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How do Vegans get Collagen?
One of the most frequent questions I get asked numerous times by people who want to convert to the vegan lifestyle or those already vegan is, “how do vegans get collagen?” There are several ways to get collagen. The best for me would be collagen from plants. Not a lot of people know the best plant sources of collagen, which we will tackle later. So many plants have collagen in them and other beneficial nutrients, proteins, and minerals. From my experience, out of all the plant sources of collagen, perhaps the best one would be seaweed.
Collagen is such an amazing antioxidant with plenty of benefits to our body. It is a must to have it in our diet. However, some might say that being vegan will limit your source of Collagen – which is not the case. There are numerous plant sources of Collagen, which we will talk about later. However, I will be focusing more on seaweeds.
If you are interested in getting Collagen from plants and becoming healthier, please keep reading.
What is Collagen?
Some of us might not know this, but Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in our body. It connects tissues together and is one of the major components of tendons, cartilage, bone, skin, and muscles. It also has other important work throughout the body.
Collagen helps maintain healthy joints and maintain skin elasticity. It is one of the most important proteins in our body that maintains our faces’ youthful looks and helps us with our movements. However, as we grow older, Collagen is less produced, and the Collagen we have already gets broken down much easier.
Benefits of Collagen:
There are numerous benefits to having a healthy dose of Collagen in our bodies. Research has shown that there are a lot of benefits, but there are also no disadvantages. Here are some of the benefits proven by science that will surely make you want to include Collagen in your daily meals.
1. Reduction of joint pain
As discussed earlier, one of the main functions of Collagen in our body is that it is one of the major components of cartilages found in our bodies. But as we grow older, our body cannot produce Collagen as fast as our body needs it to be. That is why taking in Collagen will help your body maintain healthy cartilages and help protect your joints.
An analysis of five studies involving over 500 individuals with osteoarthritis revealed that consuming approximately 10 grams of Collagen daily for an average of 24 weeks improved joint stiffness and self-reported joint pain significantly.
So, if you are suffering from joint pain, then a healthy dose of Collagen may help you tremendously.
2. Collagen helps maintain healthier skin
By taking in more Collagen, our skin will become healthier by maintaining a more hydrated glow for a longer period. People taking in collagen have shown better skin hydration, bounciness, roughness, and thickness.
3. May increase metabolism
Glycine, an amino acid found in Collagen, helps convert glucose into energy in our body, thus increasing lean muscles. You can burn more calories even while resting with more lean muscles. Who doesn’t want to burn off calories even without doing much work?
4. May help prevent bone loss
As the most prominent protein in our bodies, Collagen makes up a large portion of our bones and can tremendously aid in keeping our bones strong.
One fact of life is that when we get old, our bones tend to get weaker, and our body can’t produce the same level of collagen as before. That is why we need to make up for the lack of collagen. One way to do this is by taking in collagen orally.
5. Effective in wound healing
Collagen does wonder with the skin. It makes your skin look and feels healthier, and it can also help heal wounds. Since collagen is essential to scar formation, people who eat or take collagen in their bodies experience faster and less scar-leaving wounds.
6. Anti-aging properties
One of the causes of wrinkles and cellulite is the lack of Collagen in our body. Studies have shown that collagen has amazing anti-aging efficacy. Researchers found that people taking in collagen have experienced improved skin hydration and even elasticity.
7. Having healthier hair and nails
Lastly, getting collagen can do wonders with your hair and nails. Studies have shown that collagen intake can help make your nails grow better and stronger. Having brittle nails can be troublesome to a lot of people. Gone will be the days of having broken nails from small stubs.
Studies have also shown that collagen intake can help with longer, thicker, and shinier hair growth. However, researchers have also added that studies regarding collagen and its benefits need more research.
How do vegans get collagen?
Now that we know some of the benefits of taking collagen in our body, we’ll move on to how to get them in the first place. I don’t particularly advocate the use or intake of collagen pills or powders. My reason is that getting collagen from plants will also give you other vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits.
There was an issue before regarding sources of collagen. The reason was that the only way to get collagen was through animals in the past. However, developments in the field led to vegetable sources of collagen.
