Staying young and beautiful forever might sound like the plot of a sci-fi movie, but what if there was a way wind back time naturally? If you have a medicine cabinet stocked with skin masks, creams, anti-aging potions and products, take a closer look at the ingredient label. You may find the ingredient “collagen” more than a few times. You should know that collagen is actually the most abundant protein already found in your body. Its main job as a part of the human anatomy is to hold everything together like glue, and it is found in not only the skin, but also in muscles, bones, blood vessels, tendons and even the digestive system.
The bad news is that as we humans age, the body produces less of it, which is exactly why we begin to notice the telltale signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pain. The good news is that there are studies proving the regular supplementation of collagen actually reverses the signs of aging and degeneration by naturally increasing collagen levels in the body. In a study done at the University of Kiel in Germany among women aged 35–55 who supplemented with collagen daily for eight weeks in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, by the end of the study, astounding results were recorded: simply eating more collagen significantly increased their skin elasticity levels, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness, all with no side effects. (Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S., 2014)
So where does one find this magical fountain of youth elixir? Turns out that grandma’s chicken soup is not only good for the soul, but good your skin as well. The hype over bone broth may be a hipster trend, but its acclaim is well-deserved. Bone broth is actually the richest source of natural collagen. Just as humans contain collagen in their skin, bones and connective tissues—so do animals. So slow cooking or purchasing a quality broth made from pasture-raised, organic beef or chicken (even fish!) draws all of the minerals, electrolytes, amino acids and proteins like collagen to help replenish the body and restore those nutrients with every sip. The catch is, you have to use the bones, joints and cartilage for max collagen intensity (time to relinquish that fear of chicken feet!). Chicken bone broth is an excellent choice for broth newbies, as it is lower in natural histamines and gentler on the digestive system (in fact, it even has gut-healing properties). Although almost identical in nutrient content (chicken bone broth actually has more protein than beef bone broth), the flavor is not as hearty and robust as a beef bone broth and it is more palatable, therefore it is easily incorporated into meals, soups, sauces, or consumed as a beverage all on its own.
So what if you really don’t like the taste of broth? A great second option is to try a quality collagen peptide (or hydrolyzed collagen) supplement and consume the capsules or add it as a powder to a morning smoothie. Hydrolyzed collagen is made of the exact same amino acids as the collagen found in bone broth, except, in layman’s terms, it is soaked in a natural enzyme bath to make it much easier for the body to absorb and process (and this is also why hydrolyzed collagen smoothies won’t turn into gelatin the way bone broth does when it is cold). Ingesting collagen that has been hydrolyzed almost guarantees a 90% bio-availability and it being easily absorbed into the bloodstream, ready to work its magic in the body.
And is there an option for boosting the body’s natural ability to produce its own collagen … that doesn’t include meat? Why yes, indeed. There are certain nutrients found in common, delicious plant-based foods that promote collagen production which include vitamins A and C (Think: beta carotenes like carrots and sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens, as well as red and green bell peppers), zinc & copper (as if you needed more of a reason to binge on local Forty North Oysters!), and flavonoids such as anthocyanidins (think dark red, purple or blue produce such as berries and dark cherries). Omega-3 fatty acids are also important, so loading up on fatty fish, avocadoes, nuts and seeds (especially flax) will also help create an ideal environment for collagen production.
So, if you are looking to turn back the hands of time on aging and reap a slew of health benefits along the way, make sure collagen is a regular part of your diet. Your body will benefit, and, surely, so will your beauty routine.
Benefits of Consuming Bone Broth:
• Richest source of natural
collagen/gelatin • Boosts immune system
• Gut healing properties
/prebiotic • Anti-inflammatory
• Countless Minerals, Vitamins, Electrolytes
• Aids in healthy skin, hair, nails & Amino Acids
• Natural Detoxification for the body
• Improve joint health, arthritis symptoms • Calms food intolerances/
• Reduces symptoms of IBS, Crohn’s, Reflux • Heals leaky gut/intestinal per meability
• Aids in faster muscle recovery for athletes • Promotes healthy sleep,
• Decreased cellulite and
wrinkles during the day &
supports healthy mood