Collagen is a natural protein in the body, that plays an essential role in protecting our body. It is distributed throughout the body but is especially abundant in our skin, bones, tissues, and tendons, where it helps provide strength and structure.
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Like most body produced elements, collagen production decreases as a person ages, and women especially, lose a large amount of collagen after going through menopause.
While there are many health benefits to using a collagen supplement, one of the best ones is to improve your hair, skin, and nails. This is largely due to the fact that collagen helps with connective tissues, which you not only have inside your body, but in your skin, and even your hair follicles.
Take a look at how you can improve your beauty and anti-aging naturally just with collagen.
Collagen for skin
One of the most popular reasons to use collagen supplements for skin, and in fact, one of the first places you might notice a difference if you don’t get enough collagen is your skin. Your skin relies on amino acids like collagen to help maintain skin elasticity with the connective tissues.
If this collagen is diminishing in your skin, you might notice you lose that skin elasticity, which ultimately causes looser skin, more wrinkles, and often signs of sun damage.
By taking a collagen supplement, you are helping to repair some of that loss of your skin elasticity, and will hopefully be able to reduce the signs of aging and other skin imperfections related to a low level of collagen.
Collagen for Hair
Another reason people often use collagen is to help with their hair.
Does collagen thicken hair?
There isn’t as much scientific evidence with your hair as your skin, but many people have seen a difference. Collagen is made up of proteins found in connective tissues which can be in all your skin, including the skin on your scalp.
Your hair is also made up of a lot of protein, so if you are losing protein and other nutrients, you might notice dry and damaged hair, hair falling out, or hair that is becoming weak and breaking.
With more collagen, you have a great chance at relieving these issues. You might also need to add some other nutrients to help with hair strength and growth, including biotin.
Collagen for Nails
Lastly, consider using collagen to help strengthen your nails. This is another effect of having a lack of proper collagen in your body. Signs of needing help with your nails might include nails that are dry and cracking, splitting, or that are growing very slowly or not at all. Even if it doesn’t resolve the issue completely, it doesn’t hurt to try!
Collagen has so many health benefits, it is always a good idea to maintain a steady balance in your body.
Why Collagen Is Good For Your Body Video
What You Should Know Before Using Collagen
Collagen supplements and collagen powder, are available to help boost the amount of collagen in your body, which can help with everything from your gut health to your skin. This natural protein is found in your body, but of course, due to the natural aging process, you might notice much less of it as you get older.
Here are some things to know about using a collagen supplement.
What Causes a Loss of Collagen?
First of all, you should understand that not everyone is in need of a collagen supplement. While it is good for everyone to have adequate collagen proteins in their body, if you have a well-balanced diet and are not participating in some of the unhealthy habits that cause a reduction in collagen, then it might not be an issue for you.
Some things that can break down the collagen in your body include excessive sun exposure without protecting your skin, drinking heavily, smoking cigarettes, and having an imbalanced diet without a lot of nutrients.
Why You Should Use Collagen Supplements
How do you know if you need collagen? Typically, someone who is in their mid-20s or older has premature signs of aging, general skin issues, joint pain, muscle or bone issues, or gut problems, could benefit from using a collagen supplement. It is also possible to experiment with a small dose of collagen each day, then waiting a few weeks to see if you notice any difference in how you look or feel.
If you don’t, it might not be necessary for you.
Natural Ways to Get More Collagen
If you are not interested in using a collagen supplement, there are a few ways to boost collagen and reduce the breaking down of collagen in your body.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Eating nutrient-rich foods, especially leafy greens, citrus fruits, veggies, and wild-caught salmon.
- Quitting smoking and other unhealthy habits.
- Protecting your skin when out in the sun.
If you are doing all of these things, you should be doing what you can naturally without adding in a collagen supplement. You can also start with bone broth, which also has a good amount, but you will get a lot more collagen protein by just using a powdered collagen-like collagen peptide.
Remember that gelatin also provides some of the same health benefits, but again, you get the highest concentrated amount with the powdered collagen supplement.
Collagen VS Gelatin: What’s the Difference?
As you are researching collagen and the many benefits of it for your skin and general health, you might come across some information about gelatin. While collagen and gelatin start out the same, the end result is quite different. Here is a rundown of the main differences between these two proteins.
What is Collagen?
The first thing you should know is that both collagen and gelatin start out as collagen. Which is why it is good to understand exactly what collagen is, in order to have a better understanding of the difference between the two.
Collagen is a type of protein that exists in your body. It is an excellent source of amino acids as a type of protein that exists in the connective tissue in your body, as well as on your skin.
When you begin showing early signs of aging, like wrinkles and loose skin, it is often from a lack of collagen in your skin. While this is where many people notice it first, you can have other signs like joint pain, back pain, or gut issues, since it is inside your body as well.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin also starts out as collagen, but when collagen is cooked (like certain parts of an animal), it turns into gelatin. This is one of the easiest ways for you to consume collagen – before the new collagen supplements – which is why more people are accustomed to getting these amino acids through gelatin sources.
There are still many health benefits to consuming gelatin instead of collagen supplements, but since it is cooked, you might not have the full nutrient benefits.
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What Are their Health Benefits?
Both collagen and gelatin are an excellent source of amino acids and proteins for your joints, bones, skin, and muscles. Some forms of collagen, like hydrolyzed collagen, is also amazing for your gut health and digestive system.
There is nothing wrong with gelatin if you prefer getting your collagen in that form, but now with so many options, it is no longer the only way to get this into your body. Collagen supplements come in powder form, which is easy to add to any food or drink.
Plus, collagen is often found in plant-based foods, so there are even more options for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
It is good to have a little of both collagen and gelatin supplements for a bigger range of health benefits.