Collagen: what it is, benefits, and how to use it for optimal health

Collagen is all the rage right now in the wellness world. Taking collagen as a supplement has been said to help with joint pain, digestion, and skin/hair/nail health (among many other benefits!) Is this new diet trend worth all of the attention its getting? Here’s the scoop on Collagen, its effects, and how to use it for optimal health.


I started taking a collagen supplement about a year ago and swear my hair got shiny-er…. Im not alone in this, many other people rave about their incredible collagen results. But what the heck is collagen and do you want it??

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a structural protein that’s found in abundance in human and animal bodies. It’s basically the glue that holds all our body parts together. Collagen contains 6 grams of protein per tablespoon and works to maintain the structure and integrity of the skin, muscles, bones and tendons.

What Are The Types Of Collagen?

There are many different types of collagen, and it it is important to understand the differences. Type I and III collagen make up more than 90% of the total collagen in our body. Type I and III collagen are important components of our skin, hair, nails, bones and muscles. Types I and III contain 4 important amino acids that have important functions in the body.

When it comes to EATING Collagen, there are two different forms, that dissolve differently :

COLLAGEN GELATIN (only made from beef) will thicken when it is dissolved in liquid, so it is amazing gluten-free thickener, like when you need a roux for soup, or as an egg replacement for things like  pudding, panna cotta, ice cream or as a binder for cakes, cookies, waffles, etc. Gelatin can only be dissolved in hot water (something you already know if you eat a lot of Jello). Eating undissolved gelatin can be hard on the stomach, so if you choose to use gelatin you want to make sure to prepare it in a way your body can digest!!


COLLAGEN PEPTIDES (made from beef and marine) will dissolve in both hot or cold liquid and never thicken. This type of collagen is incredibly popular due to the fact that you can easily add it to just about everything as a nutrition boost. You can stir into salad dressings, sauces, eggs, soups, smoothies, yogurt, throw a tablespoon into your coffee – the options are endless!

To recap: Collagen peptides dissolve in liquid, while Collagen gelatin gels. Add collagen to: coffee, tea, bone broth, shakes and smoothies, etc. Add gelatin to: soups and stews, desserts (i.e. jellos and puddings), homemade bone broth, fruit snacks gummies, etc.

The good news is all types of collagen will benefit your hair, skin, nails, bones and joints, primarily because all collagen types are made up of beneficial amino acids. So rest assured that no matter what you choose, good, high-quality collagen is collagen, plain and simple!

What Are The Benefits Of Collagen?

As we age, we produce less collagen, which causes loss of elasticity in your skin and all the other fun stuff that goes along with getting older. Many other factors impact collagen levels, including genetics, smoking, pollution, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiencies. A slow decline in collagen can have a variety of negative effects on the body.

Adding a collagen supplement into your diet has been said to counteract this loss as well as potentially bring any of the following benefits:

  • Improved Health of Skin and Hair. Skin loses it’s elasticity over time, boosting collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, help your skin cells keep renew and repair, and may even reduce cellulite or stretch marks.
  • Decrease In Joint Pain. Cartilage weakens and deteriorates with age, which makes joints tired and achy. Upping your collagen intake may help reduce joint pain and even alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
  • Improved Digestion and Gut Function. The protein smooths the gut similarly to how it smooths the skin, which can improve digestion.
  • Healthier Muscles and Metabolism. Collagen is a major component of muscle tissue and can have a big impact when it comes to building or keeping muscle mass. Plus it contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of creatine, which can provide muscles with the fuel needed to power through a workout.
  • Stronger Nails, Hair and Teeth. Collagen protein is the building block of the fingernails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen into your diet regimen can help keep your nails strong and possibly reverse signs of hair loss.
  • Keep Excess Inflammation in Check. Collagen helps with muscle repair and recovery.
  • Keep Appetite In Check – extra protein can fill you up and help you regulate hunger and curb cravings.

What Are The Best Collagen Products To Buy?

When it comes to purchasing a collagen powder, there are several things to consider. Treat buying collagen like you would buying animal products at the grocery store – look for the highest quality. Make sure you get a grass-fed, pasture-raised version that doesn’t contain chemicals or antibiotics.  I use NuNaturals collagen  because it’s affordable and high quality. You can GET A DISCOUNT on NuNaturals products with the code “CAROLINE15” at checkout on both the collagen or gelatin products.

How To Add More Collagen Into Your Diet 

  • Bone broth. This is one of my favorite ways to consume collagen. And whether you make your own or find a quality store brand, it is worth the investment.
  • Collagen protein powder. Make sure you get a grass-fed, pasture-raised version that doesn’t contain chemicals or antibiotics. But more is not better as may lead to constipation so keep your serving size to 1-2 tbsp a day.
  • Eat collagen rich foods. These include beets, fish, kale, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and garlic.

Collagen Recipes

Collagen powder is pretty tasteless, so you can add it to your favorite recipes without having to mask its flavor. These are a few of my favorite recipes that feature a healthy dose of collagen!

GET A DISCOUNT on NuNaturals products with the code “CAROLINE15” at checkout on both the collagen or gelatin products.

I cant promise that if you start taking a collagen supplement your hair will shine and your joints will never hurt again, but I CAN say its worth trying. I know its a supplement I am keeping in my personal diet regimen.

Have you tried Collagen? Id love to hear if your body feels the benefit from adding Collagen to your diet or if you have any favorite recipes – let me know what you think of Collagen below in the comments.

Now Im off to blend up my favorite chocolate collagen protein pudding!

Cheers to Healthy eating that can help you SHINE.


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