Collagen is a fibrous protein that acts as the glue holding the body’s muscles and tendons together. As you grow older, your natural collagen production slows, making it worthwhile to eat more foods with nutrients that boost collagen production or supplement your collagen levels directly. While collagen is a naturally occurring protein, adding it to your diet may help build stronger muscles and bring many other health benefits.
Because collagen has essential functions all across the body, increasing your natural production or intake can have wide-ranging health benefits. For example:
- Bone Loss Prevention– As you age, your bones naturally lose density. Since collagen makes up much of your bones’ structure, increasing your collagen intake can help keep them strong and deter fractures or breaks.
- Building Muscle Mass– Collagen may compose up to 10 percent of your muscle mass, and research indicates that taking collagen supplements may help you gain more muscle while exercising.
- Heart Health– Because collagen provides structure to your arteries, some researchers believe increasing your collagen levels can prevent the narrowing of arteries, which can lead to severe heart problems like heart attacks and strokes.
Combining Collagen With Other Vitamins and Minerals
To target the particular benefits of consuming collagen, you can choose a powdered supplement that combines collagen with other vitamins and minerals to effectively improve your health in that specific area. There are many great supplements with collagen protein that offer all the benefits of collagen, with a little extra boost.
- Gut Health Supplements
As a component of the gut’s inner lining, collagen helps to both heal and seal the gut and may even help minimize the damage from leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. Aside from collagen, gut health supplements often include the “good” microbes, or living organisms, that your gut needs to maintain a stable microbiome.
To support the overall health of your digestive tract and the internal microbiome, look for powder supplements that mix collagen with the following:
- Probiotics– Probiotics are healthy living bacteria that help the body absorb nutrients and digest food. Increasing probiotics can help remove harmful bacteria in the body.
- Prebiotic Acacia– Prebiotic acacia is a plant fiber that can help reduce gut inflammation and stimulate the growth of more healthy bacteria.
- Zinc Carnosine– Recent studies support evidence of “the safety and efficacy of ZnC for the maintenance, prevention, and treatment of the mucosal lining and other epithelial tissues.”
- Joint Strength Supplements
Joints hold the bones and muscles together, and having healthy joints with plenty of cartilage is essential to a healthy, flexible body. Collagen acts like the glue that keeps the joints together. Joint health supplements often include the following nutrients that create a powerful combination when mixed with collagen.
- Glucosamine– According to the Mayo Clinic, glucosamine supplements, often made from shellfish shells, can treat the pain associated with joint inflammation and the degradation of cartilage.
- Chondroitin Sulfate– Chondroitin sulfate is one of the essential building blocks of cartilage; supplementing intake may slow cartilage breakdown and is often used for treating osteoarthritis.
- Beauty Blends
Collagen is also known for playing a vital role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails. With the powerful amino acids present in collagen, the protein can improve skin elasticity and strengthen hair and nails. Powder collagen supplements meant for beauty benefits often include the following vitamins and minerals as well:
- Biotin– Not much is known about biotin’s direct effect on hair, nails, and skin, but biotin does improve the infrastructure of keratin, one of the basic protein that composes hair, nails, and skin. Furthermore, people with biotin deficiencies often show hair loss, supporting the thesis that biotin helps with hair growth.
- Hyaluronic Acid– Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin hydrated, which gives it its suppleness and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and dermatitis. Furthermore, it can speed up the healing of wounds.
The Benefits Of Collagen Blends
Collagen has many great benefits when taken alone, but when you choose to pair this essential protein with other vitamins and minerals, you get powerful blends to use in your health and wellness routine. The three supplement blends described above all come in powdered form, making them easy to incorporate in delicious smoothies and drinks.