The Benefits of Collagen, According To A Qualified Nutritionist & Lifestyle Coach
Posted March 2023
Can you introduce yourself and your fields of expertise?
Hey there, my name is Charity King, I am a qualified Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach and the founder of Freshwater Nutrition.
At Freshwater Nutrition I help my clients find their own unique balance between healthy and happy as we work towards goals, foster healthy relationships with food and gain the knowledge and tools along the way to easily maintain results longterm.
While I work with a variety of individuals and households, my main areas of expertise are digestive health and gut healing, sports nutrition as well as curating healthy habits.
Everyone is welcome at Freshwater Nutrition and I support my diverse range of clients online and in-person through nutrition consultations and programs that include tailored, science-backed advice, hands-on lessons, delicious meal plans and custom recipes.
You can learn more on my website freshwaternutrition.com and on instagram @freshwaternutrition
Why does collagen play an important role in a happy and healthy gut?
I call our gut the first brain because it impacts our entire body beyond just digesting delicious food! Our gut sends signals to our other brain (the one in our head) allowing us to process information and emotions in addition to regulating our hormones, physical energy, skin health and overall wellbeing.
Consider collagen brain food for your gut!
Our body tissues are made up of mostly protein, with collagen being the most abundant! In particular, collagen is a key component of your intestinal lining and supports our Thyroid and Vagus Nerve to facilitate digestive functions, including metabolism, muscle contraction in the digestive tract and even body composition.
Collagen supplements serve as a fantastic lean protein source to support a healthy metabolism and feelings of satiety. As well, intake of dietary Collagen like that from The Collagen Co plays an integral role in rebuilding and strengthening the lining of our digestive tract as it contains amino acids, particularly glycine and glutamine, that serve as the gut’s building blocks.
When you have a strong, collagen-rich gut barrier you are better able to get energy and nutrients from your food and are more protected from harmful pathogens and allergens. A compromised, unsupported gut barrier can leak endotoxins that would ordinarily be processed and eliminated from the body into the bloodstream, triggering our immune system and leaving you feeling chronically fatigued and more susceptible to diseases, infection and inflammation which can prevent your body from functioning at its optimal levels. Thankfully collagen comes in to support us, helping us thrive not just survive from the inside out.
Pairing a hydrolysed collagen supplementation with a healthy diet is key. What are some other foods you suggest for a healthy gut?
While hydrolysed collagen and collagen containing products like bone broth are my number one for building a strong, healthy gut, my next gut-loving food suggestion would be to eat a colourful variety fruits and vegetables.
Food diversity is key for good gut health. The trillions of microorganisms in our gut that help you utilise nutrients in food and regulate our hormones and mood thrive on a varied, colourful mostly plant-based diet. Each strain of microbe has a different diet, and if we continuously eat the same things and lack variety we can end up over and under feeding certain species. This can lead to a gut microbiome imbalance that can negatively affect our metabolism, immune system and energy.
This imbalance can even result in inconvenient and sometimes life-altering symptoms like bloating, gas, indigestion, skin issues, poor bowel movements, stomach pain and unwanted weight gain or loss.
Studies show the best way to feed our little microbes and support our gut health is by enjoying 30 different plant foods per week. Veggies, herbs, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes serve as fuel or prebiotics that feed our gut microbiome so that each species can do its job to help us thrive!
This can easily done even in one day.
Breakfast: Collagen smoothie made with chia seeds, a 3 berry mix, spinach and zucchini.
Morning Tea: Cup of green tea, apple slices with almond butter and cinnamon
Lunch: Mixed greens salad with beans, roasted sweet potato, salmon or tofu and avocado
Afternoon Snack: Cut veggies with hummus dip
Dinner: Thai curry made with 6 different veggies, edamame, topped with fresh herbs and chopped cashews. (use bone broth in this for even more gut supporting nutrition!)
Did The Collagen Co help your skin, hair or health concerns? If so, how?
The Collagen Co was my number one helper when I was dealing with my own personal gut, skin and health concerns. In 2019 I moved countries and with that came unique stresses, pressures and an altered diet. Not long after my move, I began to experience allergic reactions leading to extreme bouts of eczema and chronic rashes covering majority of my body from scalp to legs. I was suffering from extreme IBS like symptoms and could barely eat anything without an adverse reaction.
After many tests, trials, specialist visits and a bland diet I could no longer stomach, I was diagnosed with leaky gut and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) - this was all linked to these stresses and new environmental factors. It was one of the most challenging and darkest times in my life. I felt trapped in a body that did not look or feel like my own and was so happy to finally get a diagnosis so I could begin to treat and heal my gut.
I began following a gut healing protocol and nutrition plan with The Collagen Co hydrolysed collagen powder as my go to. Having it 1-2 times a day over the course of 3 months assisted in building up and protecting my gut barrier while I was eliminating high levels of bad bacteria and re-populating with healthy levels.
The Collagen Co helped sooth and repair my damaged skin and also aided in my hair regrowth after subsequent hair loss. I went from looking like I was healing from burns to having glowing, hydrated skin; from dry, broken hair and bald patches to getting my locks back to their original wavy, long thickness. It was an overwhelming and emotional journey and I am so grateful to have my health where it is today. I continue to have collagen daily and know it plays a big part in maintaining my health. Collagen is still a part of my daily routine and has helped me maintain my health ever since.
When and how do you take your collagen?
Collagen is best absorbed when it’s not competing with other proteins, so I take my collagen separate from other protein-rich meals and snacks.
For example, on a typical day I will have a collagen-based smoothie for breakfast after a morning walk or gym session. Next, I will enjoy a tablespoon of collagen in my morning coffee - The Collagen Co unflavoured powder dissolves perfectly and is the best nutritious mid-morning pick me up.
Some days if I did not have my collagen earlier, I will enjoy a serving of flavoured collagen in a crisp, cold glass of water as an afternoon refresher. I have even added collagen powder into my main meal recipes like in pasta sauces or soups. Lately I have been loving adding collagen into my homemade bliss balls for a protein-rich, healthier, sweet treat. Collagen peptides are so versatile to use at any time of day, making it easy to get the right amount for anyone’s unique needs."
Can you share your collagen smoothie bowl recipe?
This is my morning or post workout go-to! It’s refreshing, satisfying and gets me through my busy days in a healthy, delicious gut loving way. It’s also a simple way to get in collagen as your lean protein source, healthy fats and those important colourful variety of fruits and veggies in one meal. You won’t even taste the veggies - trust me. The frozen zucchini is a nutritionist secret to getting in more vegetables and makes any smoothie or bowl recipe extra creamy!
Collagen Glow Smoothie Bowl
- 3/4 cup frozen berries
- 1/2 medium frozen zucchini
- 2 cubes of frozen spinach
- 2 scoops of The Collagen Co Unflavoured Premium Collagen Peptides
- 2 Tb rolled oats
- 1 Tb almond butter
- 1/4-1/3 cup of coconut water
- Ice (as needed to thicken)
- Handful of mixed berries or chopped fruit- fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 Tb shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup natural low-sugar granola or muesli
- Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
- Add any additional ice to thicken or liquid to thin until reaching your desired consistency- this should be thicker than your average smoothie you drink with a straw
- After blending, use a spatula to help you spoon your smoothie into a bowl
- Decorate with your delicious toppings in a design that makes you smile- dig in!