This post was sponsored by Vital Proteins.
A little over three years ago I was introduced to gelatin and its protein powder like cousin collagen by Dr. Ray Peat. Since then, it has been a smoothie-filled love affair with the powered convenience food that helps me get more of the amino acids that are typically missed in the American diet. You see, one of the greatest benefits of using collagen is to aid in balancing your amino acid intake by helping reflect eating the "whole" animal. Because collagen makes up approximately 50% of the whole animal, collagen protein can be used to help create a more complete protein balance in your diet. The typical American eater tends to eat a higher consumption of muscle meats (such as beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and turkey), which, when not balanced by other proteins (such as eggs, fish, dairy, shellfish, a variety of organ meats, collagen) can contribute to inflammation.
If a person eats a large serving of meat, it's probably helpful to have 5 or 10 grams of gelatin at approximately the same time, so that the amino acids enter the blood stream in balance." -Dr. Ray Peat
Collagen protein has a unique and very non-inflammatory amino acid profile, which primarily consists of glycine, glutamic acid, proline, and alanine. Even though your body can make these amino acids (called non-essential), if you're eating a low nutrient diet or have a stressed liver, chances are you are not able to manufacture all the non-essential amino acids that you body actually demands. In particular, the liver needs an abundance of glycine (the biggest constituent of collagen) to fuel phase 2 detoxification in the liver and help your body "take out the trash."
Benefits of collagen protein
The benefits of collagen are astounding, but I'll try to be brief...
-Supports Liver Detoxification: Collagen is rich in glycine, an amino acid needed to support neutralization of toxins in the liver. In today’s über toxic world, often the body cannot make enough glycine to keep up with your detoxification needs (a toxin is anything from chemicals, food additives, alcohol, recreational drugs, RX drugs, BC pill, etc).
-Fights Aging: According to Dr. Ray Peat, “It happens that gelatin is a protein which contains no tryptophan, and only small amounts of cysteine, methionine, and histidine. Using gelatin as a major dietary protein is an easy way to restrict the amino acids that are associated with many of the problems of aging.” (source)
-Therapeutic for Digestion: Regular consumption of bone broth, gelatin, or collagen is very therapeutic for digestive disorders including food allergies, Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Colitis, IBS, and lack of stomach acid. (source)
-Fights Lactose Intolerance: When consumed with dairy, collagen can improve dairy digestion for those lactose-intolerant individuals.
-Combats Inflammation: “The degenerative and inflammatory diseases can often be corrected by the use of gelatin-rich foods” (source)
-Skin and Beauty Support: Collagen protein is very beneficial to the skin and can increase elasticity! (source)
How much collagen do you need?
Before you go gung-ho on the collagen, there are a few very important things I want you to know:
1. More is NOT always better.
2. Go S-L-O-W with your dosing. If you've never tried gelatin or collagen before, take it easy at first by starting with ½-1 tablespoon. This is EXTREMELY important if you already struggle with poor digestion. Then over time, you can slowly increase your dosage every few weeks or so. According to Dr. Ray Peat, gelatin/collagen can make up about 30% of total protein intake, which equates to 3-6 tablespoons per day for the typical personal (1 tablespoon of collagen = 6 grams of protein).
How to get collagen in your diet:
There are a few easy ways to get collagen protein in your diet....
1. Use collagen as you would a protein powder in your smoothie.
2. Add a little bit into ice cream, juice, yogurt, baked goods or desserts for a little collagen protein boost.
3. Use gelatin to make fruit snacks, gummies or bars.
4. Make mineral and glycine-rich bone broth.
And a seasonal recipe you've got to try!
Peach Blueberry Smoothie (add to a blender and enjoy!):
1 ripe peach
½ cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries
2 pastured egg yolks
1 ½ scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (about 2 tablespoons)
1 ½ tablespoons simple syrup
1 coconut milk ice-cube (blend 1 can of coconut milk and freeze it as ice cubes for easy smoothies)
2 tablespoons water
Where to find:
Several months ago I was introduced to the Vital Proteins brand and have used it for the last several months. I have to say it's my new go-to brand for gelatin and collagen. One of the reasons I'm naturally drawn to Vital Proteins is their commitment to sourcing pasture raised and grass-fed cows. According to Vital Proteins, they source pasture raised bovine hides exclusively from Brazil where the cattle industry is based on perennial tropical grass pasture systems which align with the Global Animal Partnership's 5-step Animal Welfare Rating Standards. Brazil is also home to laws that prohibits the addition of hormones to feed. I'm impressed with their commitment to sourcing and transparency.
You can find Vital Proteins Collagen here.
So tell me, do you use gelatin or collagen in your diet? Please share in the comments!
Broth is Beautiful by Sally Fallon Morell
Gelatin, stress, longevity by Ray Peat
Meat, Organs, Bones and Skin by Christopher Masterjohn
Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease by Allison Siebecker
Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin by Kaayla Daniel