Those of you who have worked with me previously know my love for collagen powder! A true superfood, with properties that can help and heal skin, hair, nails and teeth, the digestive system, that can boost energy and metabolism, and reduce cellulite. Say what!
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, found in our muscles, tendons, bones and skin. It gives our tissues (inside and out) strength and elasticity – think of it as the glue that holds our body together.
As we age our natural collagen production reduces, and stress in the form of sugar, sun exposure, compromised gut health and smoking can take its toll on the body’s collagen levels.
Collagen vs. Gelatin
Collagen is the precursor to gelatin, when cooked gelatin breaks down to collagen; for example when making bone broth the collagen in the bones breaks down into gelatin as the broth is cooked.
Why We Need to Supplement with Collagen
As with most supplements (and I consider capsules, powders, anything that is not in its ‘whole’ form a supplement) the need comes from having to put back into our modern diets that which we used to eat before food became so processed. Collagen is naturally found in the bones and tendons of animals, which we used to eat in stews, broths, soups etc. In our modern diets we tend to eat just the muscle part of the animal (apologies to any vegans/vegetarians reading this), so we miss out on the nutrient dense bones and tendons (yum)!
Of course, bone broth and bone marrow are wonderful sources of natural collagen, but they can be time consuming, expensive and pretty challenging to consume on an everyday basis. As much as I would love to eat these foods every day, and would love for you to eat them too, we have to do our best to incorporate what I call ‘Real World Wellness’, that is taking wonderful wellness practices and making them fit our modern busy lives.
This is why I champion collagen powder, as it can be easily incorporated into our diets at a reasonably low cost. My husband and I consume at least 2 tablespoons of collagen powder a day, and add it to all sorts of foods such as smoothies, soups, coffee, yoghurt and energy bites.
We rarely get sick or injured, and if we do it lasts no longer than a day, two at the most. I believe our supplementing with collagen has a huge role to play in this. I am having dental surgery next month, and plan to up my collagen intake before and after the surgery, and my wonderful Biological dental practice will also send me home with a collagen smoothie and bone broth after the surgery to help with my healing!
I buy my collagen powder from Great Lakes, and I choose powder rather than capsules as it is more bioavailable to the body, does not have to be broken down by the digestive system, and is more affordable than capsules. You can buy it from Amazon and most health food stores.
Here is one of my favourite smoothie recipes featuring collagen powder, and it also contains avocados, walnuts, flaxseed and strawberries, foods which all increase natural collagen production in the body!
Collagen Crusader Smoothie
1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder
1 tablespoon collagen powder
1 teaspoon walnut butter
1 teaspoon flaxseed
¼ ripe avocado
½ cup strawberries (keep the tops on)
1 cup water
Blend until smooth.
If you LOVE Superfood Smoothies as much as I do check out my recipe for my delicious Mango Maca Morning Smoothie!