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What is Collagen & Why is it good for me ?

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Collagen is the ‘secret’ ingredient that makes bone broth so good for you. But, it’s not really a secret at all. It’s always been there, forming that desired gelatinous layer of homemade soups. It’s just been removed from the modern soup equation as people stopped making broths from scratch and instead used bullion or packaged pre-made broths. Modern packaged broths aren’t made by slow simmering bones. Rather, they are quickly processed to make a cheaper product that has fit neatly into our fast-paced lifestyle. Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten about bone broth and lost a lot of the magic of a good bowl of soup.

it’s time to bring collagen back to our diets. Here’s why.:

Collagen is a protein that’s found throughout our bodies, and we need it to keep our bones, teeth, and joints strong. It’s found in cartilage, ligaments, even our hair. When your body has plenty of collagen, you’re more likely to have beautiful-looking hair, skin, and nails. It’s also a key protein for digestive health, supporting the stomach, esophagus, and the small and large intestines.

Research has linked collagen to a long list of really huge health benefits, including relieving joint pain, protecting against a leaky gut, and encouraging better skin elasticity.

What’s really fascinating about collagen is that it may trigger the synthesis of more collagen fibers, which means even stronger bones, smoother skin, and stronger joints. Adding collagen to your diet allows for widespread benefits, effecting your health long after you drink a cup of bone broth.

The Best Way to Add Collagen to Your Diet

There are different ways you can add collagen to your diet. There are plenty of supplements on the market, or you can get it from certain foods. Bone broth is one of the best sources of bioavailable collagen, which is easy for your body to assimilate.

The next time you make your own homemade bone broth or you heat up a mug to enjoy, notice the light-colored gelatin floating on the surface. That gelatin is the broken-down collagen. When the broth is cool, such as when it’s been stored in the refrigerator, the gelatin looks like a thick, jiggly substance. That’s exactly what you want to see – the more gelatinous goodness, the better!

That gelatin is mostly protein. It also contains water and mineral salts. When you heat your broth, the gelatin turns back into a liquid and naturally mixes into the rest of the broth. Then, when you drink the broth, you get all the protein and other nutrients. The gelatin also makes it easier for your body to digest the other ingredients you may have put in your soup, such as beans, meat, veggies, or herbs.

One of the advantages of bone broth collagen is that it contains different types of collagen proteins, which your body needs. Type one is found in bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. As much as 90 percent of the collagen found in the body is type one. Type two is from cartilage, and type three is from skin, muscle, and bone marrow. Type three combines with type one to strengthen artery walls and to keep the walls of our hollow organs, such as the stomach, supple and strong.

Doesn’t the Body Produce Its Own Collagen?

It’s true – our body produces its own collagen. It’s a constant process of synthesizing collagen fibers to renew ourselves. But, around age 40, collagen production starts to decline. If we’re stressed – and who isn’t? – or if we have an autoimmune condition, the production can slow even faster.

This is part of the reason that as we age, skin starts to become loose and less supple. It sags. We start to see more wrinkles. We might notice dry, brittle nails and thinning hair. Even more concerning, our muscles can become weaker, and our joints and bones can become brittle. Eventually, the body isn’t able to produce enough collagen. This means it’s easier to become seriously injured from a fall, and it’s harder for the body to heal.

That collagen gelatin is also important for protecting the lining of our digestive tract. So, when we age and produce less collagen, we’re more likely to start noticing digestive issues like a leaky gut.

What we can do to help is to give our body enough high-quality collagen. By consuming the actual gelatin protein found in bone marrow and animal bones, you can help to replenish the collagen your body needs to thrive.

Simply by sipping a cup of bone broth, making soups with bone broth, and cooking with the broth, you can do a huge favor for your body, helping to maintain good health and to keep your body strong for years to come! That’s why bringing the traditional cooking methods of the past back holds so much promise for our future.

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