Collagen is the ‘secret’ ingredient that makes bone broth so good for you. But, it’s not really a secret at all.
It’s always been there, forming that desired gelatinous layer of homemade soups. It’s just been removed from the modern soup equation as people stopped making broths from scratch and instead used bullion or packaged pre-made broths.
Modern packaged broths aren’t made by slow-simmering bones. Rather, they are quickly processed to make a cheaper product that has fit neatly into our fast-paced lifestyle. Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten about bone broth and lost a lot of the magic of a good bowl of soup.
Well, my friends, it’s time to bring collagen back to our diets. Here’s why.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s found throughout our bodies, and we need it to keep our bones, teeth, and joints strong. It’s found in cartilage, ligaments, and even our hair. When your body has plenty of collagen, you’re more likely to have beautiful-looking hair, skin, and nails. It’s also a key protein for digestive health, supporting the stomach, esophagus, and the small and large intestines.
Research has linked collagen to a long list of really huge health benefits, including relieving joint pain, protecting against a leaky gut, and encouraging better skin elasticity.
What does collagen do?
What’s really fascinating about collagen is that it may trigger the synthesis of more collagen fibers, which means even stronger bones, smoother skin, and stronger joints. Adding collagen to your diet allows for widespread benefits, effecting your health long after you drink a cup of bone broth.
“ When the body is low in collagen and unable to produce enough of it, injuries are more likely to happen and are harder to heal. in addition, collagen plays a role in preventing and treating autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease” – Sally Fallon Nourishing Broth
What Is Collagen Good For?
A lot of people take collagen supplements or eat collagen-rich foods for the beauty benefits, but it’s also good for everything from joint health to sleep quality. Some of the benefits of taking collagen include:
- Improved sleep
- Accelerated healing
- Support for hair, skin, and nails
- Balanced protein intake
- Uses more of the animal source
- Joint and connective tissue health
- Bone health
- Heart health
- Supports athletic performance
“Collagen peptides provide amino acid “building blocks” that your body uses to produce and maintain collagen protein, including in hair and nails. In scientific studies, collagen supplementation alleviates joint pain, 1 speeds wound healing, reduces wrinkles and promotes skin elasticity. the glycine in collagen improves sleep quality and gut health.” Mark Sisson
How Much Collagen Should I Take Per Day?
Unlike other dietary nutrients, there’s no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for collagen. However, there are suggested guidelines and insights from medical studies.
- A healthy, active adult should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (Use this protein calculator to find out how much protein you should consume a day based on your weight, age, gender, and activity level.)
- As collagen provides 8 of the 9 essential amino acids, it shouldn’t be your only protein source, but, according to a 2019 study, collagen peptides can make up as much as 36 percent of your daily protein intake.
- Another way to decide how much collagen you should have is to base your intake on the benefits you’re looking for. For example, studies show that 2.5 to 10 grams per day can help with skin benefits, 5 grams a day supports healthy bones, and 2.5 to 5 grams may help keep your joints healthy.
Collagen and Glycine — How Much Do You Need?
You can also look at glycine intake when deciding how much collagen you need. Glycine is what I like to think of as a super amino acid. It regulates nerve impulses, helps the body eliminate toxic substances, and stimulates the production of serotonin, the hormone that helps with mood, memory, and sleep health.
Unlike other essential amino acids that we need to get from food, glycine is conditionally essential. This means our body can create some of it. But, to ensure you have plenty available for all the physiological functions it helps with, you also want to include glycine-rich foods in your diet.
How much glycine do you need?
The average person requires about 10 grams a day. However, we only make about 3 grams, and most people consume around 1.5 to 3 grams. That means many people are about 4 to 5 grams short — every day!
Collagen is the best source of glycine you can possibly eat. Collagen is about 30 percent pure glycine, so when you have 12 grams of collagen, you’re getting that much-needed 4 grams of glycine.
How Does Bone Broth Compare to Collagen Peptide Supplements?
Bone broth is tasty, nourishing, and high in collagen and glycine. So if you like to get your nutrients from whole foods, it’s a great option.
On the other hand, with collagen peptide supplements, you know exactly how much you’re getting. The amount of collagen in bone broth can vary from one batch to another, depending on cooking time and the ingredients you use.
