Collagen was known as that substance your doctor injected you with to make your wrinkles go away. Now, you can find collagen just about everywhere.
From skin cream to powders, collagen is available at your fingertips – but what is the best way to maximize your collagen absorption?
What Is Collagen?
You can find collagen everywhere – especially your body. It is the most abundant protein in your body.
Collagen is in your organs, tendons, bones, and many other parts of your body. It keeps your body strong and youthful, inside and out. Unfortunately, this great protein doesn’t last.
You can tell when your collagen levels are dropping if you start getting wrinkles, stiff ligaments, weak muscles, joint pain, and gastrointestinal problems.
There are two main causes for this collagen drop: aging and a bad diet.
“Aside from aging, the top reason people don’t have enough collagen is poor diet,” says Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Your body can’t make collagen if it doesn’t have the necessary elements.”
How Natural Collagen Absorption Works
As you grow up, collagen absorption is a natural result of a healthy diet. Your body combines amino acids from protein-rich food with other vitamins such as vitamin C, zinc and copper to make collagen.
These nutrients and minerals come from eggs, chicken, fish, meats, tomatoes, oranges, broccoli, and many others.
However, as you age, your body may have trouble absorbing these nutrients.
Dr. Bradley says that “to make sure your body has enough ingredients to make collagen, you may need to change what you eat or take dietary supplements.”
Best Food for Collagen Absorption
The best way to maximize collagen absorption is through natural means.
In addition to a healthy diet of protein-packed foods and fruits and vegetables, there’s one food item that will naturally increase your collagen levels: bone broth.
By slow simmering beef, chicken, or fish bones in water for one or two days, you’ll get a tasty broth that’s packed full of collagen.
Make sure you only buy organic bone broth or bones from organically raised animals; otherwise you might get pesticide and antibiotic residue in your broth, among other contaminants.
The Next Best Thing: Supplements
For those looking to get that extra boost, collagen supplements are here to help. Hydrolyzed collagen comes in powder form and can be easily added to a number of drinks, soups, or sauces. It typically mixes better in warmer liquid but can be added to smoothies and juice as well.
Skin creams with collagen additives may work but are not as effective as a healthy diet and collagen supplements you take internally because it is more difficult for the collagen to penetrate the skin.
Remember: collagen takes care of your body both inside and out. Want to look young and feel young? Maximize your collagen absorption through a healthy diet and collagen supplements.