inflammation occurs when we have poor digestion, oftentimes due to Leaky Gut Syndrome, hormones that are out of control, causing undue stress on the body and leading to excess cortisol, all of which can cause inflammation in the joints, causing severe pain, even leading to arthritis. So collagen comes to the rescue in many ways:
- Improves Digestion – The collagen helps break down proteins and soothe the lining of your gut. This is especially beneficial if you’re already dealing with a Leaky Gut. The collagen helps heal damaged cell walls and gives it a dose of healing amino acids. Collagen will also help “keep things moving” as it absorbs water and helps ease things through your digestive tract. (Source)
- Joints – The older I get, the more I realize I don’t move the way I used to. When waking up in the morning, or crawling into bed after a long day (especially if I’ve worked my muscles), I can feel the tightness in my joints and the lack of flexibility and mobility compared to what I used to have. As we age, we lose collagen, and this leads to less mobility, stiffness and even swollen joints. Collagen helps ease these aching muscles like oiling a creaky door. The regular use of collagen can even help treat the effects of osteoarthritis. (Source)
- Metabolism – Collagen contains glycine, which helps push sugar into your tissues to up your energy levels. Collagen also helps build muscle which can help maintain a healthy weight (since we all know muscles burn more calories than fat). One caveat is to be sure and pair your collagen with vitamin C so your body can properly convert the collagen into usable protein. That’s why I like to add collagen to a smoothie after a workout. (Source)
- Aids Liver Function – Glycine helps reduce the effects toxins have on our liver. The main function of the liver is to detox and protect our bodies from free-radicals and other harmful chemicals, and glycine can help minimize these effects. The fewer free-radicals and chemicals our bodies need to fight off, the more they can get to work on fighting inflammation and hormone regulation.
Where Can I Buy High Quality Collagen?
Our family has used collagen from multiple sources, however we have settled on Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. We prefer Vital Proteins over other brands because it’s sourced from cows grazing in open pastures and is grass-fed and grass-finished, rather than grain-finished as some other collagen proteins on the market today. We also prefer the peptides over the gelatin as peptides completely (and quickly) dissolve in warm or cold liquids with no waiting for the recipe to cool down before consuming (as is necessary with gelatin). Collagen peptides are also tasteless and odorless, so it can be added to smoothies, coffee, tea or this anti-inflammatory Golden Milk Chai Latte.
Both forms of collagen can be bought directly through Vital Proteins with the following links:
However, for an even better discount, we buy Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides through Azure Standard. Because we’re members of their Azure Advantage Program we get our collagen at 25% off (which is 40% off what you pay through the Vital Proteins website!). It’s savings like these that help pay for the membership while getting to enjoy all the free perks that come with it!*
* If you’d like to become an Azure Advantage member, follow this link and be sure to mention Full of Days in the “Your Customer Number” for a free gift from us!