Animal Collagen vs Plant-based Collagen
I just want to start this post by saying, I'm not a Collagen expert in any way shape and form, but I have been looking into this and researching collagen and collagen products since they have taken over Instagram and Facebook for the past year. I feel like Collagen has been the trendiest of all things trendy in the last year +. It's everywhere. I'm sure you have noticed as well, or know someone who swears by scooping some collagen into their morning coffee. Believe me, I'm ALL about jumping on the bandwagon of a product that is all about making my skin, hair, nails glow! Also, collagen is supposed to help with joint pain and add protein to any drink, soup, or smoothie you add it to. So I wanted to jump on this trend with everyone for sure! But if you have followed me for awhile, you know I don't eat a ton of animal products. I've talked on this subject before, I'm not against all animal products I just choose to not consume them on a daily basis. So if I jumped on this collagen supplement bandwagon, I definitely would be consuming animal product/protein daily. Which I personally am not a fan of. So I set out on a mission thinking there has to be a way I can consume collagen plant-based style, right?! I want to be trendy too!
First, let's knock this out. What even is Collagen?
Collagen is the main protein of all connective tissue. Connective tissues connect things (just like it sounds, ha!) Fascia tissue, dermis (the bottom layer of your skin), muscles, tendons, cartilage and the tissue surrounding your hair and nails are all prime examples of connective tissue. A healthy human body is made up of so much collagen it accounts for one-third of the body. And 70% of protein in our skin! It's pretty fascinating actually. Collagen, like all proteins, is made up of building blocks called amino acids. Which are properly structured thanks to our friend Vitamin C. Without Vitamin C, there is no Collagen. Also, people believe that healthy fat is made up and plays a big role in collagen.
So people are taking a collagen supplement hoping and believing that the extra collagen they are digesting produces more collagen in their own bodies. As we grow older, (by the age of 25), we don't produce it as much on our own. So yes, I completely understand why people want to replace this magic protein our bodies are made up of. This sounds great! Healthier skin, hair, nails, joints? Yes, please.
So where does Animal Collagen come from?
Well just like humans, it's their connective tissue. It's their cartilage, connective tissue between bones and ligaments that make collagen, collagen. The process is called hydrolysis. Which involves breaking down the molecular bonds between individual collagen strands and peptides using combinations of physical, chemical or biological means. They also have to make sure to add all 9 amino acids in the process. Because that is what Collagen is! "A complete protein". When animal collagen is actually being processed (it has to be quite processed actually), to even be digestible. (Please don't go eating animal bones on me people for the 2019 trend). While processing the collagen, it's losing a lot of the amino acids that it already contains. So they are replacing the 'complete protein' with food you already eat! You can google more on the exact process of this. As a non-animal eater (most of the time), it really grosses me out. Haha, not going to even lie. No thanks to processed animal ligaments, skin, or tissue in my morning coffee.
So is there such thing as, Plant-based Collagen?
Well, plants don't "grow" or contain collagen. Like humans or animals. With that being said, they play a HUGE role in how animals and humans even continue to produce collagen. They are what makes our bodies produce more collagen or not! Having a diet consisting of high healthy fats and vitamins (especially Vitamin C) will produce more collagen in your body. On its own. There is a ton of protein's found in the plant-based world which with a variety of healthy plants will make a "complete protein". Although collagen production slows as we age, it never stops, and if you supply your body the proper nutrition to make healthy collagen, the age-related decline isn’t as notable or severe.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C are oranges, kiwi, red peppers, kale, and broccoli.
There are lots of healthy foods that play a role in getting a complete protein source. Foods that I'm sure a lot of you already cook with or digest daily. But with that being said, I have found some products I have personally grown to love that are for my plant-based loving people who want to jump on this Collagen bandwagon. I've tried a few myself, even though I am not taking any supplements right now being pregnant (this is all pre-pregnancy). Even though they are plant-based and I'm sure safe for me to take, it's just my personal choice not to add supplements to my daily routine while I'm pregnant! I don't have a problem waiting, just so I have an ease of mind when it comes to stuff like that. (But absolutely no judgment if you choose to do so!) I do still use the liquid collagen on my face and love it! I've also had my mom use these products as well to see if she notices a difference. She is 63, so I was just curious! She LOVES them and noticed a difference especially from the Amni Mundi Plant Based Collagen. She noticed a difference in her hair and skin.
I loved this supplement. This company makes a lot of holistic and natural products! Shop it here.
I love this product! It's a bit pricey, but it has lasted me a long time! A little goes a long way. Most people get results within 10 days! I noticed right away. It's a great alternative to botox, haha! Seriously. You can read all about the product here.
This is also a GREAT supplement! Packed with Vitamin C (like we talked about earlier, and Ceramosides! (Which promote healthy and glowing skin! Just google the word Ceramosides and a billion skin products pop up!). Shop it here.
So I just wanted to show you guys some great alternatives to animal collagen! If it's all about the glowing skin and overall health of skin, hair, nails, body...I promise you with adding a balanced diet of fruit and veggies you will instantly notice all of that! But I'm all about adding some things/supplements in to help as well!
**I plan to do an update post soon with answering the question if I'm completely plant-based while pregnant or not. Which if you have seen or watched my Instagram stories you already know the answer is no, I am not! I feel like the first 14-15 weeks for me were survival. HA. So if ginger-ale and saltine crackers count as being plant-based then yes. I feel like pregnancy is all about listening to your body. So I definitely have been having different meat cravings from time to time, and I'm absolutely fine with that! You can still consume meat while consisting mostly of a plant-based diet. (We will dive into this later). It's hard for me to eat certain things while pregnant, and I will dedicate a post soon to talk about this!**