I’ve never written about supplements or superfoods, because I believe everyone has their own needs. What works for me, may not work for you, and I don’t want to pressure anyone to eat like me just because it’s what’s popular right now.
I was actually pretty resistant to adding supplements into my diet because they felt like a diet fad. Anything semblance of a diet was off-limits for me. However, since starting IIN, I’m seeing the benefit of some nutrition advice, including supplements and superfoods. I want to tread lightly on this information though, because it can be so easy to follow diet fads without understanding your own nutritional needs.
With my history with an eating disorder, I’ve been afraid to follow any nutrition claims, for fear of falling back into old habits. However, how am I to know if something is true, unless I try it for myself. So, I’m approaching nutrition with curiosity – i.e. digging deeper into what I’m learning and trying it out for myself to see if it fits me. I decided to start with collagen.
Collagen has been in the nutrition spotlight for a couple years, claiming to be beneficial for skin, nails hair, joints, and gut health. Collagen is naturally found in our bodies. It is the most abundant protein source in our bodies and gives structure to hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons in our body. However, as we age our body’s natural collagen production slows down, leading to wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pains due to weaker or decreased cartilage. From my research, health experts claim that adding collagen to our diet can help regenerate what is lost or decreased.
I decided to give collagen a try and see if it really made a difference in my health. Over the last month, I’ve had collagen peptides every day either in a smoothie or mixed with water or tea. You can get collagen from bone broth, but with the summer heat and humidity that was not my preferred method. Instead, I used a reputable collagen peptide brand, Vital Proteins. Vital Proteins sources their collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, and they test every batch for heavy metals and microbial components. All the facts aside, here’s my experience:
TASTE. Collagen peptides actually have no flavor, which actually drew me to them. I’ve been on a smoothie kick this summer, and after trying several protein powders, I was craving a more simple protein source. I wanted to be able to taste the fruit and other ingredients in my smoothie. Collagen has been great for smoothies! Adds some thickness and no added flavor. On days I don’t have a smoothie, I’ll mix collagen in tea (you can’t taste it) or water. If you mix it in cold beverages it does clump, FYI. Some people love bulletproof coffee, but I am not a fan. I don’t like to mess with my coffee.
HAIR. Some claim that collagen makes their hair stronger and grow faster. Since switching over to Beautycounter shampoo and conditioner, my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been. That being said, I haven’t noticed a big difference in my hair since taking collagen. I believe that a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and veggies and adequate healthy fats, plus using safer products is the secret to healthy hair.
NAILS. Since taking collagen, I have noticed that my nails are much stronger! I’m happy with that.
GUT HEALTH. There are a lot of factors that play into gut health, including non-food factors. I haven’t noticed a significant difference in my gut health since taking collagen, however I do appreciate that it doesn’t make me feel bloated or gassy, as some protein powders do.
OVERALL. I’m not blown away with the results as of now, however I’m curious about the long-term benefits of collagen. I will continue taking collagen, because I like the taste (or lack-there-of) and it’s an easy way to add sustenance to my morning smoothie. Also, when I started taking collagen I was already pretty healthy, so the comparison isn’t going to be as extreme. I know some people have seen a significant improvement in their health since adding collagen.
Have you ever tried collagen? What did you notice? What’s your favorite way to add collagen to your diet?
*This post contains affiliate links. Meaning I may get a tiny commission, at no cost to you should you choose to purchase something.