You may see collagen featured in supplements when you walk down the vitamin aisle or as an added ingredient in a lotion. But what is collagen and why should you incorporate collagen into your diet? Collagen is an abundant protein detected in our bodies, and it’s located in our digestive system, muscles, bones, blood vessels, skin, and tendons.
As we get older, our body’s collagen starts to slow down more and more. The degenerative process for signs of aging like wrinkles in the skin and joint pains begin to show due to decreased cartilage. Collagen replaces dead skin cells while giving our skin the strength and elasticity it needs. Along with keeping our skin in good health, collagen is the “glue” that helps hold our joints and tendons together. Other life factors contribute to the decrease in collagen levels such as smoking, dehydration, sugar consumption, unhealthy dieting, and high amounts of exposure to the sun. Poor collagen levels also correlate with collagen-related diseases including digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies and inadequate intake of collagen-rich foods. A diet that’s rich in collagen supports the health and vitality of your muscular growth, joints, nails, hair, skin, and gut. Now that you understand the importance of collagen let’s learn about the five health benefits you’re likely to see when you begin adding collagen to your diet.
Collagen is made up of high-levels of amino-acids such arginine, hydroxyproline, proline, and glycine. When all of these amino acids work in tandem, they protect our cardiovascular health.
Proline serves as an amino acid that helps your artery walls release the buildup of fat in the bloodstream. After consuming proline from collagen, it will start to minimize fat accumulation and shrink fat in the arteries. Proline also helps take control of blood pressure along with preventing dangerous plaque buildup. In addition to proline, the amino-acid arginine helps with nitric oxide production. Arginine widens the arteries and relaxes blood vessels for greater cardiovascular circulation.
Arginine breaks down into nitric oxide within the body, which is an essential compound for arterial and heart health. Arginine also improves circulation and helps strengthen the immune system.
As you age, retaining muscle mass is crucial due to your metabolism slowing down. According to research, collagen may help increase metabolism by promoting the conversion of essential nutrients and adding lean muscle mass to your frame. Earlier we talked about glycine as one of the four amino acids in collagen. Glycine’s most important role is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells.
When consuming collagen, you should also take vitamin C to ensure your body can regenerate the collagen into a protein. Doing such can help restore the source or your vitality and energy. Glycine can play more than one role besides upping your metabolism. This amino acid also helps you maintain that healthy body by helping your digestive and central nervous system function better. Glycine also seems to slow the effects of aging by constructing healthy cells from DNA and improving the body’s use of antioxidants.
Fish collagen provides a Type 1 collagen, with amino acids such as hydroxyproline, glycine, and proline. The amino acid hydroxyproline found in fish collagen is an essential component that helps with preventing joint degradation and signs of aging. Fish collagen also benefits in keeping other parts of the body healthy such as vital organs, skin, digestion, blood vessels, and bones. You should also take Vitamin C with fish collagen also requires vitamin C. If you have a Vitamin C deficiency, it can cause abnormalities in collagen levels.
The liver is part of the immune system and responsible for many functions such as blood cleansing, storing nutrients, and digesting. Collagen helps detox the body’s liver from toxic substances with its amino acid glycine. Studies have shown that glycine found in collagen helps absorb toxins while reducing alcohol-induced liver damage and other forms of liver injury. Arginine from collagen has been shown to reduce ammonia in the body by healing and helping liver function.
As we age, you’ll notice looser skin, more wrinkles, and less elasticity. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, improve smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing frequently. Improving your skin’s elasticity through collagen helps reduce that dimpling on your skin with more strength and elasticity.
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