Collagen has been emerging as a popular supplement over the past few years, and for good reason! It turns out our ancestors may have known a thing or two about the power of utilizing the whole animal for our body’s health and wellbeing, including that special substance that makes our skin and bones so strong.
Let’s start by looking at what collagen is, and why it is so important for our health. Collagen is a protein that makes up ⅓ of the proteins in the human body, and is a supporting structure, holding together cells, and keeping them strong and stable. These supporting structures give our skin that smooth and fresh finish, and can help support healthy bones. Collagen can even help ease arthritis!
As we age, we produce less collagen, which leads to a decrease in our body’s ability to shed dead cells and regenerate new ones. Women especially experience a decrease in collagen as we go through menopause (because there are all sorts of hormonal changes affecting our bodies!).
Not all hope is lost, though! While our bodies decrease production, we can still get the collagen we need from whole food sources, like high quality animal proteins- specifically collagen from the bones of our animal proteins. While yes, there are also collagen supplements on the market that we can incorporate into our diets, the whole food sources are actually the most bioavailable, meaning our bodies are best equipped to absorb and utilize those proteins from animal sources.
Just a side note: this is why it’s so important to prioritize getting high quality, healthily-raised animal proteins, because our bodies will utilize more of what that animal has to offer in terms of nutrients, so if we get more for our buck, we want to make sure it’s more of the good stuff!
So where do we get collagen from?
I touched on it a little above, but the best place to get collagen into your diet is through a variety of animal sources of protein. You can get some collagen from the amino acids in the meat itself, but the best place to get the most collagen is out of the animal bones. Here at REP, we believe in utilizing the whole animal as a way to show respect and gratitude for the delicious and nutritious meat we get to enjoy, and a big piece of that benefit includes the bones the animal leaves behind. The best way to extract the most collagen is with bone broth (which we happen to have some delicious recipes for!). Bone broth is great because you can sip it on its own, or use it to cook other dishes (like my favorite fall dish, beef chili).
If you’re looking to get more bone broth in your diet, try making your own broth at home with our Better Than Botox Bone Broth Kit. It comes equipped with the bones, recipes and spices you’ll need to make the best tasting broth around!
Arielle Bloom is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Regenerative Rancher in Central Texas. After spending years struggling with autoimmune and gut health issues, she turned to her food to finally make real and lasting change. Now, Arielle educates others on why their food quality matters- not just to look good, but to feel good, and do good for our planet. You can follow Arielle on instagram @arielle_bloom, and learn more about her via her website www.ariellebloom.com