Heath Benefits of Collagen

Health Benefits of Collagen

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. It’s now time to take on another week. Let’s make it great! Today I want to talk about Collagen. It is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons. It provides structural support and strength and affects the elasticity of the skin and also helps with healing and repair of body tissues. The Health Benefits of Collagen are numerous.

Types of Collagen

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There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80 – 90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III which are listed below. I will focus more on Type I collagen since it is considered to be the best for skin and anti-aging purposes.

  • Type I: skin, tendon, vascular ligature, organs, bone
  • Type II: cartilage
  • Type III: fibrous protein in bone, cartilage, dentin, tendon, and other connective tissues

Sources of Collagen

  • Piscine (fish)-Collagen peptides from fish are considered to be the best for overall skin and anti-aging purposes, however, it is also the most expensive.
  • Bovine (cow)-Bovine collagen is the most widely available form but it isn’t as effective as fish collagen.
  • Porcine (pig)-Pig collagen is also very available but not as effective as fish collagen peptides.
  • Fowl (chicken)-Chicken collagen peptides are known to be most effective for supporting cartridge in the body. However, they are not considered effective at raising overall body collagen levels.

Benefits of Collagen

Most common benefit: Type1 collagen

  1. Improved skin texture and firmness
  2. Reduced appearance of cellulite
  3. New hair and nail growth
  4. Improved circulation

Most common benefit: Type II collagen

  1. Improved joint flexibility and strength.
  2. Reduced joint pain
  3. Improved recovery from injuries and muscle repair

Summary

Personally, I  started taking collagen a couple of months ago. I have seen dramatic improvements in my hair and nails especially. Also, my hair is growing faster than it ever has and seems to be much thicker than before. Also, my eyelashes are longer and thicker. I have tried all sorts of lengthening and volumizing mascaras. Let me tell you, none of them have worked nearly as well as collagen. This is the collagen that I take. I prefer it over other brands that I have tried. It’s a little more expensive than some but you get what you pay for in my opinion.

What about you? I’d love to hear your experiences with collagen supplementation. I truly believe that we could all see Health Benefits of Collagen.

 

 

Juicing vs. Smoothies

Juicing vs. Smoothies

Juicing and Smoothies have been pretty popular for quite a while now. Although there are mixed opinions on which is healthier. Today we will take a look at why I believe that smoothies are the winner in Juicing vs. Smoothies.

I think that people sometimes consider juicing and smoothies to be one of the same. The terms are used interchangeably by some folks, however, there is a pretty significant difference.

Juicing

First, let’s start with juicing.  As you probably know juicing is the process of extracting juice from fruit or vegetables. Most people feel that you need to buy a fancy juicer for this however, they can be very expensive and in my opinion, you don’t really have to have one. It takes a little more work to juice with a blender because you have to strain the juice from the more solid contents. This can be done with a cheesecloth or something similar.

Juicing leaves behind the pulp. The pulp contains nutrients and fiber that you end up tossing away…What a waste 🙁

Smoothies

Now let’s discuss smoothies. First of all, smoothies can be made in the blender which is more convenient, since most all of us have one. Not only that but you are actually using the whole fruit or vegetable which means that you’re not wasting part of it. Also, you get the benefit of the nutrients and fiber that are in the pulp. Actually, the skin of fruits and vegetables contain the most nutrients. And finally, the pulp makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time and it aids in the digestion process.

And The Winner Is:

Smoothies! Don’t get me wrong, juicing and smoothies are both good for you. They both provide you with vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Additionally, they both taste good. But this is how I see it. I want to get the most bang for my buck, so to speak. Wasting food is not my thing. I don’t like to waste anything actually. Also, I want to get all the nutrients possible so this is why smoothies are the clear winner in my opinion.

I’d love to know what you think. What is your favorite juice or smoothie?

 

10 Ways To Deal With Stress

10 Ways to Deal With Stress

Today we discuss 10 Ways to Deal With Stress. Stress is something that we all have to deal with from time to time. Unfortunately, some of us have to far too often. Stress is a natural part of life and not all stress is bad. Sometimes it motivates us to do what is necessary to make changes in our lives that need to be made. It also has a way of making us appreciate the non-stressful times even more. However, sometimes stress goes beyond the norm and when that happens it can very negatively affect our day to day life and even our health.

We need to be aware of the signs that our stress is becoming more that we can handle alone. Listed below are a few things that might indicate stress is taking a toll on your body. We will discuss how to alleviate some of these problems in a bit, but please remember, sometimes we need to seek medical or psychological assistance in order to regain the sense of well-being that we once had.

Do You Suffer From:

  • Jaw or Tooth Pain
    • Grinding or clenching your teeth at night is sometimes caused by stress. This is not something that we remember doing of course but, you will notice the after effects which are typically, jaw or tooth pain.
  • Hair Loss or Shedding
  • Stomach or Digestive Issues
    • Stress can cause a disruption of your digestive process. Diarrhea or constipation or stomach pain or cramping could be due to stress.
  • Irritability
  • Trouble Sleeping or Insomnia
  • Acne or Rashes

Below are some ways that we can de-stress and recharge our batteries so we can deal with whatever life challenges us with.

