In case you hadn’t heard, the collagen craze has begun! Almost every product you see in health stores and across the aisles at local grocery stores has “collagen” sprawled somewhere across the label, luring in the health-conscious shopper. From bone broth and soups to smoothies and more, almost anything can now incorporate collagen, touting the benefits to your muscles, skin, and bones. Below is everything you need to know about grass-fed collagen and whether it’s right for you.
What is Collagen?
Collagen in its most basic form is what holds your body together. Approximately 80 percent of your skin features collagen and is formed within the human body’s amino acids. When you’re young, there is collagen here, there, and everywhere. You’ve got an abundance of collagen, keeping your skin looking youthful and fabulous. However, as you age, your body begins to break down collagen faster than you can replace it.
Your skin will sag, your joints will ache, and you’ll feel less than your best. That’s why you need to look for alternative sources of collagen to make sure you maintain a healthy, vibrant and beautiful appearance.
What is Grass-Fed Collagen?
You might wonder why it’s important to look for a particular type of collagen, such as grass-fed, instead of just collagen as a whole. The truth is, not all collagen is created equally. Grass-fed collagen is organic which means it’s standard of quality is excellent. The living conditions for the animals are far superior to factory farms, they don’t receive antibiotics which can impact the collagen, and they enjoy a gourmet diet of greens.
When you’re in the market for collagen products, it’s also helpful to know what the alternatives to grass-fed collagen are so you can avoid them! For example, you may want to steer clear of CAFO-derived collagen. This form of collagen utilizes factory farmed animals which have squalid living conditions and use antibiotics. The resultant collagen powder is a far lower quality than many grass-fed varieties.
Benefits of Collagen
There are several studies which prove just how beneficial collagen is for the human body – even if it’s no longer your own body that is producing it in large amounts. Including collagen into your diet can improve your skin tone, prevent wrinkles, and also stop age spots in their tracks. But, that’s not all! (1) (2)
Collagen plays a crucial role in keeping your bones, cartilage, joints, hair, nails, tendons, and connective tissue healthy. If you are beginning to suffer from inflammation, the early stages of arthritis, and/or joint pain, you may find including a collagen-rich product into your diet can be beneficial.
What Should I Buy?
The most effective and concentrated form of collagen is, of course, collagen powder. You can buy this online and in many health food stores as well. However, there is also an abundance of naturally occurring products that can help to boost your body’s production of it too. Kiwi, for example, is rich in Vitamin C which your body needs to kickstart production of amino acids into collagen. Berries, on the other hand, help to prevent collagen cell breakdown while preventing free radical damage. Almonds, avocados, garlic, oysters, pumpkin seeds, and tomatoes also offer collagen benefits. Tomatoes feature lycopene which protects your skin from the sunlight’s harmful UV rays which can damage your body’s collagen fibers.
No one likes getting older – especially if it involves aches and pains, inflammation, sagging skin, age spots, and wrinkles. However, if you get your hands on collagen powder or collagen-rich foods, you may find you can slow down that process and feel healthy and beautiful for much longer.
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