The Basics of Collagen: Nutritional Benefits, Side Effects and more…

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If you’ve made it to this page, you may be asking, what is this collagen I’ve been hearing so much about? So today, I’m here to share the basics of collagen and why you may want it in your diet. As you know I am affiliated with Clean Simple Eats and LOVE their products (Use RACHEL at checkout for 10% off your order). I share recipes using their products regularly because its important to me to be able to share how you can increase your health with CSE supplements while still enjoying all the yummy things. You may remember my recipe for Frozen (Protein) Lemonade (perfect for summer!) and recently I shared my Blue Tropics Smoothie Bowl. These recipes are delicious and healthful because they incorporate CSE supplements.

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What is Collagen?

Collagen is the main structural protein in the body’s connective tissues. It is a vital part of our make up and is the majority of the protein that makes up all mammals. Collagen appears in a variety of tissues including bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin in addition to a variety of other organs and tissues.

Upon aging, the collagen in our bodies starts to naturally decline which can lead to sagging skin, achey joints and decreased bone strength. This is particularly prevalent in post-menopausal women who may notice a more rapid onset of these affects.

Collagen as a supplement is derived (usually) from cattle byproducts which are boiled in water to extract the collagen. This is then dried and powdered to form a supplement. There are also versions of hydrolyzed collagen made from fish byproducts. There is not really a vegan version but nutritional experts recommend boosting your bodies own ability to make collagen by eating foods rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, copper and zinc.

What is Collagen good for?

For beauty purposes, many choose to take collagen supplements to support the growth of healthy hair, nails, and skin. Collagen, has been found to help increase elasticity in skin and improve skin hydration thereby slowing the process of aging.

Studies in post menopausal women have found that taking collagen supplements can help increase bone density and help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, including stiffness. It should be noted that collagen supplements may not have the same benefits in all populations (such as men or young people). Like any supplement you should speak with your physician to find out if adding collagen may be beneficial to you.

What are the side effects of Collagen?

Fortunately collagen supplements on their own have few side effects. However many manufacturers combine collagen with other supplements or vitamins. It is imperative to know if these additives may interact with prescribed drugs or you may have an allergy. Be diligent when researching your supplements.

CSE’s Blackberry Lemonade Collagen with a little fresh fruit is very refreshing.

Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements come in a variety of forms. They can come in capsules and powders. Powders may be straight collagen powder or mixed with other vitamins and minerals to support specific needs. These may include targeting healthy nails and hair or joint support. These powders come in a vast array of flavors from lemonade to chocolate to coffee creamers.

Collagen powders can be dissolved into either hot or cold beverages making them easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Fruit flavored powders are great for cold beverages and smoothies. Flavors like chocolate and vanilla can be stirred into morning coffee or cocoa and unflavored is easy to incorporate anywhere.

Add flavored powders to water with plenty of ice and enjoy!

I hope this post has helped provide answers to any questions you had about adding collagen to your diet. If you have other questions, please let me know in the comments! I have found it easy to add to my daily routine and have noticed stronger hair and nails that actually grow!

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