how to use great lakes collagenI have been a huge fan of collagen for a while now and try to take some most days. I have really noticed a difference in the health of my hair, skin, and nails since I have been doing this.

It’s easy to use and full of good stuff.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a type of protein. It is the most abundant protein found in our bodies in fact. You will find in in your skin, hair, tendons, muscles, bones and blood vessels. It’s what gives your skin its elasticity and youthful appearance as well as many other benefits.

Collagen is made up of a complete spectrum of amino acids which are not present in the meat most of us eat. And by this, I mean the muscle meat of animals.

You will, however, find it in the skin and bones of animals which is why bone broth is such an amazing, health-giving drink. When you make bone broth and it cools and turns into a ‘gel-like’ substance, you know you have got plenty of collagen in there.

Katie from the Wellness Mama says this:

Collagen is a distinct molecule made up of over 1,000 amino acids in a unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits. On a practical level, while there are 16 types of collagen, most in the human body is Type I-III. Type I collagen is incredibly strong… in fact, it is stronger than steel (gram for gram).

What are the benefits of collagen?

The benefits of taking collagen regularly include:

  • Improving the health of your skin and hair
  • Reduction in cellulite and stretch marks
  • Improved joint health
  • Helps to heal leaky gut
  • Improves the health of your liver
  • Aids the treatment of osteoarthritis
  • Reduces the signs of ageing
  • Source of protein (6-7g per tablespoon)

How can I take collagen?

The most awesome way to get your collagen in is to make and drink bone broth regularly. It’s very simple.

Whenever you eat meat and have leftover bones, collect them in a bag and store in your freezer. Then when you have a nice lot of bones you are ready to make your broth.

Add all the bones to a pot and cover with water. Add a good glug of cider vinegar (to help the bones release the collagen).

Add to this any vegetables, herbs, and spices that you like. I usually add some carrot, onion and garlic and a good lot of Himalayan salt.

Bring to the boil and let this simmer for a few hours.

Then simply remove the bones and vegetables and you have your bone broth!

You can also do this in a slow cooker, and let the broth cook for 12-24 hours. Alternatively (and this is what I do), use a pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 1 hour.

The alternative to making your own bone broth is to buy some high-quality gelatin (collagen) powder. This is the brand I recommend.

There are two types – the green tin and the orange tin. The green tin is ‘hydrolysed collagen powder’ which means you can add it to liquids without it turning said liquid into a gel. The orange tin is not hydrolysed and therefore will cause liquids to gel. (I use the green tin for pretty much everything).

You can add this powder to almost anything – soups, smoothies, fatty coffee/teas etc. It doesn’t really have much of a taste, perhaps a little creamy or milky if anything. I like to add a tablespoon to my morning coffee.

Wellness Mama actually has a lot of recipes you can make using this collagen powder, including home-made marshmallows, children’s vitamins, and skin masks! Check them out here.

And finally, don’t get confused if you hear the words gelatin and collagen used interchangeably. (As I did for a long time). When collagen is broken down it becomes gelatin, so they are really one and the same thing.

I hope this has been helpful, now go and get your collagen in!

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