Do You Know the Most Abundant Protein in the Human Body?

If you answered COLLAGEN, then you are one smart cookie!

collagen diagram

I just finished reading a book I was able to pick up for FREE at one of my favorite markets when we lived in Colorado (Sprouts, oh, how I miss thee!!).

Collagen-Book-Mock-Up-Small

Now, if you are like me, when you hear the word collagen, you think of the skin on your face, right?  It’s what we lose as we age, leaving us with the not-as-supple skin from our 20’s and younger.

What I learned from this book is that collagen is the most important component of ALL connective tissues: bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels!!!  What?!?

{Collagen is one of the biggies for nutritional value in bone broth!!}

Here is a breakdown of the percentage of collagen within our bodies:

  • Skin: 75%
  • Bone: 30%
  • Ligaments: up to 90%
  • Tendons: 80%
  • Cartilage: 70%
  • Blood vessels: 40%

AH-MAZING!!

Not only that, but 28 different types of collagen have been identified!  28!!!!

Our skin is our largest organ.  It is vital that we water it, feed it & nourish it with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & more.  As we make these smart choices, we are providing the building blocks for collagen creation!

skin-aging-process

To combat aging and damage, we need to flood our bodies with antioxidants to fight the free radicals.

We need: vitamins C, E and A; selenium; Omega-3 fatty acids and natural polyphenols.

You can eat the rainbow of fruits & veggies, add in chicken, mushrooms, eggs, walnuts, salmon, flaxseeds, almonds, winter squash, avocado, green tea and probiotics!  Just to name a few.

While there are many ways our bodies destroy collagen (sugars, environmental toxins, sun exposure), there are also things we can do to promote its formation, by activating collagen-generating enzymes!  Three amino acids, L-glycine, L-proline and L-lysine, are most critical.  We also need vitamin C.

See just how important diet is on the micro-level?

We eat a variety of fruits & veggies, but we also bridge the gap with our Juice Plus+ Trio of capsules, which also include probiotics, and Duo of chewables!  There is no way I would eat 20-30 fruits, veggies & grains each and every day, but I get the whole food nutrition of broccoli, oranges, pineapple, papaya, spinach, carrots, dark berries, tomatoes + beets, garlic, kale, cabbage, cranberry, pomegranate, artichoke, cocoa, apples, peaches, acerola cherries, prunes and dates!!  Can you imagine!?!  (And believe me when I tell you that I saw an improvement in my skin within the first few months.  I have dealt with acne since an early teen and I know Juice Plus+ has given me clearer skin than I have had since I was 14!!)

For the health of both our hair and our nails, the more collagen in our dermis, the greater the blood supply to promote nutrients for growth and keratin production.

Collagen works with calcium for bone strength and flexibility.  The collagen matrix provides the surface for calcium to bind to bone while also being the “toughness” within bones (more collagen, less breaks!).

The 400 joints, where bones meet, within our bodies are secured by the tendons, ligaments & cartilage.  This is where movement is made!  Bending your knee or elbow to walk and run, moving your fingers to type and play an instrument, bending backwards for that perfect yoga move & more all need collagen to keep our connective tissues rich & dense.  It is when our collagen is destroyed & depleted that the cartilage between our bones will wear thin (or out) and injury and arthritis occur.  Constantly building collagen is imperative for athletes and aging!!

knee-anatomy

The collagen within our blood vessels provides support and elasticity to the outermost layer, helping to fight heart disease by avoiding “hardening” of the arteries.

To remain healthy & ageless, vital & supple…it always comes back to these:

~Consume healthy proteins and fats~

~Eat more fruits & vegetables~

~Get plenty of adequate rest~

~Exercise 20-30 minutes most days of the week~

~Minimize stress~

~Drink water~

~Season with spices~

~Avoid added sugars, excessive caffeine & alcohol, too much red meat, dairy and gluten~

I also like to drink protein shakes/smoothies several times a week, but I am selective in the type of protein as I do not use whey or soy.  I stumbled upon a collagen protein powder last week and am giving it a try.  It went perfectly with a frozen banana, almond milk, pumpkin puree, dash of cinnamon, cacao powder and a bit of honey!  It is very finely ground and quickly dissolves into water (without any taste), as well!

Staying on top of our collagen production is akin to keeping a well-oiled machine!!!  Our bodies are miraculous and can stand “the test of time” so long as we fuel and maintain them properly!!!

 de-grey-body-is-a-machine-1

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