Here’s a fun health fact… did you know collagen is the most abundant protein in your body? Simply put, it’s the glue that holds the different layers of your skin and connective tissue together – it’s in your muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons! It plays a key role in helping our skin look firm, plump and most definitely youthful and it’s often most associated with the anti-ageing beauty industry. When we’re young, we have an abundance of it but as we age, our levels tend to deplete. The drop off point is usually around age 25. Eeek!
However, something we want to touch on in this article, aside from its beautifying advantages, is collagen’s lesser-known health benefits and how you can increase production of it WITHOUT the need for animal-based collagen products. Plant lovers this one is for you! Over the past few weeks, we’ve been trialling a plant-based collagen-boosting powder from Ora Organic and it is now a non-negotiable ingredient in our morning smoothie bowl. We’re totally converted and here’s why…
Ora Organic’s Aloe Gorgeous collagen-boosting powder is, in our eyes, a game-changing, 100% plant-based supplement that harnesses the power and goodness of Aloe Vera to help your body produce more collagen. If you’re thinking, what’s Aloe Vera got to do with collagen production then let us explain!
Aloe Vera is a polysaccharide that plays a huge role in bringing together amino acids in the body to help produce collagen. Collagen is formed in strands (assemblies) and studies show polysaccharides can potentially help create larger, stronger collagen assemblies – think of it as scaffolding to help quickly build longer, stronger collagen strands.
Collagen powder typically comes from the skin and connective tissues of cows (and fish in the case of marine collagen). However, ingesting another animal’s collagen doesn’t guarantee your body will use it. Your body needs the right amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides and nutrients to create collagen that will affect your joints and skin. While some of those nutrients are contained in animal collagen, not all of them are, meaning your body will have to reroute vitamins and minerals from elsewhere to help you create collagen. This is why Ora Organic created Aloe Gorgeous, to give you a superior alternative to animal-based collagen and one which is formulated specifically with pea protein and Vitamins C & E to help boost your body’s natural production of collagen.
Mainstream, collagen may be associated with fillers and “magic” facial creams but in reality, it’s hugely important for our overall wellbeing, not just our skin. Our muscles, tendons, blood vessels and bones need it to maintain suppleness, vitality and strength.
Smoother, firmer skin
You’ll find collagen listed as a key ingredient in many beauty creams and products, but ingesting it is a far more effective way to reap its benefits. Studies show that between 2.5-5g a day can dramatically improve skin elasticity and moisture, and reduce skin cracking and wrinkles.
Whether you’re a runner, heavy lifter or something else entirely, sport can be pretty tough on your joints, and collagen supplementation may save you an injury or two. That’s because it allows us to glide and move without pain. Consuming more of it can strengthen joints and reduce the risk of deterioration, increase the density of cartilage to make joints more flexible, and is proven to be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and arthritis.
Collagen is the protein your body uses to heal everything from acne to a torn tendon. It forms a flexible matrix covering damaged tissue while still allowing it to move (a bit like a scaffold that holds everything together so other cells can rebuild), and it fights off bacteria, which helps to keep wounds sterile.
Poor gut health is now known to be the root cause of many illnesses. When toxins and harmful bacteria leak through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream (aptly named leaky gut syndrome), they can kick off an inflammatory cascade. Luckily collagen contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which are essential building blocks to seal and heal the damaged intestinal lining.