Collagen is another buzz word in the keto community as of lately, and for good reason. Along with other beneficial keto products like MCT, grass-fed butter and electrolytes, it can be a great addition to a healthy and balanced keto lifestyle. But what exactly is collagen? To learn more we chatted with Kam Karamchi from Broya Living. If you’re not sure what collagen is, what it can do for you, and most importantly, where to get it, keep reading…
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body - it contains a mixture of amino acids like proline and glycine, which are found in all connective tissue, including the vital organs. In fact, collagen makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin. However, our natural collagen production declines with age due to factors like stress, poor diet, and pollution. And so, the need to replenish its supply is crucial to maintaining healthy skin, hair and bones.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SOURCES OF COLLAGEN?
There various forms of collagen, all of which are found in foods that are high in protein. However, it the connective tissues and bones of animals that are most abundant sources. Simmering bones and marrow of chicken or beef for a long period of time creates a hearty bone broth that has a tremendous amount of easy-to- absorb collagen. We believe that the best source of natural collagen - and all nutrients for that matter - are found through the foods that you eat. You can also find high-quality collagen supplementation for times where you need a boost or are on-the- go. One of our favourite’s is Organika’s powdered collagen which is naturally sourced from grass-fed cows and free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. This collagen is ideal as it is virtually tasteless, making it easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks. We love adding it into our keto coffee in the morning.
BENEFITS OF CONSUMING COLLAGEN ON KETO
Collagen supports weight-loss in a unique way by impacting your satiety levels. Adding collagen to your mid-morning coffee or mid-afternoon tea can be a great strategy to curb cravings and make it through to your next meal. Additionally, unlike some weight-loss promoting products, consuming high-quality collagen guarantees no fillers, hormones or any form of harsh chemicals that may affect the normal functioning of your body.
Provides a low-carb source of protein
Introducing collagen to your keto diet can be another great way to increase satiety and recovery without upping the carb count. As we mentioned, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is found in muscles, bones skin, tendons, hair and nails…the list goes on. It’s no wonder giving our body a clean source of collagen has so many benefits.
Aids in Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an amazing tool to use in conjunction with healthy ketogenic lifestyle. It supports regulating insulin and blood-sugar, promotes weight loss and helps to reduce inflammation (to name a few benefits). As we noted, bone broth is an amazing source of collagen as well as other vitamins, minerals, protein and electrolytes. One of the reasons people love to include a bone broth fast while on keto is it can prevent dehydration. While some more experienced fasters can go days without any caloric consumption, many people find it very hard to start. Dizziness, hunger and low energy are all common in the beginning. Bone broth provides a healthy source of collagen and nutrients that can prevent all of these symptoms while still allowing your body to start burning through that glycogen and jump into fat burning mode.
OTHER BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN
Improves health of skin and hair
As you age, there is a natural decrease in collagen production, resulting in wrinkling and dulling of the skin. Increasing collagen levels in your body assists your skin cells to keep renewing themselves and repairing normally - making your skin look firmer and smoother. In fact, in one recent study, women who took collagen supplements daily experienced a 20% reduction in wrinkle depth around their eyes after 8 weeks! It is important to note that although there are various products out there that can help externally, your diet has the biggest influence on your skin.
Reduces joint pain
The building block of healthy joints come from a healthy diet - this includes the consumption of key amino acids like proline, lysine, and glutamine, which support the natural production of collagen in the body. When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more. In fact, a recent study found that collagen supplementation is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint and pain disorders.
In conjunction with the Standard American Diet, digestive issues have increasingly been on the rise; gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, and abdominal discomfort seem to have become the norm these days. The latter are signs of unbalanced bacteria in the gut that can be aided by consuming collagen, which assists in rebuilding and restoring the protective lining of the intestinal tract. In fact, collagen is loaded with the amino acid glutamine, which has been shown to be effective for preventing various digestive issues, such as leaky gut, IBS, acid reflux, Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.