Collagen: The Popular Protein You've Never Heard Of
Think that collagen is an ingredient only found in your body lotion and other bathroom potions? Think again.
Collagen is the latest and greatest superfood – a consumable protein that packs a powerful regenerative punch. It is a necessary building block for healthy skin, bones, muscles, and all connective tissue. It also supports the internal organs and can aid in wound healing and a healthy metabolism. As we age, collagen production declines – using it as a dietary supplement can help us feel and look younger by keeping our nails and hair strong and pliable, our joints strong and our digestive track in tact.
Collagen is easy to find and relatively cost effective. Because collagen often is made from the cartilage, bones and hides of cows, it may not be a viable option for strict vegans. However, the supplement itself has no taste and is super easy to incorporate into simple recipes. Two brands I recommend are Great Lakes and Vital Proteins both of which will dissolve in either hot or cold liquids.
While both of these brands are excellent options, the most bio-available source of collagen comes from fish. Marine collagen can be a bit more expensive, but if you're looking for the best, most medicinal source of collagen, look to the sea. I found the highest quality marine collagen offered by Bend Beauty.
As far as incorporating collagen into your daily routine, try blending it into your lattes or smoothies for a protein boost. Once you mix collagen with water and allow it to sit for a bit it becomes gelatinous making it wonderful to thicken up gravies, soup, or bone broth or for use in puddings and jello.
Below is my favorite recipe. The kid in you is going to love this grown up version of Strawberry Quick!
- ¼ cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked and rinsed for easier digestion)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 6 oz. lite coconut milk
- ½ – ¾ cup water
- Dash pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3 tbsps. Bend Beauty Marine Collagen
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- If you don't have the Bend product you can use an unflavored collagen product and add 2 tbsps of cacao powder for a chocolate version!
- For a sugar free version use a natural sweetener replacement such as Stevia or Monkfruit to taste.
- In a blender, blend together all ingredients except the collagen on high speed until smooth. Add marine collagen and blend on low for another 10-15 seconds.
- Pour into glass bottle and refrigerate for at least an hour before consuming. You can always add a bit more water depending on the consistency you prefer.
Can be enjoyed throughout the day as a snack or is an excellent post workout drink to refuel.