by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. Our physical structure and function requires it to make and repair our bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, skin, and gastrointestinal tract, so it is critical for movement, healthy skin, and digestion. Ensuring you are getting adequate sources of collagen is important as an anti-aging strategy as well as an immune building strategy! Your gastro-intestinal tract and skin barrier are two critical organ systems essential for protecting your body from outside harm.
There are many barriers to getting adequate collagen in the diet. An important one to remember is that, as we age, we produce less collagen, precisely when we need it the most. Processed foods, chronic stress, strenuous exercise, sleep deprivation, environmental pollutants, smoking, excessive alcohol, and poor nutrient absorption all diminish odds for adequate collagen to be obtained by the body.
The most ideal food sources to support collagen production in the body include:
- Homemade authentic bone broth
- Spirulina (use dried powder or tablet form, and purchase high quality)
- Wild Alaskan fish including cod, salmon, sardines, and mackerel
- Eggs – we recommend pasture raised chicken eggs
- Leafy green vegetables – spinach, kale, and arugula are the best
- Pumpkin seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Fermented Foods
- Herbs and Spices
There are also excellent supplemental forms, and selecting a high quality, properly sourced, and formulated one is very important. We carry two excellent products to support collagen needs. CollaGEN is a powdered dietary supplement easily mixed with a liquid. Pure PaleoMeal is a Bone Broth Protein powder in chocolate or vanilla.