Following from my recent post on collagen several people asked the question about how to get it if your vegetarian and what are the best products to look at. Here I answer some of those questions.
As we know collagen comes from animals, the vegetarian source comes from eggshells and egg whites - there is no direct source by which to consume collagen for vegans. There are product made from plants which are vegan collagen but they also contain many other ingredients and more often than not unwanted ingredients.
There are other ways however to make your collagen levels flourish and grow and that is by eating those foods that enhance the body's production of this essential protein. See the prior post for more information on these foods so essential in menopause.
There is an array of products on the market for collagen - liquid collagen, collagen powder, collagen tablets, gummies, candies and even chocolates ! The standards for making collagen has improved dramatically over the last few years but you should research any product you are about to invest in and be happy it can be fully traced back to point of origin. The source should be form non GMO fish, cows, chickens, or pork then hydrolyzed (broken down with water) , filtered, milled into powder and sterilized. If you but collagen powder the best way to check it'as quality is to pour a small amount of lukewarm water into a glass add a scoop of collagen and mix until it dissolves - high quality pure collagen will result in a translucent colour, when you taste it it should be tasteless. Yellow, brown, or tinted result means you should run a mile and not touch it !I would also advise against collagen sourced from China - the standards are well known to be low.
Personally I don't take collagen but what I do take daily is Camu Camu - this is a gem of Vitamin C in it's purest form.
Abstract from Sara's Choice :
'It’s not just Vitamin C ! Camu Camu provides 499,000 ppm (parts per million) vitamin C, oranges provide just 500-4,000 ppm! In further comparison, it provides 10 times more iron, 3 times more niacin, twice as much riboflavin, and 50% more phosphorus. It is a significant source of potassium, providing 900mg per 100g of fruit.'
I have been using Camu Camu for well over a year now and recommend it to clients often - it is great not just for boosting collagen but for when a cold strikes you can nip it in the bud before it progresses.
We know the main builders & preservers of collagen making are Vitamin C and bioflavonoids and Camu Camu has the most powerful natural vitamin C-bioflavanoid complex in the world.
I have always been mystified by Collagen..if you ask someone the main component of the human body they most likely will say 'water' and that is correct, however next to water the number one physical component is collagen. And what a big component this is - it covers so many different types and is often very hard to decipher what it actually is. Today I'm taking it apart and explaining it in lay man terms...the jargon associated is somewhat like Latin in my book !
Collagen firstly is a protein and it is a protein that our body can produce. It is essential for our bodies and affects skin, hair, bones, joints and even the digestive system. When we are young our bodies produce bountiful supplies of collagen, as we get older however this falls dramatically, by our 40's our levels can fall by about 30% and thus starts the wrinkles, dry skin, fine lines etc...the fun stuff of aging. Like all things collagen is subject to breakdown and dwindles with age.
Apart from aging lifestyle factors affect collagen production, stress, alcohol, too much sun, a diet high in processed foods can also contribute to collagen loss.
What is Collagen ?
There are at least 16 types of Collagen (lets not go into all those here) but the important part is what it helps in your body:
This is where collagen packs a punch - it contains 18 of these 20 amino acids, this is why your body shouts for joy after a cup of homemade chicken stock. Now I know we are not all going to manage a cup of homemade stock every day and indeed might not want to consume animal foods so there are alternatives. There are foods you can include in your daily diet that will enhance the production of collagen within the body :
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