Lately, whenever you open a magazine or scroll through Twitter or Instagram, you and your clients are likely to see or read something about the health benefits of collagen. Whether it’s promoted as a powder to add to a smoothie or a cup of coffee, or as an oral supplement to aid in sleep, collagen is definitely making health-related headlines.
Collagen is the structural protein in connective tissue, found in ligaments and tendons. Collagen is also the elastic tissue that keeps your skin smooth and “tight.” It is the most abundant protein in your body and the primary component of connective tissue in your skin, bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and the lining of your gut.
As you age, your body loses its ability to create or replace collagen naturally.
Skincare product manufacturers are quick to market their products as containing collagen, but there is little scientific evidence to support their claim that this collagen is absorbed through your skin. There is also a growing list of supplements that claim to contain collagen, but most contain only the nutrients that your body uses to create collagen. It may prove more efficient (and less costly) if YOU provide those same ingredients in order to promote collagen production.
Your body makes collagen by combining amino acids – proline, glycine, arginine, and hydroxyproline. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and can be obtained by eating protein-rich foods – beef, chicken, fish, beans, eggs and dairy products. Amino acids CAN be taken as supplements, individually or in combination and are generally easily absorbed if consumed in moderation.
The collagen process also requires vitamin C, zinc and copper.
You can get your vitamin C by eating citrus fruits, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens. Zinc and copper can be supplied by eating meats, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and beans. Vitamin C, zinc and copper are also readily available as supplements.
Collagen Boosting Foods
If you eat only one food for its ability to increase collagen, make it bone broth. Collagen in food is in connective tissue, the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, and bones of animals. Eating a steak will increase your protein intake, but do little for increasing collagen. However, simmering the bones and connective tissue of the cow (or chicken or fish) for 12-24 hours and consuming the resulting “bone broth” WILL provide bioavailable collagen in our diet.
Very few foods contain actual collagen in a form that is available for absorption, in fact, bone broth may be the only one. There ARE foods that boost collagen production including:
- Eggs – Egg whites contain glycine and proline, two of the main amino acids that make up collagen.
- Dark Green Vegetables – Spinach, kale and broccoli contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E for collagen production.
- Garlic – Garlic, chives, and onions contain sulfur, a trace mineral that helps synthesize and prevent the breakdown of collagen.
How You Can Help
If you want to help clients with food, diet, weight management and improving the results of their fitness routines, the Fitness Nutrition Coach course is for you. You will learn about optimal nutrition, including proven techniques for increasing energy, optimal health and decreased dependence on medications. Instantly increase your job and career opportunities with this popular professional credential.
You can become a Certified Personal Fitness Chef and expand your current personal chef business, or add a new profit center for your fitness or wellness business. Many personal chefs cook and coach people in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour. Some chefs provide weekly meal prep service for health-minded customers and athletes.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.