There are various types of collagen in your body that each perform different functions. Some directly affect your skin while others act as important mechanisms for your nerves, blood flow, and joints.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the collagen family, functions, benefits and the natural food sources that help get higher collagen levels in your body.
Let’s talk collagen.
For starters, let’s first get to know how we can get the most out of the collagen we consume:
- Your body can absorb smaller size collagen such as peptide more quickly and therefore able to utilize it more efficiently.
- Efficiency is increased when taking collagen supplements that already contain vitamin c or when taking collagen and vitamin c at the same time.
- Take collagen when you have an empty stomach to maximize the benefits
What’s Better between Collagen Power and Collagen Tablets?
Collagens are not difficult to find at all. In fact, you can obtain different types of collagen from your daily diet. A few examples are oysters, green leafs, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, cartilage and tomatoes.
Just like many other nutrients, a large amount of collagen needs to be consumed to be enough for the body. Hence, ready made collagen and supplements have been formulated to provide the body with collagen.
Each type of collagen has its own benefits and drawbacks that also depends partly on what you like and don’t like. Let’s have a look:
Collagen Powder can be easily mixed into drinks. However, you may need to evaluate the taste and smell. Some collagen powder comes with a fishy smell and unremarkable taste.
Nowadays, brands are tackling this problem with easy to drink and flavored collagen powder. Drinking collagen powder with fruit juice increases the collagen efficiency too!
Easy to carry around and to be swallowed as it does not have a strong taste or smell. However, absorption may happen slower than collagen powder. This is one of the main reasons why collagen powder is more popular.
Collagens are available in both forms. Collagen supplements can also be found in vegetables, fruits and proteins. In short, collagen is what makes our skin elastic, youthful and strong. There are at least 16 different types of collagen, but the most common types are 1,2,3,4,5 and 10.
Collagen Type 1
The highest type of collagen in the body that makes up to 90% of the body’s collagen. It can be found in the dermis, ligaments and fascia. Collagen type 1 is a key building block for maintaining elasticity and firmness skin and mostly known for its anti-aging properties.
As we grow older, this type of collagen will be synthesized instead of type 3 collagen.
Best Sources for Collagen Type 1
Marine collagen (fish collagen) is a source of type 1 collagen. It’s classified as the best collagen from animals as it is abundant and is easy to absorb due to smaller molecules.T
he most concentrated area of collagen type 1 is fish skin that can also be extracted from fish scales, fins and bones. Other sources of collagen type 1 are egg whites, bovine collagen peptides, protein-rich foods, like fish and beef and bone broth.
Benefits of Type 1 Collagen
- Increases strength and flexibility to various organs
- Helps increase skin elasticity
- Heal Wounds
- Protects Tissues from tearing
Collagen type 1 is mostly produced when you are young. Hence, supplements are recommended as you grow older as the production of collagen type 1 declines.
Collagen Type 2
Collagen type 2 plays a critical part in keeping the skin healthy and is also known for promoting joint health.
Collagen type 2 is known for creating new cells to help effectively reduce joint pain and allow the body to move comfortably. Studies have found that collagen type 2 can survive the digestive system more often than the other types of collagen.
Best Sources for Collagen Type 2
Primarily found in animal bones and cartilage especially chicken. Bone broth is the food richest in type 2 collagen.
Benefits of Collagen Type 2
- Helps increase the level of hyaluronic acid which makes up the synovial fluid necessary to lubricate joints.
- Prevents degeneration of joints
- Reduce Joint Pains
Collagen Type 3
This collagen is found in small amounts in blood vessels. It often binds with type 1 collagen and creates blood vessels and tissues within the heart.
Collagen type 3 is understood to assist the synthesis of blood platelets. In severe cases, type 3 collagen deficiency may rupture a blood vessel.
Best Sources for Collagen Type 3
Although found in smaller amounts, collagen type 3 is an important factor against premature aging. Vitamin and hyaluronic acid are both important sources that stimulate the formulation of collagen type 3.
Hence, a natural way to increase collagen type 3 is by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin c such as red bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, cauliflower, oranges, red grapes, lemons and kiwis.
Benefits of Collagen Type 3
- Provides the best flexibility for the skin
- Helps the skin to look soft and smooth
- Facilitate in the synthesis of blood platelets
- Enhance exercise performance
As we grow older, the production of collagen type 3 gradually decreases.
However, don’t worry too much because your body will still continue to produce collagen type 1 to help your skin keep its smoothness, firmness and healthiness as you age.
You may take collagen type 3 supplements for additional skincare benefits.
Collagen Type 4
This less common type of collagen is primarily found in the membranes and walls that surround organs, muscles and fats.
Alongside with aiding in the filtration of the kidneys and other organs, collagen type 4 is also necessary for the functioning of the nervous system and blood vessels as well.
Best Sources for Collagen Type 4
Protein-rich foods such as eggs and beans help with stimulating the production of collagen type 4 as well as new skin cells.
Carrots are great as they don’t only increase collagen production in the body but also contain vitamin A that is essential for regulating blood flow and preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin of the skin.
Benefits of Collagen Type 4
Collagen type 4 is an important part of the nervous system and blood vessels for the following reasons:
- Helps increase efficiency of the circulatory system, especially small blood vessels
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Helps inhibit melanin production resulting in a clearer and brighter skin
Collagen Type 5
Collagen type 5 is a fiber-like collagen found in layers of skin, hair and most importantly the tissue of placenta. It is less abundant in the body and less common in supplements.
Best Sources for Collagen Type 5
- Multi-collagen protein powder
- Protein-rich foods, like egg whites
Benefits of Type 5 Collagen
- Helps form bones
- Component of hair structure
- Crucial protein to neonatal development
- Deficiency of type 5 collagen has been associated with decreased vision and overall eye health.
If you are trying to decide between different types of collagen, we hope that this article has helped you.
As we have seen, collagen can also be found in natural food such as animal tendons, cartilage, beef, pork, salmon, green vegetables and fruits. If you are already taking collagen supplements, we recommend also drinking plenty of water to help collagen to absorb.
In addition to stocking up your greens and fruits, you can also take vitamin c supplements to boost and maintain your vitamin c level and get the full benefits of your collagen.