Collagen is a protein produced by the body to help with many essential roles in the body. Collagen is especially helpful in keeping your hair healthy and full.
As you age, however, the body’s ability to produce collagen on its own diminishes. That’s why you might find your hair loses its vibrancy with age. The body also can’t produce enough collagen if it doesn’t have enough nutrients to work with.
For your body to produce collagen to keep a full head of healthy hair, you need to make sure you give your body the right foods or collagen supplements.
There are a few sources that you can tap into that will help you do just that. We’re going to discuss which those are and how the body uses them for collagen production.
Animal Collagen Source
Animal collagen is the only form of collagen found in nature, and it is the most popular choice when it comes to choosing a collagen peptide to add to a product.
This collagen has a full amino acid profile, which are the building blocks of just about every part of our body, especially the muscles and connective tissues.
There are two primary sources of animal collagen—bovine collagen, which comes from cows, and marine collagen, from fish.
When you take bone broth or collagen peptides supplement derived from bovine, you give your body a nourishing boost of enzymes and ceramides that provide the human body with health and beauty benefits.
Bovine collagen powder improves the bone health of its users. It does this by strengthening bones, preventing bone loss, and even helps those who suffer from osteoarthritis.
Another noted benefit that collagen products deliver is an improvement in skin health. Collagen helps to retain skin elasticity and lock in skin moisture.
Another form of animal collagen is marine collagen. This collagen product comes from the scales of fish.
When compared to bovine collagen, its makeup contains different types of collagen. Bovine collagen includes types 1 and 3, while marine collagen contains mostly type 1.
Though marine collagen may be a more preferred choice for pescatarians because of the source, studies found that it can be toxic due to mercury and lead in fish scales.
Is There Such a Thing as Vegan Collagen?
Since there is no non-animal product of collagen, are vegans and vegetarians just out of luck when it comes to increasing their collagen production and having great hair?
The next best thing for vegetarians or vegans to use is not actual collagen but products that contain collagen-boosting ingredients. It won’t work as well as animal collagen, but it will still support collagen production in the human body.
Since vegans can’t take animal collagen products to aid their natural collagen production, there are specific precursors to collagen production that they can be sure to include in their plant-based collagen supplement regimen or diet.
Best Natural Plant Collagen Builders
As already stated, these plant-derived products aren’t collagen but act as precursors to collagen production in the body or provide many of the same benefits as collagen.
The more you can include in your daily intake, the better set up your natural collagen factory will be for increased production. The more collagen your body produces, the thicker and healthier your hair will be.
If you are vegan and want to take a supplement to help keep your hair full and strong, make sure biotin is an ingredient.
Other Benefits of Biotin
Biotin delivers more benefits than just a more beautiful head of hair. Biotin helps build healthy skin and nails. Biotin can smooth out fine lines and boost hydration in the skin to fight visible aging signs.
Biotin is a B vitamin, meaning that it helps your body convert the calories you eat into energy. This ability to convert food into energy will give you a more robust metabolism, which helps in keeping a healthy weight.
Biotin also helps people with diabetes lower their blood sugar by increasing their glucose tolerance.
You can take biotin to keep a healthy heart. Biotin fights against stroke, atherosclerosis, and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Lastly, biotin can fight against adrenal fatigue by keeping the thyroid working right.
Laminaria angustata is a vital type of kelp that helps grow your hair by strengthening the hair follicle’s outer root sheath.
Additionally, kelp is a great source of iodine and iron and is high in antioxidants, which are known to fight against cancer and disease-causing free radicals.
Laminaria angustata also inhibits the mutation of certain carcinogens known to cause breast and colon cancer.
This organic plant is beneficial for your hair because of its silica content. Silica is a trace element that reduces the fall rate of hair and acts as a collagen booster.
There are also many benefits of using bamboo in your skincare regimen. The silica in bamboo fights against acne. It also protects skin from the sun by acting as a booster to the skin barrier that blocks dirt and UV rays.
Silicon also strengthens your bones by increasing bone density and flexibility.
Collagen Boosting Foods
When it comes to your diet, many whole foods are non-GMO and superfoods that you should eat regularly. They provide an abundance of nutrients to the body to boost collagen production and provide overall wellness.
Foods high in vitamin C include tomatoes, red peppers, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes, kiwi, broccoli, and strawberries.
Due to their vitamin C content, these foods are able to turn proline into hydroxyproline, which is an essential part of collagen synthesis.
Vitamin E boosts vitamin C potency, so eating foods that are high in vitamin E can even further help with collagen production. Vitamin E also helps slow the breakdown of collagen in the skin and hair.
