From algae to bone broth and charcoal to collagen, it seems like the wellness trends are never ending… in a good way though – I’m all for new approaches to healthy living! That being said, it’s important to do your homework when considering trying new trends to find out if it’s something that will benefit you or if it’s a hoax; whether it’s a product or a practice; I find it best to be in the know of all things pertaining to!
If you have an Instagram or Facebook account or keep up with trending health and wellness blogs like Well & Good, Vogue, Mind Body Green or Chalk Board Magazine I’m sure you’ve at least heard of collagen. It’s been quite the craze lately although I’m not sure why, because it’s nothing new! In fact your sitting in a big pile of it now…our bodies are made up of collagen! Let’s take a glance at the facts:
What is Collagen:
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is found in bones, joints, ligaments, connective tissue, skin and cartilage. It makes up about 30% of the protein in your body and about 20% of your body mass! That’s an incredible amount!
Types of Collagen:
Collagen can come from: Marine (fish), grass-fed cows, and chicken; sometimes labeled bone broth. The two forms of collagen are Hydrolyzed Collagen which is derived from bone and cartilage the amino acids from this collagen are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and then used to build new collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is also know as Type I collagen. Studies show that hydrolyzed collagen from fish consists of small peptide molecules that have great bio-availability and digestibility when compared with other collagen sources. Due to the lower molecular weight, these peptides are absorbed faster through the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream. The second form of collagen is Collagen Protein or Gelatin which is collagen with a higher molecular weight. Essentially they are the same thing, but Hydrolyzed Collagen or Collagen Peptides are broken down further than gelatin and can be easier on digestion.
Why You Should Supplement with Collagen:
As you age, your body naturally produces less collagen and you are left to get it elsewhere. By the age of about 40, collagen synthesis reduces dramatically and it’s important to outsource this nutrient to maintain bodily features and functions.
How Can Collagen Help Me:
- Promotes bone growth and can delay onset of diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis
- Lubricates your joints
- Is the main building block for healthy bones and joints
- Promotes growth of hair, skin, and nails.
- Highly anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting
- Digestive system friendly
How Can I Incorporate Collagen:
Collagen comes in capsule and powder form. Some of my favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, baked goods, soups, in my water bottle and in hot drinks (stay tuned for a cozy cuppa recipe to follow). I find powder to be the easiest of the two. You can literally just pour it in to any of the above just like you would other supplements, spices or sweeteners.
Search “collagen” in the NN Recipe Index for some of my favorite recipes that use collagen.
My Favorite Brands of Collagen:
- Primal Kitchen
- Vital Proteins
- Perfect Keto
Drumroll…….and now for my absolute favorite way to use collagen; especially since it’s been bone shivering cold lately…
HOT COLLA COCO – “Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows on Superfood Steroids!”
This drink is life in a cup is so many ways! I have an addiction to recreating traditional unhealthy favorites into nutrient packed, healthy, delicious versions. No deprivation here guys! From pizza, to french fries, ice cream to cake – I’m bound to find a way to make it Nourishing Nelli style! Onto HOT COLLA COCO – a hot chocolate that’s free of the refined sugars and dairy like it’s lifeless and nutrient stripped twin “hot chocolate with marshmallows”
Hot Colla Coco is loaded with protein from collagen, which also provides other beneficial properties (eh-hmm: read the blog post above, I know you didn’t just skip to the recipe 😉 It contains healthy fats in the form of MCT from coconuts, which promote beautiful skin, aid in weight loss and have antimicrobial properties. Hot Colla Coco contains cacao powder, a superfood that tastes like chocolate except no dairy or refined sugar! Cacao is a powerful antioxidant and contains serotonin which acts as a mood enhancer and gives you that “feel good” feeling, as well as the ability to fend off stress. Hot Colla Coco is topped with the coconut flakes and cacao nibs to take the place of marshmallows aka: sugar cubes that do nothing for you whatsoever. The coconut flakes mixed with cacao nibs are just the right amount of sweetness, are full of fiber, and make this drink just the perfect cuppa for a cold winter night while cuddled up on the couch in fuzzy socks listening to Christmas Music!
The amount of collagen for this recipe will change depending on which brand you use. Read the label and use 1 serving. I typically use Vital Proteins peptides, or skip the whole cacao, coconut sugar, and collagen ingredients and put 2 tbsp of Eating Evolved Hot Coco + Collagen which is essentially the same thing!
I’m off to boil a glass, turn the tunes on and unwind from a bone chilling cold day!
I hope you enjoy, show me your creations by tagging #NourishingNelli on Instagram or Facebook!
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp collagen peptides (brand dependent)
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- dash of sea salt
- Coconut Flakes
- Cacao Nibs
- Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan for 1-2 minutes whisking the entire time
- Pour into a mug
- Garnish with the toppings