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This amazing article was written by Nicole, a holistic nutritionist with a strong belief that it is possible for everyone to discover how good their body is designed to feel. Nicole works in partnership with her clients to achieve a lifestyle that is both balanced, fulfilling and nourishing. Go check out her fantastic blog with healthy recipes, or follow her on Facebook!

When I start ranting and raving about bone broth, more often than not, people squinch up their noses and give off some pretty strong ‘I’m grossed out’ vibes.

I’m here to change that – because the healing benefits of animal ‘remains’ are so powerful, just ask Grandma. She’s been on the bone broth game for years.

During the cold winter months, bone broth makes a great base for your healing soups and stews – it is also quite satisfying to enjoy straight from a mug. A superstar in building a strong immune system, and it keeps your spirits high by providing some nutritive comfort during those long Canadian winters (my home and native land).

Once you start on the bone broth game, your love for it should never go away – especially once you start feeling AND seeing the benefits – but sitting down to a steaming bowl of stew or a warm cup of broth, mid-July, isn’t exactly the most suited – or better yet – a likely craving during the summer season.

Fortunately for us (yay!), collagen and gelatin powders and are a thing, and they are a way to get in some of those BB benefits for immunity, decreasing inflammation, hormone balancing, gut healing and joint health – plus you’ll be ‘into it’ year-round!

It’s common for some confusion to come up when we get into collagen and gelatin talk. What’s the difference?

Here’s the scoop – collagen and gelatin are essentially the same, they have a mirrored amino acid and protein content profile – what makes them different is how they are to be used and how they are digested.

Gelatin is essentially ‘cooked collagen’. When making bone broth you are extracting the collagen protein – you can see it’s gel-like characteristics when your homemade broth cools. Gelatin powder is really just dried collagen. You can use gelatin powder to make gut-healing gummies, cookies, gelatin-based desserts or jello. You’ve got to have a game plan when using gelatin, as pure gelatin powder will only dissolve in hot water and it will always create that gummy and gel-like consistency. For someone who doesn’t have strong digestion, gelatin is not the best-suited option, as it can be troublesome to digest.

Collagen powders – which go by the name of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate are processed in a different way. The collagen is heated to a higher temperature and is then treated with enzymes – which breaks the bonds between amino acids. Collagen powders may be more easily broken down in the body, when compared to gelatin, and is better for those with weaker or stressed digestion. Collagen powder can also dissolve in both cold and hot water and it does not create a gel-like consistency. Scoring a 10/10 in my books for usability: the fact that you can add it to almost anything without introducing a new taste or texture makes this an easy to use the product with so much positive potential.

I invested in some the Upgraded Collagen Powder from Bulletproof and added it to my daily routine and this is what happened:

Glowing Skin

As we age our collagen levels enter a downfall, which results in us slowly losing the elasticity in our skin – ok, ok, advice from a baby – I was born in 93′ and gravity is still mostly on my side, but what’s important is after just one month of including my 2-4 tbsp of collagen in my routine – my skin is noticeably healthier! Collagen might already be an ingredient in your skin care products, but topical absorption for collagen is poor – when you use collagen internally, this protein works to significantly repair and improve your skin elasticity and appearance. It brings back the youthfulness, and is also beneficial for reducing cellulite and stretch marks! (Read here on the benefits of dry brushing for cellulite too!).

Hair Game Thick

I’ve always had relativity thick hair, except for when I went raw vegan, which was, unfortunately, a horror story for my body – my was hair thinning at a rapid rate. While my lifestyle is still ‘plant based’, I no longer exclude high-quality, sustainable and pasture-raised animal products – I practice my balance and moderation always listen to my body. I didn’t know the effects of taking collagen were real until my friends, colleagues and hair stylist started making comments – asking what I was doing differently. I wasn’t just ‘seeing things’ – my hair is so much stronger, has a natural shine, less breakage and a fraction of the shedding.

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Nails “On Fleek”

I’ve always maintained short nails for a simple reason; when I grow them out they break, split, bend and peel so easily. Not the case anymore. This was probably the first benefit I spotted when adding collagen to my routine – while filing down my nails isn’t my favorite past-time, I’m so grateful for my improved nail health.

Better Digestion

Beauty benefits are grand, but what makes me most excited about collagen isn’t the skin, hair or nail benefits. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Since adding collagen to my routine my digestion has noticeably improved. Collagen works to repair and heal the gut lining, a powerful addition to a Leaky Gut Healing Protocol. Stress is personally my biggest downfall and it plays the largest factor on my digestion, I can eat a steamed green bean and get bloated if I’m stressed out (digestion is not a prioritized function when you’re in fight-or-flight mode). While I definitely take my time to Recharge, since adding collagen to my routine my digestion has been the best it’s ever been. I’ve even noticed a decrease in digestive inflammation which hasn’t resulted so much in weight loss (maybe 5 lbs), but more going down in clothing sizes!

New Gym Partner

When you go on a longer distance run or for a weight lifting sesh, you are putting tremendous strain on the body – which naturally causes inflammation. Good inflammation, but the kind that leaves you with the ‘two days after leg day’ pain. Collagen works to promote a healthy inflammatory response by speeding up the repair of your damaged connective tissues. Adding just 2 tablespoons of collagen powder to my water, Bulletproof Coffee or herbal tea has been my pre-workout go-to and it has noticeably decreased my recovery time on harder training days. Collagen also works to build the cushion in your joints, so it is excellent if you feel stiffness or pain when you move.

I’ll admit it, I often forget to take my probiotics because they’re in the fridge, and my herbal tinctures which don’t all taste the best (sorry guys) – but collagen is something I keep up with because of how easy it is to use. I keep a bag in my workspace and a second in my kitchen. A good quality collagen powder such as the Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen will dissolve like cotton candy in water, whether it be hot or cold. There is no taste and no texture it’s also an easy way to add some more protein (8g in 1 tbsp).

Experience the benefits for yourself. Upgrade your day and add some collagen to your routine!

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Holisticole
Holistic Nutritionist
Nicole Eckert, Holistic Nutritionist at Holisticole. Nicole Eckert is a Holistic Nutritionist and the founder + owner of Holisticole. Powered by her passion, it's Nicole's intention to share her abundance of holistic knowledge & inspire YOU to become the best version of yourself. On her healthy living blog, you can find informative blog posts, online programs and whole-food recipes. You can follow Holisticole’s daily adventures on Facebook & Instagram (@holisticole) and get inspired at holisticole.com.