While searching for solutions to help strengthen your bones or smoothen your skin and stave off old-age wrinkles, you may have come across the term collagen and wondered to yourself, What Is Collagen? You might not have heard the term before, but collagen is a hugely important protein for your health for a number of reasons. Not only is it found in the connective tissues of many areas of the body, but it also can provide surprising benefits like helping to soothe aching joints. If this is your first time hearing of collagen, or if you’re simply intrigued and are debating whether supplementing your diet with it would be helpful, here are the top three facts to get you up to speed on this all-important protein.
1. It Plays a Role in Maintaining Cartilage
Perhaps unexpectedly, collagen isn’t just for your skin – it also plays a key role in maintaining your cartilage. Because cartilage helps keep joints well protected, not having enough of it can cause serious joint pain. This is a problem many senior citizens start to run into as degenerative conditions set in, such as various forms of arthritis. Taking collagen could be one way to soothe achy joints or any other arthritic symptoms.
2. It’s Important for Both Your Bones and Muscles
The role of collagen in your body doesn’t stop at the joints – it’s also essential for both your bones and your muscles. Collagen actually makes up a significant portion of your muscle tissue, and most of your bones as well. Senior citizens tend to be at a higher risk of osteoporosis, so supplementing your calcium regime with additional collagen could potentially add another line of defense against this common condition. Muscle mass also often declines with age, and collagen can make a good addition to a healthy, regular intensive exercise routine.
3. It Makes Up Part of Your Skin’s Foundational Structure
If you’ve ever heard that collagen is good for your skin, it’s because it actually makes up part of your skin, forming its structure. As a consequence, the natural slowdown in collagen production as you get older can result in a weaker structure, leading to aging complexion issues such as sagging, wrinkling and even dehydration or dryness. On the bright side, taking collagen has been shown to help improve skin elasticity again, potentially helping your skin to keep its youthful look longer. You might even notice an improvement in how any wrinkles you already have look!
From adding in a daily supplement to increasing your consumption of collagen-rich foods like bone broth, there are lots of easy and even delicious ways to work collagen into your diet. No matter what form it comes in, this important protein plays multiple essential roles throughout the body, and getting enough of it can have a whole slew of benefits, from helping to soothe your joints to giving your complexion the structure it needs to look youthful, bouncy and vibrant. Now that you know all about what collagen is, you can choose whether focusing on adding it into your daily diet is best for your needs.