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What is Collagen and How Does It Benefit Health?

What is collagen? If you’ve been scratching your head and asking this question, you are not alone. Collagen is beginning to pop up everywhere, and for good reason. More than the latest health or beauty trend, collagen protein and collagen peptides are an easy yet powerful addition to your smoothies, baked goods, soups, and juices.

You’ll also be happy to know that collagen delivers plenty of the benefits you want in a health supplement or superfood, enhancing both beauty and health without sacrificing great tasting food!

So What Is Collagen? And What is the Difference Between Collagen Peptides and Protein?

The word collagen comes from the Greek word Kolla, which means glue. And don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that collagen is made of the same things glue is made from! Its name is actually descriptive because collagen is a building block of the connective tissues throughout the body and it is also responsible for the elasticity in the skin, as well as being an essential nutrient for hair and nails.

Now let’s distinguish between the two collagen substances: peptides and proteins. Collagen peptides and collagen proteins contain the same amino acid makeup, but collagen peptides are smaller and lighter, containing only a few amino acids, while proteins are composed of 50 or more. Thus, collagen peptides are easier for the body to digest and use.

The main difference between these two substances is how you consume them. Because collagen peptides are so much smaller, they do not gel the same way collagen proteins do (think about how a bone broth becomes jelly-like when it cools).

As such, collagen proteins are great in soups and stews and for baking, because they thicken nicely. Collagen peptides are better in smoothies, juices, and other cold applications because they do not gel. You can also use them in hot foods.

What Do They Do for Your Body?

What is collagen if not convenient! Your body already produces collagen on its own, and relies heavily on these proteins and peptides to form healthy skin, hair, joints, gut tissue, teeth, and more. Yet as we age, it helps to supplement your body’s collagen production. Collagen can help reduce cellulite, smooth stretch marks, boost your energy levels, and ramp up your metabolism.

Just remember that when you supplement additional collagen that you’re using all-natural sources of collagen proteins and peptides. While you can get both from bone broths, for instance, it’s also helpful to buy supplementary collagen to add to additional foods you enjoy every day.

Because it is so versatile, you can put collagen in tons of recipes because it's odorless and tasteless. Think soups, smoothies, coffee and tea, bread, pancakes, and more. It’s an easy way to boost your health without compromising flavor at all.

Are There Other Ways to Get These Nutrients?

There are, actually. You can also get lotions or creams that will add collagen to your skin. There are many products on the market devoted to giving you smoother, plumper, younger-looking skin, and while those products do seem to work quite well, they only treat the skin. They do not do anything to build stronger ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Nor will they boost your energy levels or metabolism.

Therefore it’s probably best to ingest these nutrients because your body can make use of them from the inside out. At NuNaturals, for instance, you can use our delicious collagen peptide to add a healthy boost into all your kitchen creations.

How do you plan to use collagen in your day-to-day life? Which of its benefits are you the most interested in? Feel free to share in the comments below.