A guide to Vegan Collagen – what it is and why you need it in your daily routine
Collagen supplements are becoming must-have products in our “inner beauty regimes” and for good reason! As you may have found on your search for the perfect collagen supplement, collagen is not vegan and tends to be derived from the hides of cows or fish scales. This type of collagen needs to be heavily processed or ‘hydrolysed” in order for our bodies to absorb it.
Whilst “vegan collagen supplements” are not the equivalent to animal-derived collagen in terms of function, they are just as effective and as a bonus, are “cruelty-free”.
Vegan collagen is called “collagen” as it is focused on providing your body with what it needs to support its own collagen production. The Edible Beauty philosophy to collagen is centred on providing a plant-based solution to collagen production. So, why consume animal-derived collagen when your body is designed to generate its own?
What is collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein (or building blocks) of connective tissues (such as skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments) and occurs naturally in our bodies. It is the most abundant protein in the body and accounts for 1/3 of the protein in humans!
Collagen is responsible for the health of our hair, skin and nails, bones and joints, connective tissues, muscles, and gut.
There are many different types of collagen, the main ones being ‘Type 1’, ‘Type 2’ and ‘Type 3’.
Type 1 Collagen – is a key building block of our skin, teeth, bones, ligaments and tendons.
Type 2 Collagen - is responsible for giving strength to cartilage and the eyes.
Type 3 Collagen – is mostly found in the intestinal walls, muscles and blood vessels, and is crucial for cardiovascular development.
What are the benefits of collagen supplements?
As we age, our collagen levels naturally decrease. This is a result of the natural ageing process, and other lifestyle and environmental factors such as sugar and refined carbs, smoking and exposure to UV radiation. This leads to wrinkles and fine lines, achy joints, fine hair and brittle nails, and weakened muscles and bones. Taking collagen supplements can help to lessen and prevent the depletion of collagen.
The main benefits of a collagen supplement include:
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Increase skin elasticity
- Increase hydration of skin and hair
- Protection against free radical damage
- Strengthens hair and nails
- Promotes hair and nail growth
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved gut health
- Supported wound healing
- Tissue repair and tissue building
A vegan alternative to collagen supplements
There are very sophisticated and natural plant-based alternatives that will support collagen synthesis and prevent collagen depletion. Whilst these supplements are not collagen per se, they do support the body in producing collagen. Furthermore, they are not heavily processed like their animal derived counterparts AND research shows that they work just as well in supporting beautiful and healthy hair, skin and nails.
Building healthy collagen is all about providing your body with the right building blocks, and preventing the breakdown of the bodies existing collagen. Below are the essential vitamins, minerals and ingredients you should be feeding your body to achieve healthy collagen.
Vitamin C – is an essential building block for collagen production, and without it collagen production is disrupted. As collagen begins to breakdown in the body, without adequate levels of Vitamin C, the depleted stores cannot be replaced. Deficiencies in Vitamin C have been shown to lead to poor wound healing, thickening and fragility of the skin and subcutaneous bleeding.
Our bodies do not naturally produce Vitamin C, so it’s important to provide our body with enough of it through our diet.
The Kakadu Plum is the worlds’ highest natural source of Vitamin C and can be found in our Native Plant-Based Collagen Powder. Other plant-based sources of Vitamin C include Acerola, Guavas, Blackcurrants, Thyme, Kale and Broccoli.
Vitamin A – Carotenoids (or beta-carotene) is a precursor to Vitamin A. The body converts these carotenoids to Vitamin A, a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals to prevent collagen breakdown and visible signs of ageing. Carotenoids also support the skins membrane structure and function.
Foods rich in carotenoids include carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli and mango.
Amino Acids – are the building blocks of all proteins, and are essential for collagen synthesis in the body. Plant-based sources of amino acids include whole grains, legumes, brown rice and pea proteins. Baobab and Sea Buckthorn contain the amino acids proline and glycine, which are essential for healthy collagen production. These botanicals can be found in our Native Collagen Powder.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants including flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins act as free radical scavengers and prevent the breakdown of collagen from both internal and external factors.
Eating a rainbow diet full of veggies, fruits and herbs will help you get a variety of antioxidants. Macqui Berry, Hibiscus and Mountain Pepper Berry are great sources of the unique antioxidant anthocyanins and can be found in our Native Collagen Powder.
Aloe Vera - Aloe Vera is not only great for nourishing and soothing the skin topically, it can also promote healthy hair, skin and nails, and support collagen growth when taken internally. Aloe Vera contains polysaccharides, which assist in healthy collagen formation. It also increases the bio-availability of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and E.
Silica – Silica assists in the formation of collagen and can assist in boosting the resilience and appearance of hair, skin and nails. It behaves a bit like the “glue” which holds our collagen together. Studies have shown that Silica can help your heart and immune system, lower cholesterol levels, improve inflammation and can lubricate joints.
Silica can be found in whole grains (such as rice and oats), bananas, leafy greens, onions and potatoes.
Our & Beauty Dew – Hair, Skin & Nail Support, contains a highly bio-available form of Silica, Orthosilic Acid. This is designed to assist with collagen production to strengthen the nails and revitalise and brighten the hair and skin.
Native Plant-Based Collagen Powder
The Edible Beauty Native Plant-Based Collagen Powder contains a blend of 100% vegan ingredients, including Australian natives and antioxidant-rich fruits. This high-quality, plant-based collagen supplement is designed to support healthy collagen production and help to protect the skin against youth depleting free radical damage.
Our vegan collagen booster contains all of the key collagen building blocks mentioned above, and is 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan, caffeine-free, suitable during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
Beauty Dew – Hair, Skin & Nail Support
The Beauty Dew elixir is designed to encourage collagen production for healthy hair, skin and nails. It has also been formulated with ActrisaveTM – a combination of Black Rice and Prickly Pear, that combats acne, hair loss and skin disorders associated with hormone imbalances. Beauty Dew also provides the body with Silica, Zinc, Iron, and Vitamins C & B.
The result is healthy collagen production, strengthened connective tissues, firmness and elasticity of the skin, and strengthened hair and nails.