After reading up on the various research conducted, most vegetable sources won’t inject collagen directly into you. Rather, these vegetables and even fruits will help with boosting our body’s natural production of collagen. Though some vegetable sources do, in fact, add collagen to your body.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Collagen
Vegetables like bell peppers and garlic help make and prevent the breaking down of collagen in our bodies. Tropical or citrus fruits that contain vitamin C are also very important. Studies have confirmed that vitamin C plays a very important role in stimulating or improving collagen production.
Beans are also an amazing source of the needed components to have our body produce more collagen. These components are amino acids and copper. Having more of these amino acids is necessary for the body’s natural collagen production. Copper is another necessary nutrient in the production of collagen.
Choose Vegetable Source Collagen
Aside from the fact that plant sources of collagen are more sustainable, you can actually get other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients with the collagen from plants. Research has even been done to prove how collagen molecular structure is uncannily similar to that of human collagen molecular structure. The result made it clear that our bodies can better absorb collagen from plants than that from animals.
Now that we have tackled the numerous plant sources of collagen, the next topic would be the best source for it. As I mentioned before, the best source which I could recommend is seaweed!
Plant sources of Collagen: The seaweed
Seaweed is one of the plant sources of Collagen. Although many will tell you that Collagen can never be vegan, the existence of seaweed, however, proves otherwise. Many of us might not know that seaweed collagen provides the same level of Collagen that your body needs, and it is vegan friendly to boot.
Seaweed is the general term used for many species of aquatic plants that can be found in lakes, seas, oceans, or any other body of water. Almost all variations of seaweed contain a healthy amount of Collagen, so including it in your meals will surely help you receive all the benefits listed above.
How to include seaweed in your diet:
1. Prepare a delicious seaweed salad
- 1/2 cup of seaweed
- 2 red onions
- 3 red tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- A pinch of pepper and salt to taste
- Chop your red onions and tomatoes to the size you prefer.
- In a bowl, mix the red onions and tomatoes.
- Add your white vinegar to the bowl, and then add your seaweed.
- Afterward, add sugar, pepper, and salt. This part will be entirely up to you since you might prefer a more peppery salad, or something sweeter.
- After tossing all the ingredients together, you now have a wonderful seaweed salad that is easy to do and very healthy.
2. Eat them raw
Edible seaweed can be eaten raw and is one of nature’s most delicious snacks. You can easily get these in packets with several pieces in them. I usually get mine in my local grocery. Though I’ve had friends tell me that you can get better ones in Japanese stores.
You can prepare it however you like. I’ve tried eating seaweed out of the packet as chips. Some even pair it with white rice and dip it in soy sauce. Though the best would be using them in sushis
3. Fry your seaweed
An easy way to eat seaweed and also satisfy your cravings for salty foods is to roast half a cup of seaweed in oil and add a bit of salt to taste. Try to use healthy oils like avocado or coconut. Personally, this method is one of the best ways I try to quench my cravings for chips without feeling unhealthy afterward.
Though you need to be mindful with the oil and keep a good gap between you and the pan, water from the seaweed might make the oil a bit unstable and could end up splattering all over the place. Ensure that you properly pat the seaweed dry to avoid this.
You can also use an air-fryer. Frying seaweed through this method is also very effective and won’t give you that oily aftertaste. You also need to know that air-fryers tend to go at high temperatures fast. People have made a lot of mistakes and end up with burnt food.
I hope I could answer the question of how vegans get collagen. Advancements in research and technology have shed light on numerous things that benefit our world. Having plant sources of collagen shows that being or becoming vegan is the more sustainable route.
The ever-popular question of how vegans get collagen can be easily answered nowadays. However, a lot of the answers are often lacking in detail. With all that has been discussed, I hope that I was able to shed a clearer light on the subject.
The topic of collagen from plants, particularly seaweed as one of the best plant sources of collagen, was controversial for a time. The reason was that not a lot of studies backed said claim. However, nowadays, numerous researches are being done regarding the subject.
Seaweed is not only one of the best plant sources of collagen. Still, it is also considered by many a superfood. Like other superfoods, it gives our bodies a lot of required vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. The benefits I’ve listed are not mere claims but actual benefits that have been properly researched. I hope that I was able to give a clear and detailed answer on the subject and even inspire some of you to get more seaweed into your diets!