No doubt you’ve heard about collagen… it is a hot buzzword right now, but what does it do, and is it something you should add into your supplement routine if you’re following a low carb or keto diet?
What is collagen?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies, and as such it plays an essential role in the health of our bones, joints, connective tissues, muscles, gut-health, nails, hair and skin. It is so important because 75% – 80% of the skin’s structure is made up of collagen, so ensuring that we support our body’s production of it is super important if we want to enjoy a healthy glowing complexion!
Our bodies naturally make collagen by combining amino acids (from protein-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy and eggs) with key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc and copper.
The problem is however, that collagen production in the skin slows down significantly as we age, starting at the age of 25. This affects our body’s ability to produce collagen naturally and leads to fine lines, wrinkles, dull and lacklustre skin.
That’s where supplements like collagen powder come into use. But with so many collagen powders on the market, where do you begin?
Things to consider:
- Read the label: When it comes to choosing a collagen powder be very careful with the manufacturer and find out where the product is made.
- Consider collagen types: There are different types of collagen, types 1, 2 and 3.
- Type 1 Collagen (most abundant source is found in marine (fish) collagen): This minimises fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration. Not only does it help rebuild your muscles, eyes, bones and spine, it’s also good for strengthening your nails and helping you grow stronger, thicker hair.
- Type 2 Collagen (best source is found in bone broth): This makes up a majority of the protein molecules in your cartilage, the connective tissue that protects your bones at the joints, in your spinal disks, and your eyes, making it a great way to support joint health.
- Type 3 Collagen (most abundant source is found in bovine (beef bone) collagen): This is found in large quantities in your intestines, muscles, blood vessels and the uterus.
- Beware of filler ingredients: Be sure to avoid artificial colour, flavours and sweeteners. You want to look for a high-quality product that is free from fillers.
If you aren’t ready to jump into taking collagen powder just yet that is totally okay! But you should definitely consider including into your diet collagen-rich foods all of which are keto and low carb friendly! My favourites include:
- Bone broth
- Leafy greens
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