You may be familiar with the benefits of collagen for strong and beautiful skin, hair and nails – as well as healthy muscle growth. But did you know that collagen can also support the gut?
As the foundation of many essential connective tissues, collagen is an important and abundant protein with many roles to play within the body.
Here we share more on the ways collagen can help to heal and repair the gut for better digestive health, alongside tips and tricks for ensuring a nourishing collagen intake to enjoy its full benefits.
What is collagen?
Collagen is an essential protective protein found in many different parts of the body – most commonly in connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. It’s often described as the ‘building blocks’ for these essential internal components as well as our outer protection, the skin. Collagen provides a strong structure which keeps our internal organs and tissues in the body well-functioning and safe.
How collagen supports gut health
Collagen is good for the gut because the gut lining is comprised almost entirely of collagen. This means that in healthy individuals and in the case of people struggling with conditions such as leaky gut (more on this below), collagen can help to actively repair and restore gut function and manage symptoms such as digestive discomfort, low energy and bloating.
On top of this, an abundance of complex amino acids found in collagen like glutamine help to benefit both the intestinal tract and the stomach lining.
Collagen also helps to reduce and manage inflammation in the gut, preventing flare-ups of IBS and the incidence of digestive issues and food sensitivities.
Through consuming collagen on a regular basis, the gut can self-repair and rebuild stronger to protect against further damage.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Once thought of as an unfounded theory, but now recognized by leading gastroenterologists, Leaky Gut Syndrome is the term given to describe ‘heightened intestinal permeability’ – meaning the barrier lining of the gut is impaired. This allows toxins from waste products to enter the blood stream, triggering an inflammatory response and playing a leading role in the severity and development of certain gastrointestinal diseases and autoimmune diseases like Celiac and conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Collagen intake is thought to alleviate leaky gut as it actively helps to repair the lining of the gut and strengthen the gut barrier, reducing inflammation and toxicity.
Choosing a collagen supplement
Not all collagen is created equal – and sourcing it carefully is key in order to experience the benefits it can bring at their fullest. Good nutritional sources of collagen include bone broth, bone marrow, offal and fish.
Many people choose to add collagen to their diet via a supplement, but this does require some thought in terms of quality but also your individual dietary requirements. Different supplements have different formats and properties in terms of efficacy and how easily they are absorbed. The best kind of animal-derived collagen comes from grass-fed, organic beef – the most effective marine collagen can be found from responsibly sourced from cold water fish. If you’re vegan there currently aren’t any plant-based sources of complete collagen available, but ingredients such as vitamin C and green tea have been shown to stimulate the body’s own production of collagen.
Our revolutionary Belly Fix blend contains an array of gut-loving ingredients to help get your digestion back on track and relieve the discomfort of bloating, constipation and cramps. Alongside coconut MCT and l-Glutamine, we use premium grade Bovine collagen peptides to help heal and strengthen the gut lining.
Gut Goodness Collagen Smoothie
This smoothie recipe is a savior for anyone suffering digestive discomfort. Featuring a handful of powerful antioxidants and our Belly Fix blend, this smoothie is a great way to start the day and show your gut some love. Drink daily or as needed to soothe and protect.
1 cup pineapple
2 tablespoons frozen avocado chunks
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
¼ cup fresh parsley (frozen is fine)
½ Large Banana (less ripe is best)
1 tsp Belly Fix
½ cup Coconut water + ½ cup filtered water (or 1 cup filtered water)
Add all ingredients to a blender together and whizz up until smooth. Enjoy right away!