Collagen has been a hot topic in the wellness world for a while, so let’s talk about how to supplement plant based and vegan collagen. Many people don’t realize that collagen is not vegan, and you may even see brands that market themselves at plant-based, although collagen is very much an animal based. Most commonly, you’ll find collagen that is either marine based or bovine based. In other words, made from either cow byproducts (boiled cow’s bones, joints, ligaments etc.) or fish (fish skin, scales etc.).
I’ll be sharing how you can supplement plant based and vegan collagen so you can reap the same benefits, cruelty free. We’ll talk why you may want to opt for a plant based and vegan collagen supplement, what’s in it and list recommended products that fit the bill.
Collagen is a protein made of amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. Most people take collagen supplements for the potential benefits it may have on the human body. For example, collagen is said to promote skin health (by adding moisture to the skin, improving elasticity and reducing wrinkles), help with joint pain, and improve heart health. The human body naturally creates collagen, however, as the body ages it produces less and less.
So why plant based and vegan collagen? First, if you’re subscribing to a plant based diet or vegan lifestyle, bovine and marine collagen are off the table. Many people are also unable to consume animal-based collagen supplements for religious reasons. Additionally, it can be a lot more sustainable to consume a plant based and vegan collagen instead. As a reminder, animal agriculture has a tremendous environmental impact, so this is an alternate option that’s a little greener, too!
Aside from ethical reasons, safety is a concern too. Ultimately, collagen supplements are made up of ground up animal parts, and typically leftover trimmings and byproducts which can harbor heavy metals and also contaminants. Furthermore, collagen supplements are not FDA approved, as they are considered a dietary supplement, meaning manufacturers are responsible for product safety.
Finally, with regard to efficacy, the jury still seems to be out on whether or not collagen can be properly absorbed. Some experts say it is broken down by stomach acids before absorption. It’s also important to remember that collagen supplements are not essential to your diet.
Plant based and vegan collagen supplements work by supporting your body’s existing ability to produce collagen, therefore eliminating the need to consume collagen. It’s cruelty free with but still gives your body a boost, or a helping hand, if you will. That’s right, through a plant based diet, you can still support collagen production in your body.
Here are a few key ingredients commonly found in plant based and vegan collagen boosting products:
Plant-based protein → complete plant-based proteins provide all nine essential amino acids. Scientists have been able to create a structure similar to that of collagen by breaking down and re-combining amino acids from plant protein like hemp and pea protein.
Aloe vera → aloe is a succulent that boosts collagen when consumed, as it has many polysaccharides that are used in assembling the amino acids to create collagen.
Silica → plays a role in the creation of glycosaminoglycans which supports and maintains healthy collagen production.
Vitamin C → without this your body cannot store or form collagen. Vitamin C is essential to create hydroxyproline from the amino acid proline, which helps with collagen stability.
Vitamin E → prevents collagen cross-linking
Hyaluronic Acid → boosts collagen production in the body (and skin! which is why many skin regeneration products include this ingredient)
Adaptogenic Herbs → including tocos, tremella, maqui, goji berry, lucuma, camu camu, amla and many more.
Biotin → a water soluble B vitamin that supports healthy skin, hair and nails
You can support collagen production in the body simply by consuming plants that are rich in some of the key ingredients listed above. This is an easy way to reap the benefits without the need to purchase supplements, and many of these plants would be wonderful additions to any diet! Some foods to consider include:
Another way to protect existing collagen in the body is by taking care of your skin. Some things you can do include:
And finally, you can try a plant based and vegan supplement product. These can be added to smoothies, drinks, taken orally via capsule and more. Here are a few recommended products that are 100% suitable for a vegan and plant based diet.
If you found this information helpful, feel free to share it with a friend and tag me on Instagram @veggiekins. Also, if you try any of the recommended products, let me know! I’d love to hear your feedback and chat with you.
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BY Remy • April 17, 2020
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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