When it comes to health and wellness, it may be difficult to pick out what’s a gimmick from what actually works. Thanks to greater access to information and a more globalized world, the wellness industry has exploded in recent years. According to the Global Wellness Summit, the worldwide wellness economy was worth a whopping $4.2 trillion in 2017 alone.
With so much economic potential in the industry, it’s no wonder that so many foods, supplements, and vitamins are being touted as the next cure-all. Collagen has unfortunately fallen into this trap. Global Market Insights reports that the collagen industry is expected to hit $6 billion by 2026.
As its popularity grows, consumers need to be armed with information on what it can really do for your body. In addition, consumers should know which collagen products actually work. Here’s a brief primer that aims to do just that.
What Collagen Actually Does
Collagen makes up 1/3 of the protein composition of your body, making it the most abundant protein in humans. Medical News Today says that collagen performs a variety of functions, including maintaining structure in your skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. Thanks to its multiple functions and versatility, it can be used for a variety of medical and cosmetic purposes.
One example of cosmetic collagen use is collagen injections, which can give the appearance of smoother, more contoured skin. It can also be used as wound dressing, as it attracts new skin to the wound site. Some collagen treatments or supplements can also help with treating osteoarthritis. They can also help relieve joint pain and improve the condition of your skin.
Which Foods Are Collagen-Rich
If you’re concerned about collagen levels in your body, the best way to counteract this is through changing you rdiet. Dr. Elizabeth Bradely of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine claims that the top reason behind collagen deficiency is poor diet. So what changes can you make to ensure that you’re getting the best possible amount of collagen in what you eat?
Since collagen is a protein, it stands to reason that your best food source of collagen would be protein-rich foods. Certified fitness coach Adele Jackson-Gibson suggests that collagen can be found in a variety of different foods, from plant-based to meat-based. Collagen-rich foods include fish, bone broth, red bell peppers, tomato, berries, citrus, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, chicken, oysters, and of course red meat like beef.
How to Pick the Right Collagen Supplement
While diet is a huge part of ensuring that you get the nutrients and protein that your body needs, that isn’t the only avenue available. Supplements are a great addition to your lifestyle if you want to boost collagen levels in your body. But how do you know what works? In our interview with Dr. Gerry Curatola, he advises that you look at the bioavailability in supplements, which is what enables supplements’ active effects.
This means avoiding supplements that have unnecessary fillers, and choosing ones that have high quality ingredients. For example, Brightcore’s Revive multi-collagen supplement contains Types 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 collagen, sourced from grass-fed bovine, cage-free chickens, wild-caught fish, and eggshell membranes. If you’re looking for a plant-based protein, Amazing Grass’s Glow Collagen Support is another good option with 15g of vegan protein per serving.
Collagen is a huge booster for feeling and looking good, so it’s no wonder that it’s become so popular. With the right research, diet, and supplement, you can use collagen to look healthy and glowing no matter what the season.