Foods rich in this vitamin include vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc is a mineral found in legumes, nuts, shellfish, and cheese. This mineral slows the breakdown of collagen in the body.
Another significant mineral to include in your diet to support a healthy head of hair is copper. Copper is in foods like oysters, whole grains, and dark leafy greens.
This mineral performs a vital role in synthesizing elastin and collagen by binding to a specific enzyme in the body.
Native to dry, hot climates, aloe vera is a succulent plant long considered medicinal. Its slimy insides have been used as a topical salve and administered orally for digestive issues.
Aloe vera also increases the amount of Type I collagen in the body to help maintain skin hydration and hair health.
Plant Collagen Builders
A complete plant-based collagen builder contains all three amino acids for collagen production. These three amino acids are glycine, proline, and lysine.
These foods all contain these three amino acids:
Soybeans are high in copper. This is a popular choice for vegans and vegetarians because they are versatile and high in many other vitamins and minerals.
Legumes contain both minerals that are considered helpful, if not necessary, for collagen production in the body. These two minerals are zinc and copper. Good choices of legumes to eat include lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
Seeds like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds are very beneficial for vegans due to their high zinc content.
Nuts also contain zinc and copper along with other vitamins like vitamin E to help promote healthy hair. Good nuts to choose from include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews.
Healthy Collagen Boosting Recipes
Now you know all the minerals and vitamins vegans need to boost collagen production in their body and the foods that contain those nutrients. All that is left is learning how to include these in your everyday diet.
Here are three different recipes that include a combination of these foods that are easy to make and delicious to eat:
Southwest Bean Salad
This salad is full of peppers, tomatoes and sprinkled with lime juice for a big boost of vitamin C. The beans provide zinc and copper, and the avocado contains vitamin E. One bowl of this delicious side can help you create healthy collagen in your body.
2 small diced tomatoes
1 large diced avocado
1 cup of diced green, red, and yellow peppers
½ onion, chopped
1 15 ounce can of black beans
2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!
You can add chopped chilies or jalapenos for a spicy version of this recipe. This salad is excellent as a dip for tortilla chips, on top of a cooked chicken breast, or even added to your regular green salad for a zest of flavor without the added fat or dressing.
Nut and Seed Bark
For a delicious treat when you have a sweet tooth, this bark is full of healthy nuts, seeds, and more! Keep a little tin of this chocolatey goodness hidden somewhere for yourself.
12 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1 cup of your choice of nuts and seeds
¼ cup of dried strawberries
Toast your nuts and seeds in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Roughly chop the nuts and dried strawberries on a cutting board. Spread chocolate in a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper until it's about a quarter of an inch thick.
Sprinkle the seeds, nuts, and dried fruit over the chocolate and press down gently. Let cool at room temperature or put in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Once the bark is completely cooled, pick up the parchment paper and let it fall onto the cookie sheet to break up the chocolate. Break the big pieces into smaller ones and place all pieces into a sealed container.
This bark can be different every time you make it. You can change up the nuts and seeds and even choose dried cranberries or cherries. Some like to sprinkle the top of the bark with sea salt.
Tofu Buddha Bowl
This Vietnamese inspired power bowl will fill you up with yummy food good for the hair and good for the tastebuds. Tofu, the main ingredient, is a soybeans product, one of the complete plant collagen builders listed above.
1 cup of cooked barley
1 cup of chopped leafy greens (kale, collards, swiss chard)
¼ cup of shredded carrots
½ cucumber sliced
16-ounce package of firm tofu, grilled and cubed
⅛ cup of chopped peanuts
6 sprigs of cilantro
½ lime, cut into wedges
Nuoc Cham (fish sauce dressing)
This recipe will feed two. Divide the barley into two bowls. Add half the veggies to each bowl arranged in an appetizing way. Top with tofu. Sprinkle with peanuts. Add three sprigs of cilantro and a slice of lime to each bowl. Serve with a ramekin of nuoc cham.
Boosting Collagen Production
There are many ways to boost the collagen production in your body to maintain a healthy head of hair. Certainly, you can improve your diet to include foods rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to promote collagen production.
It’s much easier to hairfind a collagen supplement that delivers all the right ingredients for the best head of hair you can have.
Our hair tonic contains bovine collagen, organic kelp, biotin, and bamboo, along with all the supporting minerals and vitamins your body must have in order to produce collagen.
If you are looking for an effective way to combat hair loss and improve your hair’s shine and resilience, our hair tonic is the answer.