All tagged Protein

Do You Need Collagen Supplements?

Have you jumped on the collagen train yet?

The trend of adding collagen peptides to drinks and smoothies for glowing, elastic skin and sipping on bone broth for healthy joints, healthy gut, and weight loss is exploding.

In 2018 alone, we spent $46.6 MILLION on collagen supplements!

And why are collagen peptide supplements so popular?

The promises of younger looking skin, weight loss, and healthy joints are appealing to almost everyone.

But are these promises true?

And are collagen supplements worth their high price tag?

Let’s see…

Have you asked yourself what collagen is?

Collagen is a type of protein, often referred to as our body’s “scaffolding.”

Why “scaffolding?”

Because the tissues that hold out body together is made out of collagen.

Think bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, our organs…

Yes, our whole body is made largely out of collagen.

And as we age, our collagen production declines.

Hence the desire of many people to boost their collagen supply!

But are collagen supplements necessary for boosting our collagen supply?

The truth is, collagen supplements may not be necessary for you to see the benefits of younger skin, strong and gorgeous hair, weight loss, healthy joints, and improved gut health.

While researchers have studied the effects of collagen, the results are often limited or biased.

Does it seem right that the collagen supplement industries should fund the research on collagen?

If you answered “no,” you’re right.

Industry backing of their own products is sketchy at best.

The research studies are also small, and there hasn’t been research on the long-term effects of collagen.

And the scope and number of clinical trials are lacking.

So, more research on the effects and necessity of collagen supplementation are needed.

But while we wait on the researchers to do their thing, what should we do in the meantime?

You can buy collagen peptides for about $50 for a month’s supply. 

And yet, those collagen supplements come with some risks.

You might experience an allergic reaction, or suffer the side effects of nausea, heartburn, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and skin reactions.

So, is there a better way to boost your collagen supply without a high price tag or side effects?

Consider this:

Collagen is a type of protein, which means it’s a chain of amino acids linked together.

Whenever we ingest protein, whether that’s from a piece of chicken, quinoa, beans, or collagen peptides, we break down that protein into amino acids.

Here’s the thing, you don’t get to choose where those amino acids go in your body go, or how they are used.

Instead, your body prioritizes those amino acids for whatever your body needs them for.

In other words, those expensive collagen peptides your adding to your morning coffee might not be used for collagen production at all!

Your body chooses where those amino acids will be best used.

If your body is choosing how the protein you consume is used, you’re likely better off eating real food instead.

The protein from nuts, seeds, quinoa, spirulina, salmon, chicken, and eggs can be consumed to boost your collagen supply.

When it comes to healthy skin, healthy weight, healthy joints, and a healthy gut, a balanced diet is king.

·        Vitamin C-rich and antioxidant-rich foods boost collagen formation and skin regeneration

o   Think oranges, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes

·        Vitamin E can also help protect your skin, since it’s a powerful antioxidant

o   Think nuts, seeds, and whole grains

·        Even turmeric has collagen-boosting benefits 

o   You can make curries and Golden Milk to see turmeric’s benefits

·        Zinc and sulfur both play roles in collagen formation as well

o   Think chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, onions, garlic, and broccoli

·        And don’t forget that protein, as mention above

o   Think nuts, seeds, quinoa, spirulina, salmon, chicken, and eggs

You see, a whole foods, plant-based diet allows you to get the protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals you need for healthy collagen production.

And be aware of the choices that actively reduce collagen.

Sugar actually can cause irreversible damage to the collagen in your body! 

Sugar binds to collagen, which creates AGE’s (advanced glycation end products), which causes a loss in the strength of the collagen.

Which then leads to wrinkled, saggy skin.

Just another reason to limit added sugar, isn’t it?

And be sure to load up on SPF to protect your skin from damage!

All of these can lead to the damage of collagen:

·        Sun exposure

·        Pollution

·        Smoking

·        Alcohol

Final thoughts:

Don’t let yourself get swept up by the marketing tactics of products, like collagen.

Always come back to your eating and lifestyle choices when trying to make a healthy decision.

And when in doubt, experiment with what works best for you and your needs.

Knowing what you know now, would you spend the money on collagen peptides?

Need a few collagen-boosting recipes?

>>Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

>>Easiest Vegan Chili

>>Foolproof Restaurant Quality Salmon

>>Tomatillo Chicken in a Pot

>>Raw Vegan Pad Thai

>>Red Lentil Stew

>>Anti-inflammatory Pasta Salad

>>Chewy Trail Mix Bars (Raw Vegan)

How to Choose a Healthier Breakfast Cereal | + My Top 3 Tips and Recs | + VIDEO |

Have you ever walked down the cereal aisle and felt completely overwhelmed by all the options?

You stroll down the aisle and see a “Mom’s Best Raisin Bran” cereal box. 

You know, the one made from recycled paper, depicting wildlife, and informing you that their cereal is made with “whole grain oats” and “no high fructose corn syrup.” 

Simple and honest ingredients, they say.

That cereal looks and sounds really healthy, you think. 

Pleased with your decision, you put the cereal in your basket, and continue grocery shopping.

How frustrated would you be if you found out that the cereal you chose has 6 grams MORE added sugar than a serving of Lucky Charms?

Pretty darn frustrated.

You’d probably feel deceived, too. 

After all, you had the best intentions to eat healthier and serve your children a healthy breakfast!

You thought you were making a thoughtful choice…

To outsmart the marketers, here are my top 3 tips for choosing a healthier cold cereal:

1.      Read the ingredient list

The ingredient list will reveal a lot about the nutritional quality of the cereal. 

Is sugar, brown rice syrup, maltose, fructose, sucrose, maple syrup, corn syrup, honey, or invert sugar listed? 

Are there flavors and preservatives, like phosphates, listed? 

The more sugar and the more processed the ingredients, the better off you are finding an alternative.

Too much added sugar (more than 25 grams per day) can increase stress, anxiety, energy crashes, and weight gain. 

No thank you!

2.      Read the nutrition label

Pay attention to serving size.  Many cereal labels may look reasonably healthy, until you realize that those 200 calories and 7 grams of sugar are only for 1/3 cup serving! 

Most of us eat more than 1/3 cup of cereal, so choose one that packs a nutritional punch for each serving.

Limit added sugars and choose a high-fiber (4 grams or more per serving) for better heart health, mood, and weigh management.

3.      Choose less processed items

The less processed, the better.  Processed cereals have more sugar, sodium, and preservatives than is good for us. 

So, what cold cereals should you choose?

Ones that are high in fiber, high in protein, low in sugar, low in salt, and minimally processed.

My top cereal picks that check those boxes:

>>Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, Golden Flax

·        This cereal has 8 grams of protein, no added sugar, and 6 grams of fiber per serving

·        All the ingredients are organic (wheat, barley, flax seeds, millet, lentils, soybeans, spelt, and sea salt)

>>Alpen No Added Sugar Muesli

·        This cereal has 6 grams of protein, no added sugar, and 5 grams of fiber per serving

·        The raisins provide both sweetness, fiber, and iron 

>>Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal

·        This cereal has 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber (wow!) to keep you full until lunch

·        This cereal does have 13 grams of sugar for those who do have a sweet tooth, but the fiber will help manage your blood sugar better

·        TIP: This is a great transitional cereal if you’re used to sweet cereals! Mix this with a no added sugar cereal to balance the sugars