Exploring the Health Benefits of Collagen

You may have heard more buzz around collagen in recent years, but just what exactly is it and why is it so important, anyway?

This week we’re answering those questions and highlighting some products in our store that are a good source of collagen like Bare Bones Broth, Bulletproof, Pacific Foods, and Vital Proteins.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, the gut, corneas, intervertebral discs, and the dentin in teeth.

What’s collagen’s function?

There are many types of collagen fibrils found in the human body, but there are four main types with type I being the most common. They are all strong and flexible which allows them to give structure to your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. You can think of collagen as the “glue” that holds everything together.  

It makes up 80% of our skin and works with another protein called elastin to provide resilience and elasticity to tissues and organs.  

Since collagen makes up so many critical parts of our bodies, it is not only beneficial but essential to maintaining good health.

How is collagen made in our body?

We make collagen our entire lives but as we age, synthesis and quality of collagen decreases. For your body to produce collagen, you need:

  • Proline (amino acid): found in egg whites, dairy, cabbage, mushrooms, asparagus
  • Glycine (amino acid): found in pork skin, chicken skin, and gelatin, and a variety of other protein-rich foods. 
  • Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits and bell peppers 
  • Zinc: found in beef, lamb, pork, shellfish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, milk, cheese, and various nuts and seeds 
  • Copper: found in organ meats, cocoa powder, cashews, sesame seeds, and lentils

Are there food sources of collagen?

Since collagen is the most abundant animal protein, it only makes sense that collagen is found in animal meat, skin, and bones. The best source of collagen is from food high in gelatin (which is a protein product derived from collagen). Gelatin is made by cooking collagen like in the best collagen-boosting brew: bone broth.  

Bone broth is the liquid leftover after you simmer meaty bones and connective tissue in water for an extended period of time. In addition to bones, connective tissue, and joints, bone broths often contain vegetables, herbs and spices as well as wine or apple cider vinegar. 

Bone broth can be used as the base for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies, or more traditionally it can be sipped on as a restorative food.

What are collagen peptides?

Collagen peptides are a soluble (dissolves in water) supplement derived from marine or bovine (cows) protein. These peptides are rich in types I and III collagen and good for skin, bone, and joint health. Most peptides are flavorless and completely dissolve in hot or cold liquid. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids found in the gelatin of bone broth. 

If you decide to take collagen peptides, make sure they have been hydrolyzed. This means the collagen has been broken down into small peptides that are easy for the body to digest and transport to the cells through the bloodstream. Because they are so easily digested, absorbed, and transported, they can deliver high concentrations of the hydroxyproline-proline and hydroxyproline-glycine dipeptides (the smaller forms of the amino acids proline and glycine that are found in collagen) to enhance skin, joint, and bone health.  

Since collagen peptides don’t form gels and are soluble in water, they are used in a wide variety of applications such as powders, ready to drink beverages, and protein bars.

What are the benefits of eating foods high in collagen or taking collagen peptides?

  • Consuming collagen in your diet helps restore skin hydration, elasticity, and density.  
  • Improves brittle nails, damaged hair, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • May improve gut health and reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. 
  • Even though it is not a complete protein (it is missing one of the essential amino acids), it is still an excellent source of protein to help you reach your daily protein needs. 
  • Collagen protein supports the bones, joints, and muscles.

Are there any side effects of taking collagen peptides?

Collagen peptides are safe and well tolerated. It is even safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, people with kidney disease or other kidney issues should work with their doctor to find their ideal protein intake of collagen peptides.

Collagen products available in the Green Bean store…

Bare Bones Grass-fed Beef Bone Broth

Grass-fed Beef Bone Broth

Bare Bones Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Bare Bones Organic Turkey Bone Broth

Organic Turkey Bone Broth

Bulletproof Unflavored Collagen Protein

Unflavored Collagen Protein

Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen Protein

Vanilla Collagen Protein

Bulletproof Chocolate Collagen Protein

Chocolate Collagen Protein

Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle Soup with Bone Broth

Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Pacific Organic Hearty Italian Vegetable Soup

Organic Hearty Vegetable Soup

Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon Collagen Water

Strawberry Lemon Collagen Water

Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer

Coconut Collagen Creamer

Vital Proteins Peach White Tea Collagen Water

Peach White Tea Collagen Water

Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Creamer

Vanilla Collagen Creamer

Vital Proteins Blackberry Hibiscus Collagen Water

Blackberry Hibiscus Collagen Water

Shop Vital Proteins >

Vital Proteins Blueberry Mint Collagen Water

Blueberry Mint Collagen Water

Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides

Original Collagen Peptides

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About Organic Beth

Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three who loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips.