Collagen: A Gut-Supportive Superfood - Culinary Therapy

Collagen: A Gut-Supportive Superfood

It’s chilly here in the Northeast, my favorite time of year to cozy up with a good book and a warm bowl of soup.

The thought of soup reminds me of my great-grandmother-in-law who turned ninety years old last week. Her secret to longevity: a daily bowl of vegetable soup for lunch. She prepares a large batch on Sunday that lasts her the week.

Soup is amazing because it’s easy to make using practically any vegetable you have in the fridge. It can be batch prepared, saving both time and money in meals each week.

But what I love most about soup is that it’s warming, comforting and nutrient-dense. I’m always looking to get more veggies into my diet, and soup is always an answer.

Here’s my family recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup. Pay particular attention to the ingredient list and you’ll see the addition of collagen powder, my new favorite superfood.

Collagen is a protein found naturally in the body. Likely, you’ve heard of its use in skincare creams. It gives strength, elasticity and glow to your “outer” skin. It’s also great for your “inner” skin, the lining of your gut, and a great addition to any gut-healing protocol. Here’s why…

The many health benefits of collagen include:

  • Healing to the gut (and leaky gut, in particular)
  • Boosts immunity, for fewer winter colds and flus
  • Boosts energy
  • Great for glowing skin, combats the signs of aging
  • Promotes shiny hair and strong nails
  • Great for joint and bone health
  • Supports healthy sleep patterns
  • Promotes better brain functioning

Buying and storing collagen:

Collagen can be found naturally in bone broth. Or if cooking bone broth is not your thing, you can supplement with it. Just make sure the source is good – grass fed cows raised without hormones or antibiotics.

The brand I recommend and personally use with my family is Great Lakes Collagen. It is pure collagen (no other ingredients) and comes in two types: the green can (non-gelling) or the red can (gelling). Gelling is great for jello or other desserts, while the non-gelling collagen is more optimal in drinks, smoothies and soups. I like to add the “green” collagen to our morning oatmeal.

If you like protein powder, another great option is the Pure Paleo Protein Powder which contains collagen in its ingredient list. Lately, I’ve been loving this in my smoothies!

Quick serving ideas:

    • To get the benefits of collagen naturally, prepare a homemade Chicken Soup or bone broth
    • Add 1 tbsp to your favorite smoothie
    • Add it to your lunch soup, or try my Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup
    • Create a bedtime tea elixir: combine 1 cup of chamomile tea, 1/8 cup coconut milk and 1 tbsp collagen powder; blend until frothy

This week’s Simple Action Step:
Collagen is incredibly health supportive and a great addition to your healthy diet. Prepare your own chicken soup this week or choose your favorite form of supplemental collagen and give it a try. Let me know what you think!

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