Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is a crucial component of all connective tissue – tissue that provides structural and functional support to your bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and organs. Collagen has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. Collagen can also send important signals to your body’s cells, which can potentially combat inflammation and repair cell damage.
Unfortunately, as you age, your collagen production begins to slowly decline. This natural process can result in a host of issues if you’re not properly replenishing the nutrients your body needs to synthesize it. These nutrients include amino acids, all of which can be obtained through plant sources if you are vegan or vegetarian… some of the best plant sources of protein and balanced amino acids are:
TOP 5 BENEFITS
1. Promotes Healthier Skin
Your skin is made up of collagen. As you age, your body produces less of it, which can lead to dry skin and wrinkles. Studies have shown that collagen supplements may help slow these effects. Several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen and or amino acids may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
2. Supports Healthy Joints
Collagen keeps your cartilage intact, which, in turn, helps protect your joints. As collagen decreases with age, your joints become more susceptible to disorders, like osteoarthritis. Taking collagen supplements has been known to help improve symptoms and reduce joint pain in general. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain.
3. Improves Heart Health
Collagen provides structure to your arteries, which keep blood flowing to and from your heart. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can reduce artery stiffness and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the body. This means it can help reduce your risk of developing heart conditions.
4. Fights Osteoporosis/ Bone Loss
Collagen helps keep your bones strong, and again, as levels decrease with age, your bone mass can deteriorate, too. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can help prevent this bone breakdown, which helps combat bone conditions like osteoporosis. Just as the collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions of low bone density and/or bone fractures.
5. Supports Muscle Growth
Between 1–10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen. This protein is necessary to keep your muscles strong and functioning properly. For many, muscle mass is lost with age. Collagen supplements have been known to counter this, helping to increase muscle mass and strength with proper exercise. Taking collagen also promotes the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine.