If you’re on top of the health trends, you’ve probably heard of collagen. Wellness warriors and beauty influencers everywhere are promoting it in everything from capsules to bone broth to smoothies and even your daily coffee! Why is everyone going wild for collagen? From gut health to more radiant skin, the potential benefits are widespread. In this article, you’ll learn what collagen is, and how you can get the most out of it to achieve your beauty goals.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. There are many types of collagen (28 different kinds! With I-V being most the common in humans), but for beautiful skin, hair and nails, we will be focusing on types I and III. Type I and III make up the majority of the collagen in the body, that help you to achieve that inner and outer glow.
What’s the difference between collagen and protein powder?
Collagen powder and protein powder (whether plant-based or whey) are sourced from different ingredients and contain different amino acid profiles. Collagen is abundant in the three amino acids - glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Collagen powder itself is mainly sourced from animal products, which means it's a no-go for strict plant-based eaters. However, by eating a diverse plant diet and with supplementation, you can make sure you have the co-factors to promote optimum levels of collagen in your body.
What causes collagen levels to decline?
- Sun exposure: UV radiation is regularly referenced as the major cause of skin aging, by causing an abnormal build-up of elastin in the skin and increasing free radicals. Excess sun exposure breaks down collagen at accelerated rates, so always remember to slip, slop, slap!
- Less than ideal nutrition: Too much sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates can not only affect your waistline but lead to faster aging! Without getting too technical, it causes a cross-linking of the collagen, which makes them stiff and brittle, leading to more fine lines, wrinkles and skin sagging – not exactly what you’re probably thinking when eating that chocolate bar. Do you need any more motivation to make wiser choices with your food?
- Smoking: Not only is smoking terrible for your overall health, but it also decreases blood flow, which makes it harder for oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin. As a result, wrinkles and sagging can become accelerated, due to the damage of collagen and elasticity fibres.
- Natural aging: reduced collagen synthesis occurs in chronically aged skin. In your 20s, you start producing less collagen per year.
How can you make sure you have enough collagen?
The most obvious option is the consumption of protein-rich meats, or supplementing with collagen powders, which are usually made from bovine (beef), marine (fish) or porcine (pork). With the trend moving towards plant-based eating, what do you do if you want the skin beauty benefits without consuming animal products?
As a vegan, rather than directly consuming collagen through diet and supplementation, you need to consume nutrients that support your body’s natural processes in producing collagen. So in other words, you must boost your consumption of foods and supplements that your body can then use to create collagen.
Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail:
- Vitamin C: A mandatory co-factor to the production of collagen. Foods super high in Vitamin C include broccoli, capsicums, oranges, kiwi fruit and kale.
- Proline: Along with glycine, proline is one of the primary amino acids involved in collagen synthesis. Plant-based foods high in proline include asparagus, beans, cabbage and buckwheat.
- Glycine: Vegan food sources include seaweed, watercress, horseradish and spinach.
- Silica: A mineral that is a key component of collagen. Some vegan-friendly dietary sources include leafy greens, brown rice, oats, beets and alfalfa.
How you can supplement with collagen on a plant-based diet:
The challenge with relying solely on food sources is that you’re not sure you’re getting the right amounts needed for optimum results. A new option on the market is a vegan collagen boosting powder, such as Inner Beauty by b Raw, to supplement your nutrition efforts.
Previously, there were hardly any products in the way of vegan collagen-enhancing supplementation. Inner Beauty by bRaw is changing the game by creating a synergistic blend of vitamins, plant extracts and vegan probiotics that will help you glow from within and restore your vitality.
Inner beauty contains the correct plant-based amino acid blend for collagen production – l-glycine, l-proline, l-alanine, hydroxyproline and silica. With this carefully constructed vegan collagen boost blend, it also contains a range of vitamins, with a special shout out to skin-loving Vitamin A, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
As a plant-based eater, you need to prioritise the cofactors for collagen synthesis to give you that glowing result you're after.
With each scoop, you’ll find the right amino acids, vitamins, vegan b Raw probiotic blend, and other collagen production boosters, including:
- Coconut Water
- Broccoli extract
- Chia seed
If you're sticking to a plant-based diet, know that with the right nutritional and supplementation strategy, you can enjoy the beautifying effects of optimal collagen production. Make sure you’re eating a wide variety of plants – think the colours of the rainbow! Eat enough healthy carbohydrates, fats and protein to fuel your body and give an overall support structure. Use a daily collagen boosting supplement, such as Inner Beauty by b Raw, to aid the production of Type I and III collagen and give you that natural radiance from within.
- Proksch E, Segger D, Degwer J, et al. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014; 27 47–55.
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 2020. Skin anti-aging strategies. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/. [Accessed 10 July 2020].
- PubMed. 2020. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications - PubMed.[ONLINE] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30681787/
- Varani, J., Dame, M., Rittie, L., Fligiel, S., Kang, S., Fisher, G. and Voorhees, J., 2020. Decreased Collagen Production In Chronologically Aged Skin.