Vegan Collagen: Everything You Need to Know
You may have heard of collagen before, but do you know about all the health benefits collagen has to offer?
If you aren’t familiar with collagen, it is one of the most abundant proteins found in our bodies. Collagen benefits many parts of our body from head to toe: our bones, skin, tendons, blood, teeth and more all contain collagen. There are at least 16 types of collagen found in our bodies, each with different roles pertaining to our bodily functions.
One of the most popular types of collagen, Type I, is responsible for 90% of your body’s total collagen composition. This type is made with densely packed fibres that help maintain your skin, bone, cartilage and more. Type II collagen can be found around our joints, and is composed of loosely packed fibres meant to cushion. Other types of collagen support various organs and functions.
Overall, collagen is responsible for the strength of our joints, bones and skin. It helps to keep everything flexible and elastic, while maintaining a youthful look. It allows your skin to stretch and move without sagging or wrinkling. But, our body only produces a limited amount of collagen.
As we get older, our bodies produce less and less collagen, causing weaker bones and cartilage, as well as looser skin. Because of the gradually diminished production of collagen in the body, it’s important to prioritize nutrition that helps to increase it.
Nutrition & Collagen
Collagen is widely impacted by our nutrition. What we eat can directly affect the amount of collagen our body produces. To help our bodies produce more higher quality collagen, we want to prioritize foods that contain the nutrients needed.
Collagen requires the amino acids proline and glycine to create procollagen. All collagen begins as procollagen, and needs the help of Vitamin C to convert to collagen. Because of this, it’s critical that we ensure we get enough Vitamin C, glycine and proline intake to be able to continue to produce high-quality collagen.
Vegan Sources of Collagen
Understanding the importance of getting these key nutrients in our daily diet, we want to ensure we are eating the right foods.
When following a vegan diet, there are plenty of food options available for you to get the necessary nutrients needed to produce collagen. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’re helping your body prolong your collagen production and maintain the health of your bones, skin, joints and other parts of your body. Here are some vegan options rich in Vitamin C, glycine and proline to promote collagen production:
Vitamin C can be found in a number of natural vegan foods. Most notably, peppers, kale, spinach and other leafy greens are a great source of Vitamin C. Fruits like strawberries, blackcurrants, mango, papaya and oranges are also high in Vitamin C.
Overall, most fruits and vegetables have some levels of the vitamin, but these fruits yield the highest amounts of Vitamin C. Beyond helping us to convert procollagen into collagen, Vitamin C provides a number of other health benefits: it helps our bodies to be able to heal from wounds and recover. Low Vitamin C levels can cause serious issues, the worst being scurvy, which leads to the breaking down of joints, swollen gums and overall loss of energy and onset of pain.
One of the critical amino acids in collagen production, glycine can be found in a number of vegan foods. Most notably, glycine is present in beans, nuts and seeds. These vegan foods are all particularly high in protein, and make for a great addition to any meal. They’re rich in other necessary vitamins and nutrients that contribute to a healthier body overall.
You can get more of the other important amino acids to collagen production, proline, through a number of vegan foods. The highest amounts of proline are found in asparagus, mushrooms, seaweed, cabbage, and various other vegetables. Neither amino acid is more important than the other, and you need both for collagen production, therefore you want to ensure you are getting both from your vegan meals.
Other vitamins and minerals, including copper and zinc, are critical to your body’s ability to produce quality collagen protein. Prioritizing vegetables, including broccoli, tomatoes and peppers, as well as whole grains like rice and corn will ensure you are getting enough of these nutrients for collagen productions.
If you find you are struggling to fit these varied foods into your diet, but want to still ensure you are producing enough collagen, you may want to look into collagen supplements. While this may seem easy enough, you’ll want to do your research before you move forward with a collagen product.
While you are looking for the right collagen supplement for you, you will want to research the company that is providing the product to ensure they are reputable. From here, you can check to confirm that their collagen supplements are completely vegan, and do not include any dangerous active ingredients.
Getting Collagen with Vegan Meals
Sometimes, it can be difficult to fit all the various sources of vitamins and nutrients necessary to producing collagen in your body. As we get older, our bodies have more and more difficulty producing collagen naturally, so we want to do everything we can to support this process.
Japanese Vegan Town has vegan meals and ingredients that are filled with the natural foods rich in Vitamin C, glycine and proline to promote increased collagen production. All of Japanese Vegan Town’s products are made with completely vegan ingredients, and are non-GMO, with no MSG or refined sugar. Our products are good, and good for you: they help you to maintain the recommended amount of healthy nutrients to keep you healthy and satisfied. You can find the right vegan choices to help prolong your body’s collagen production, helping you keep healthier bones, joints and skin for years to come. Here are the top 5 foods that help you to produce collagen.
- Organic Cereal Bar (Original) 25g
- Organic Cereal Bar (Cacao) 25g
- Organic Cereal Bar (Golden Berry) 25g
- Instant Wakame Seaweed Soup 7 servings
Japanese Vegetable Curry with Mushroom (Medium Spicy) 210g