Sometimes, I think our ancestors knew more about nutrition than modern day health professionals. Okay, I sort of think this constantly, especially health professionals that promote low-fat, processed foods over nourishing, traditional foods humans have been eating for thousands upon thousands of years.
Like bone broth.
Our ancestors ate every part of the animal. They made use of the hide, made tools from the teeth, made broth from the bones and feet. This broth left them with a mineral-rich, gelatinous substance rich in collagen – which is the most abundant protein in the body.
While I love me some bone broth, the reality is that I don’t always drink it. Whether that’s because I live in DC and these swampy summers leave me wanting to bathe in ice more than drinking a cup of hot broth or because I just don’t have any on hand. Supplementing with collagen is one of the easiest additions to any healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t involve swallowing pills, it’s tasteless and it takes all of three seconds to add a scoop of it to a cup of tea (or whatever you may be drinking). And it’s really, really good for you.
Here are five reasons you should take some every day.
#1: IT HEALS THE GUT.
Because we no longer eat every part of the animal, because we don’t utilize the bones, the feet, or anything aside from the muscle meat, modern diets are severely lacking in collagen. Which is really unfortunate, because not only is bone broth delicious, it is incredibly healing. Collagen has been shown to strengthen mucosal lining and improve low stomach acid.
It contains proline, glycine, and glutamine as well as mineral like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. These are all incredibly healing to the digestive tract and have been shown to soothe symptoms of IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It heals and seals gut lining. Leaky gut is becoming more and more common, along with people suffering from digestive issues in general. Adding bone broth is a great idea, and supplementing with collagen daily will definitely boost gut healing.
#2: IT STRENGTHENS BONES, JOINTS, AND CARTILAGE.
Joints, cartilage, and bone are all in part made up of collagen. In fact, bones are one-third collagen while cartilage is two-thirds collagen. This is another reason bones become brittle, our cartilage wears and our joints ache as we age. In this study, 52% of patients significantly improved their joint pain with daily use of collagen hydrosylate.
#3: IT REDUCES WRINKLES, CELLULITE AND STRETCH MARKS.
Around the age of 25, our bodies produce less and less collagen (this is especially true for women). We lose is by roughly 1% per year. By the time we’re 50, we’re not producing much at all. Loss of collagen leads to wrinkles, sagging skin, and sallow skin. You may have seen creams and topical products that contain collagen – which using is basically like setting your money on fire. Your skin cannot absorb collagen, it needs to be taken internally.
One reason for both cellulite and stretch marks is a breakdown of connective tissue. Collagen helps our skin remain firm and elastic. Collagen helps the skin retain structural integrity. Remember that collagen is a protein, a protein that helps form the connective tissue of the skin. If it’s lacking or damaged, this will result in cellulite and/or stretch marks.
#4: IT BOOSTS HAIR AND NAIL GROWTH.
Hair and nails are made up mostly of keratin, which is a fibrous protein. Like any protein, it needs amino acids to grow. And what is rich in amino acids? You guessed it – collagen. Consider this: if you have an abundance of these amino acids, you will naturally have faster-growing hair and nails. If you lack these amino acids, which many people do, you will have slow growing, weak, brittle hair and nails.
#5: IT REDUCES INFLAMMATION.
Collagen is rich in the amino acid glycine, which has been shown to reduce inflammation (source). Glycine doesn’t just reduce inflammation in a small way, it has been referred to as “a promising treatment strategy for inflammatory diseases.“
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harm. If you get punched in the face (which I really hope you don’t, I’m just using this as an easy example), your face turns red and swells. That’s inflammation. If you have heart disease, that is the result of inflammation. If you drink alcohol or sodas regularly or bombard your body with toxins, your liver will become inflamed.
Inflammation is natural, but prolonged inflammation is anything but. One of the biggest steps we can do to reduce disease is to reduce inflammation. Eat well, stress less, sleep more and supplement with collagen!
HOW TO TAKE IT.
I use and love my own brand of collagen which is formulated with six organic supergreens: broccoli, kale, wheatgrass, spirulina, spinach and turmeric. It’s incredibly nutrient dense, delicious and healthy!
Here is my favorite smoothie recipe:
- 1 scoop Ancestral Nutrition Collagen Protein + Supergreens
- 1 cup coconut milk
- handful of spinach
- 1/2 avocado
- handful of blueberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
Blend until smooth. It’s insanely delicious!