10 Ways to Beat Stress

Go For A Run

You’ve probably heard of a “runner’s high”. This is due to endorphins that are released with exercise. Endorphins are chemicals that interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce the perception of pain. They trigger a positive feeling of well-being. Exercise is so good not only for your physical health but your mental health as well.

Read A Book

Reading is good for the soul. It can take you away to another place and time. It is like a mini mental vacation. Getting engulfed in a good book can make all the stress of your day take a back burner, at least for a little while.

Color or Draw

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved to color. When my kids were small I used to always color with them. I think I enjoyed it more than they did, to be honest. Still, to this day I enjoy it very much, so when they came out with adult coloring books a few years back, I couldn’t wait to go get me one. Needless to say, I have a few of them now and I thoroughly enjoy when I have a little time to drag out my gel pens and go to town. It truly takes your mind away from the worries of the day and drawing is no different. Not every one of us has the ability to draw, however. Some of us just color but either way, it’s our creation and it does our heart and soul good to make something beautiful.

Laugh

It may sound funny but it’s impossible to be stressed when you are genuinely laughing. Try it! We’ve all heard the old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine”. There really is something to it. Pop in a funny movie, turn on the comedy channel, or just call your wacky friend that always makes you laugh. After a few minutes, you’ll be glad that you did.

Go Biking

Being out in the great outdoors is so therapeutic. The fresh air, the sun and wind on your face, and all the beautiful sights and sounds of nature really help you to realize that we are part of something much greater than any stressful situation. Being outside and seeing the miracles of nature melts away the stress of the day.

Play With Animals

Growing up in the 80’s we were not allowed to have animals indoors. I was raised in the country and my Dad just couldn’t handle animal hair in the house. Therefore, our dogs and cats were outside pets. I loved my pets but after dealing with the death of my favorite dog ever, Rowdy, I really didn’t get close to any other animal. Pets were just not my thing. My kids had dogs and cats when they were growing up. Some were outside, some were inside but for some reason, we never really kept any of them for very long. There were various reasons why and I decided that I was just not an animal person and I didn’t want a pet. Flash forward several years to a couple years ago.

My husband and I were sitting in the living room one rainy day and heard dogs barking outside. Of course, we went to see what was going on. There were a female dog and three puppies. They seemed scared and wouldn’t come to us and they ended up running off…all except one. She was under our front porch and we found her later. She was about 10 weeks old according to the vet. Unable to find the owner, we kept her. She has been such a blessing to us. Brendy can always tell if I’m upset or scared and she is always right there to protect me and cheer me up. I can’t imagine life without her.

Call A Friend

Friends are our sounding board. They are the ones that we call when we are excited, mad, sad and everything in between. They can be our voice of reason or our therapist. Calling a friend when we are stressed can help us to see things from a different perspective. And really, sometimes that’s all we need, to see things through someone else’s eyes.

Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise, which we already know, releases endorphins but yoga is different from biking or a trip to the gym because it combines both physical fitness with self-compassion and awareness. It also trains your parasympathetic nervous system which is your counter-stress response system. This makes yoga an excellent option for stress management.

Use Essential Oils

Essential Oils help to improve your mood. Think about it. Smells can bring back a memory and give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. I love essential oils. You can use them in your bath, add them to unscented lotion, use them in a diffuser, or apply them on your skin or clothing. Some of them need a carrier oil so check that out before you place them directly onto your skin.

Meditation

There are different types of meditation and I do believe in the mind healing effects of this practice. Deepak Chopra has several wonderful books and guided meditation exercises available and I do recommend reading them. He is so insightful and inspiring. With meditation, you’re basically quieting your mind from the self-talk that is constantly going on inside your head. It is focusing on our breathing and clearing our mind from all the clutter that fills it every day. It really is amazing how much this helps. You defiantly need to give it a try.

 

 

Vitamin D Deficiency

You’ve probably heard some of the buzz about Vitamin D deficiency recently.  It’s not a new problem, however, I have found that many people are still not aware of the signs and symptoms of low levels. Fortunately, more and more doctors are now regularly testing their patients for this. Vitamin D is important for many reasons. Also, it is even linked to immunity to diseases.

In my experience as a nurse, I commonly hear complaints of fatigue, or low energy levels, foot pain, hair thinning and weak, brittle fingernails. So if you notice any of these symptoms you should talk to your doctor and have your Vitamin D levels checked.

If it is found that your levels are low, it is likely that you will always need to take an OTC vitamin D supplement. There is a prescription strength “loading dose” that your doctor can prescribe. Usually, this is only given for about eight weeks in a once a week dose. However, it is not uncommon that patients remain on the loading dose for much longer than eight weeks due to severe vitamin D deficiency or other causes. Your doctor will decide what is best for your specific situation.

After the prescription course is complete, an OTC supplement is required on a daily basis in order for your levels to stay in the normal range. I find that patients will take the prescription and possibly the OTC for a short time and then stop taking it.  I would say that about 80% of those folks usually fall back into the deficient range.

Vitamin D is inexpensive, they are small and easy to swallow. Additionally, it is important to your energy levels, your immunity and your overall health. It’s easily found at any pharmacy over the counter. So…Take your Vitamin D! You’ll be glad you did!