- Babs Unflavored Bone Broth contains 17,2 grams of protein and 12 grams of collagen per 100 ml of broth.
- Babs Chicken Bone Broth contains 16,7 grams and 11,7 per grams of collagen per 100 ml of broth.
- Babs Beef Bone Broth contains 18 grams of protein and 12,6 grams of collagen per 100 ml of broth.
- Babs Pork Bone Broth contains 17,8 grams 12,5 grams of collagen per 100 ml of broth.
What Can I Do to Enhance the Benefits of Collagen?
To help your body use the collagen you consume, be sure to get plenty of vitamin C and zinc in your diet. These nutrients help to stimulate collagen synthesis.
Fresh fruits and vegetables like green leafy veggies, peppers, cherries, and broccoli are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Shellfish, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and red meat are all high in zinc.
What Are the Best Types of Collagen?
There are over two dozen types of collagen, but types 1 through 3 are the most common.
To ensure you’re getting a variety of collagen in your diet, be sure to consume different types of bone broth. Different animal tissues are high in certain types of collagen, so by enjoying chicken, beef, pork, and fish broth, you can spice up your cooking and gift your body with a rich array of proteins.
- Type 1 – About 90 percent of the body’s collagen is type 1. It’s found in tendons, ligaments, skin, internal organs, and the vascular system. All types of bone broth are high in type 1 collagen.
- Type 2 – This is an important protein for building cartilage. Chicken bone broth is the best source of type 2 collagen.
- Type 3 – This type of collagen works with type 1 to fortify artery walls and keep our arteries and hollow organs (stomach, small intestine, and colon) supple and strong. Beef and pork bone broths are the best broths for type 3 collagen.
The Best Way to Add Collagen to Your Diet
There are different ways you can add collagen to your diet. There are plenty of supplements on the market, or you can get it from certain foods. Bone broth is one of the best sources of bioavailable collagen, which is easy for your body to assimilate.
The next time you make your own homemade bone broth or you heat up a mug to enjoy, notice the light-colored gelatin floating on the surface. That gelatin is the broken-down collagen. When the broth is cool, such as when it’s been stored in the refrigerator, the gelatin looks like a thick, jiggly substance. That’s exactly what you want to see – the more gelatinous goodness, the better!
That gelatin is mostly protein. It also contains water and mineral salts. When you heat your broth, the gelatin turns back into a liquid and naturally mixes into the rest of the broth. Then, when you drink the broth, you get all the protein and other nutrients. The gelatin also makes it easier for your body to digest the other ingredients you may have put in your soup, such as beans, meat, veggies, or herbs.
One of the advantages of bone broth collagen is that it contains different types of collagen proteins, which your body needs. Type one is found in bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. As much as 90 percent of the collagen found in the body is type one. Type two is from cartilage, and type three is from skin, muscle, and bone marrow. Type three combines with type one to strengthen artery walls and to keep the walls of our hollow organs, such as the stomach, supple and strong.
Doesn’t the Body Produce Its Own Collagen?
It’s true – our body produces its own collagen. It’s a constant process of synthesizing collagen fibers to renew ourselves. But, around age 40, collagen production starts to decline. If we’re stressed – and who isn’t? – or if we have an autoimmune condition, the production can slow even faster.
This is part of the reason that as we age, skin starts to become loose and less supple. It sags. We start to see more wrinkles. We might notice dry, brittle nails and thinning hair. Even more concerning, our muscles can become weaker, and our joints and bones can become brittle. Eventually, the body isn’t able to produce enough collagen. This means it’s easier to become seriously injured from a fall, and it’s harder for the body to heal.
That collagen gelatin is also important for protecting the lining of our digestive tract. So, when we age and produce less collagen, we’re more likely to start noticing digestive issues like a leaky gut.
What we can do to help is to give our body enough high-quality collagen. By consuming the actual gelatin protein found in bone marrow and animal bones, you can help to replenish the collagen your body needs to thrive.
Simply by sipping a cup of bone broth, making soups with bone broth, and cooking with the broth, you can do a huge favor for your body, helping to maintain good health and to keep your body strong for years to come! That’s why bringing the traditional cooking methods of the past back holds so much promise for our future.
And we can all drink to that.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Babs Bone Broth nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.