Collagen is a nutrient which is essential for optimal health, but can you take collagen as part of a Paleo, Keto or Carnivore lifestyle?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein in humans making up 25-35% of total body protein. It is found throughout the body but is abundant in skin, bones and connective tissue.
As collagen is a tough and fibrous protein, it plays a really important structural role in the body. Without collagen, we would not have joints to move our skeleton, skin to protect our organs or teeth to eat our food.
So, it makes sense that optimising collagen levels should be a priority for anyone who wants to stay as healthy as possible.
Trouble is, collagen synthesis is not always a given and there are a few obstacles in the way of breezing through life with peak collagen levels. Let's take a look.
Collagen Production Declines as we Age
As we age, natural collagen production declines. This is not something which happens when we are retired and elderly either, collagen synthesis actually slows down from as early as our 20's.
Getting enough dietary collagen can really help to delay some of the issues of ageing which are related to declining collagen levels - such as aching joints, brittle bones and the visible signs of getting older in hair, skin and nails.
Lifestyle Factors Can Also Reduce Collagen Synthesis
Various lifestyle factors can reduce collagen levels further - including excessive sunlight exposure, smoking and a diet high in sugar and refined carbs.
So, it pays to be mindful of these at the same time as increasing your collagen intake, to help mitigate the inevitable effect of time on natural collagen production!
Health Benefits of Collagen
As collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, optimising collagen intake and synthesis can have a number of health benefits.
Studies have consistently shown that collagen from food and supplements can help to improve gut health, strengthen joints & bones, reduce inflammation and nurture healthy hair, skin & nails.
You can learn more about the benefits of collagen in our articles below:
Food Sources of Collagen
Eating more collagen is a great way to support optimal health in your younger years, at the same time as improving longevity. Trouble is, most of us don't consume enough of the foods which are good sources of this amazing nutrient.
Collagen is found naturally in protein-rich animal foods such as bone broth, meat on the bone, fish with its skin on and eggshell membranes. However, many people do not enjoy eating the sometimes tough and chewy cartilage, sinew and skin of animals - opting instead for conventional cuts which have been trussed and trimmed.
Therefore, collagen intake in the modern world is low - far lower than that which our ancestors would have enjoyed.
Collagen Supplements can be a convenient and reliable way to boost your collagen intake daily.
With a greater insight into the health benefits of collagen than ever, paired with a low modern intake of this essential nutrient - the popularity of collagen supplements has soared recently.
Provided in a capsule or powdered form, you can get all the benefits of collagen even if you don't eat those foods mentioned earlier. Just be cautious as to what else is in a capsule or powder blend. Most collagen supplements can come with added bulkers, fillers, chemicals and flavourings.
Vegan and Vegetarian 'Collagen' Supplements
Having read the first part of this article, you may be surprised to hear that plant-based 'collagen' supplements are available.
Many supplement businesses claim to provide collagen capsules and powders which are made using only vegan and vegetarian ingredients. However, it is actually impossible to derive collagen from plant-based ingredients - as it is only found naturally in animal-based foods.
So, what exactly are these mysterious plant-based collagens? I hear you ask! Well, it turns out that most are a collection of nutrients - much like multivitamins - which are known to promote collagen production.
Rather than being the real deal, they provide vitamins and minerals - such as Vitamin C, Zinc and Copper - which are known to boost collagen synthesis. Needless to say, they don't stack up to real, natural collagen peptides.
Benefits of Collagen Supplements for Paleo, Keto & Carnivore Lifestyles
Keto, Paleo and Carnivore lifestyles are all eating templates which rely on a diet rich in protein. As collagen is a complete source of protein, a good quality collagen supplement is a great way to boost your intake.
Even if you enjoy meat and fish with almost every meal, unless you are eating things such as bone broth, skin and sinew often - it is likely that you will still be missing out on collagen.
Here are just a few reasons why collagen and collagen supplements are ideal additions to Keto, Paleo and Carnivore lifestyles.
✅ Boost of bioavailable protein missing in the modern diet
✅ Minimally processed, natural source of bioavailable amino acids
✅ Provides primal nutrition in a modern, versatile and convenient format
✅ Naturally low in carbohydrates and free from added sugar
✅ Supports gut and skin health
✅ Helps to boost protein intake
✅ Derived from animal-based sources
✅ Ideal for topping up protein intake if collagen-rich foods are not enjoyed
✅ Benefit from nose to tail nutrition even if you eat mainly muscle meats
How to Choose a Paleo, Keto & Carnivore Friendly Collagen Supplement
It's obvious that collagen is a pretty amazing molecule, that we should all be striving to get more of each and every day. Collagen supplements are a really convenient and reliable way to add collagen to your diet, BUT not all collagen is created equal. What's more - not all collagen is Paleo, Keto and Carnivore friendly.
The simplest way to make sure that your collagen supplement is suitable is to always check that it has just one ingredient: collagen peptides! And nothing else. This will ensure that it is a quality source of protein, free from unnatural and unwelcome additions used to bulk out the formula and drive down the cost of production.
At the same time, you can rest easy knowing that your collagen is a clean and pure source of protein suitable for Paleo, Keto and Carnivore lifestyles.
Hunter & Gather Bovine and Marine Collagen Peptides
Hunter & Gather Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides are Keto, Paleo and Carnivore friendly pure protein powders.
Sourced from grass fed bovine and wild caught fish, our collagen peptides are free from gluten, dairy, bulking agents, hormones, antibiotics and GMO ingredients.
Made with just one ingredient - you guessed it - collagen! Our marine and bovine collagen peptides provide a nutrient-dense and natural source of 18 amino acids.
Hunter & Gather Collagen Peptides make getting enough collagen as simple and easy as adding a scoop to meals and drinks - perfect for boosting protein intake as part of your Keto, Paleo or Carnivore lifestyle.