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Collagen has created a major buzz in the beauty and wellness community! Its ability to promote overall wellness is super exciting. But, there’s just one problem… collagen supplements aren’t vegan.
The good news? We can boost our body’s ability to produce collagen using plant-based superfoods!
Firstly, what is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body! It’s one of the most important building blocks for healthy bones, hair, skin, nail, muscles and ligaments. Your body naturally produces collagen by combining two key amino acids — glycine and proline. As we age, our ability to produce collagen slows down. This is why our skin starts to wrinkle, sag, and lose elasticity.
Taking collagen can improve your skin health (reduce wrinkles and dryness), relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, strengthen your hair and nails, and improve gut health. So, it’s pretty clear why everyone is raving about collagen supplements!
Why aren't collagen supplements vegan?
But, we know what you’re thinking — collagen? Isn't that made from animals? Unfortunately, yes. Ingestible collagen, found in supplement form, mostly comes from the connective tissue of cows, pigs or fish. Yuck. That's definitely not for us!
Are there vegan and cruelty-free alternatives to collagen?
The good news is that we can naturally boost collagen production in our bodies using plant-based sources! By consuming vegan collagen-boosting foods and supplements, we can obtain all the benefits of animal-based collagen — without the cruelty.
Thankfully, your body is designed to make collagen on its own. Collagen is formed using Vitamin C, amino acids, polysaccharides, silica, zinc, and copper. So, if we give our bodies the appropriate building blocks to make collagen — we can effectively super-charge the body’s natural ability to produce collagen.
Genetically engineered vegan collagen
According to Healthline, researchers are working hard to genetically engineer vegan collagen using modified yeast and bacteria. When the human genes that are responsible for creating collagen in the body are added to the yeast/bacteria, it produces the building blocks of human collagen. Once Pepsin (a digestive enzyme) is added, we’re left with the exact structure of human collagen!
A US-based biodesign company, Geltor, has produced a world-first animal-free collagen called N-Collage. Due to the booming popularity of collagen supplements, Geltor hopes to develop ingestible collagen ingredients sometime in 2021. Exciting stuff!
Vegan Collagen Boosters — Powder or Supplements?
You’re probably wondering how to boost your own collagen-producing abilities. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Here at Flora & Fauna, we have a few different products that will optimise your collagen production and support skin/gut health — minus the nasties found in animal-derived collagen. If you want to uncover youthful, hydrated skin and promote overall wellness, take a look at our amazing vegan, cruelty-free and Australian-made products down below.
If you love your morning smoothie or açai bowls, this is definitely the product for you! Here at F&F, this is our go-to source of vegan collagen — mainly because it’s so easy to incorporate into your diet.
Edible Beauty’s collagen powder is designed to support healthy collagen production and gut wellbeing using Baobab Fruit Powder and Sea Buckthorn Berries. These two ingredients contain proline and glycine, which are essential amino acids for healthy collagen production. Kakadu Plum, another main ingredient, is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Folate and Lutein — all work in harmony to prevent premature ageing and boost skin suppleness, firmness and vibrance.
These collagen-boosting capsules are made with a natural wheat seed extract called Ceramosides, plus colloidal mineral silica, acerola berry and Vitamin C. These premium ingredients work together to help maintain skin health whilst supporting collagen production. Simply take 1 capsule per day with a glass of water. Easy!
These vegan collagen tablets help to reduce the risk of cell damage from free radicals. The unique formula offers 1000mg of Vitamin C, plus Proline and Glycine — all of which are essential for collagen formation and maintaining healthy skin. Its never been so easy to slow down the clock and rejuvenate your skin!
What we eat reflects in the overall appearance of our skin. Alongside a daily vegan collagen supplement, there are a few ways we can maximise our body’s potential to produce collagen.
Our best tip? Consume plenty of plant-based foods that contain all three amino acids that form collagen — glycine, lysine, and proline. You’ll also want to incorporate plenty of Vitamin C and Zinc into your diet.
Plant-based foods high in all three amino acids include:
Soy products: tempeh, tofu, and soy protein
Beans: black beans, kidney beans, and other legumes
Seeds: especially pumpkin, sunflower, and chia seeds
Nuts: pistachios, peanuts, and cashews
Things to avoid?
Excessive sun exposure: UV rays damage collagen in the dermis, which causes wrinkles.
Sugar and refined carbs: Sugary foods interfere with collagen’s ability to repair itself.
Smoking: Aside from causing wrinkles, smoking majorly slows down collagen production.
The future for vegan collagen supplements is really exciting. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all the latest developments!