Have you ever wonder why young children have such lovely shiny hair and smooth skin? Have you thought why your skin gets saggy and less bright? Or why as we age we suffer more joint pain?
Collagen is the secret!!
Collagen has gain popularity in the health and wellness world, and like I predicted, is being one of the hottest topic lately.
It is a protein found exclusively in animals. It is responsable for holding us together, being the ‘glue’ that holds our bones, ligaments and tendons in place. Also it is crucial for skin’s elasticity, our gut health or even for our metabolism.
As commented before, collagen can improve skin elasticity, firmness and even can prevent wrinkles. It also have benefits on hair and nails health because of its high-protein and amino acid content.
Placebo-controlled studies have found that 2,5-5 grams of collagen hydrolysate used daily can significantly improve skin elasticity, moisture and skin roughness.
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies, about 30-40%, and it allows us to move without pain from our bones rubbing against one other or against joints. researchers at Harvard found that supplementing with collagen helped patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and orteoarthritis.
Studies show how collagen can potentially heal a compromised digestive tract. It helps form connective tissue and seals and heals the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Boosting the collagen intake can help treat leaky gut syndrome, IBS, acid reflux and Crohn’s disease.
When we are young, we have an abundance of collagen in our body, that’s why babies have such a beautiful soft-smooth skin or they are so flexible. As we age, collagen production naturally declines, and we’ll notice it physically: looser skin, more wrinkles and joint pains.
But there are many other things that can compromise the production of collagen. Excess sugars, smoking or drinking may decrease the synthesis of collagen.
How can I boost the production of collagen?
Collagen supplements are becoming more popular day by day and widely available. Although I would recommend you to boost the intake throw a good diet, if you end up choosing supplementation, remember these products aren’t regulated, so do your research and choose one of high quality.
If you rather prefer opt to have a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, adequate protein and a variety of nutrients:
Our grandparents use to eat every part of the animal, from skin, tendons and ligaments, all collagen-rich parts that we don’t really fancy today. But don’t worry, we could enjoy delicious and healing bone broth.
Bone broth is super comforting and contains cell-energizing nutrients. The recipe below is one of my staple magic one, a simple but healthy broth made with free range chicken and organic ham with lot’s of veggies. It takes quite long to make, so save time making a big batch, it freeze beautifully.
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be acquired through diet because our bodies can not produce.
Because we need collagen and collagen needs vitamin C to be formed, we must consume enough ingredients rich in vitamin C.
Keep focus on berries, red peppers, broccoli, oranges, lemon and kiwi. And I wonder, why not have a delicious and decadent berry drink every morning? Check for the recipe bellow, it is made with hibiscus and berry tea, straberries, raspberries and yogurt. It will brighten our mornings and also our skin!
Copper and Iron
Sesame seeds, tempeh, lentils, cashews, beans and tofu are also great sources of copper and iron. These minerals take a direct role in collagen production and its structure
Dark Green Veggies
Spinach, cabbage, asparagus, sprouts, kale, all leafy greens are packed with antioxidant and are high in collagen producing agents.You need 10mg to get results, so you would need 100g of spinach or 50 grams of kale. They help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilize the protein effectively.
- 250 ml Hibiscus-Berry Tea chilled
- 150 grams strawberries frozen
- 100 grams raspberries frozen
- 1 teaspoon raw honey optional
- 125 ml Greek or Coconut Yogurt
Combine chilled tea with strawberries, raspberries, honey and yogurt into a high speed blender.
Blend until creamy and smooth.
Divide between two glasses and serve it.
- 500 grams chicken legs
- 400 grams ham boned
- 3 litres natural water
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 onion peeled and halved
- 1 leek sliced
- 1 stalk celery sliced
- 1 bunch parsley stalks
- 2 bay leaves
Place all ingredients into a big pot. Fill with natural water and place over a medium heat.
Bring to boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover the pot partially and leave it simmer for a minimum of 3-4 hours (the more the better).
Skim the broth regularly to remove any surface fat and scum. Add more water if necessary.
Strain the bone broth through a sieve. Discard the solids.
Refrigerate overnight and remove all the excess fat that solidifies over the top.
Heat the broth over a stove and enjoy it like this or use it as a base of your soups or sauces.