As you know to eat healthier can be expensive. One way to lower the cost of healthy food is not to waste. We are talking here about food waste. Waste reduction is one of the buzzwords of the moment, just like kale was a few years back (sorry kale, you are out). However, waste reduction has its merits in many ways.
I always recommend the highest quality ingredients in our food for many reasons. In our age bracket (perimenopausal or menopausal goddesses) we are trying to balance our hormones, keep our bones strong and be healthy to avoid all the “illnesses” that plague people in midlife. The common complaint from my clients, and a valid one, is that healthy food is more expensive. Because of this, it is important not to waste it.
How can you avoid food waste?
These are the tips I practice and give good results.
Plan your menus
This will simplify your life, avoid recipe burnout or boredom, you will eat healthier and it will help you buy just what you need (and save money).
Before going shopping, use what you already have
Before heading to the supermarket, head to the refrigerator. This is an opportunity to do a light cleaning of the fridge and take inventory. Use most of what you already have or plan recipes to use them first, before shopping.
When you bring in your shopping, use the first in last out system
This is related to the previous point. Use the ingredients that you already have before the new ones. Also use first the ones that go bad quicker, such as greens.
If you are not going to use something, freeze it (and put a date on the package)
If you think you don’t want to use something, see if you can freeze it to use later. If you have tomatoes going bad, prepare a sauce and freeze it. If the meat is expiring, cook it and freeze it. They come out very handy when you are in a hurry. But don’t forget what you have in the freezer, plan when you will use it.
Be creative with your leftovers
This is fun. Mix and match, create new recipes. My favorite is tacos of different flavors, soups and stir fries.
Use it all
When you are not going to use a part of something think what you can do with it. Use the herbs’ stems or part of the veggies you will not typically use to make broth. For example with asparagus, you can use the tough parts to make broth or soup. The cilantro or parsley stems can be put in soups, broth, sauces or smoothies. With bones and small pieces of meat you can make bone broth.
Make an effort to put everything in the right place. You may want to put dates on your meats and dairy.
Be careful buying giant sizes
Unless your family is big, be careful buying big sizes, especially condiments such as mayo and ketchup. Veggies and fruits tend to lose nutrients, the longer you keep them at home, the less nutritious they will be.
Fresh always tastes better. Fresh animal products taste better. Fresh veggies taste better than frozen and canned ones. The fresher the better, so when it comes to flavor and nutrients it is better to buy smaller amounts more frequently.
Keep an eye on the pantry
Many times we forget what we have and don’t use it. Make it part of your routine to check your pantry every month or so and see what is about to expire. Find creative ways to use what you have before shopping.
Leftovers are great for times when we don’t or can’t cook. Try to use them soon after storing them. If you plan your menus you will have less leftovers.
Prefer dry beans and lentils
Dry beans and lentils are cheap or cheaper than cans, don’t have salt, preservatives or contaminants, and they taste better. Lentils are easy to cook. Beans are not difficult if you leave them soaking overnight and/or if you use an Instapot or a pressure cooker.
Should you buy organic?
When possible, buy the highest quality; this is especially true for animal products. Milk, eggs and meat should come from animals raised in natural conditions. For cows (meat and milk) this is 100% grass fed, pasture raised, preferably organic. For chicken and eggs, pasture raised preferably organic. Fish from responsible sources and preferably non-farmed (but this depends on the species).
Organic veggies and fruits are generally better if they are equally fresh. But it is better to consume veggies and fruits even if they are not organic than to avoid buying them because the organic ones are too expensive or too difficult to get. Try to buy organic leaves, such as spinach, kale, arugula, chard, lettuce, etc. Home grown is best, local and organic is second, local non organic is third, organic and fresh is fourth.
Remember organic ingredients are cheaper, healthier and usually tastier than eating out.
Kindness and keep trying
We are not perfect, we can only do our best and even with the best efforts sometimes we cannot save some food. But with prices increasing, it is a good idea to incorporate new ways to avoid waste.
How do you avoid waste? Let me know in the comments.
Can the Mediterranean diet be the answer to midlife weight gain and the dreaded midlife spread (AKA tummy fat)? It is for sure a strong contender and a very delicious one.
The Mediterranean diet or way of eating has been touted as the healthiest diet in the world. Is it true or not? A lot of scientists think so, but a lot of them have also ignored some important truths about this way of eating. Is the Mediterranean diet a good diet for you? Let’s find out.
One thing is for sure, the Mediterranean diet is delicious and includes a great variety of foods in all food groups.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
It is not a diet. By Mediterranean diet we are referring in reality to the main principles that the people around the Mediterranean eat.
The Mediterranean is a diverse region that extents around the Mediterranean Sea from Portugal going around including Israel and Egypt all the way to the norther edge of Africa. The main study on the Mediterranean diet was focused on Italy.
However all these countries and peoples eat in a similar way: a lot of seasonal vegetables, fish, not too much meat, olive oil, some wine and natural sweets.
Beyond diet, people in these areas used to walk a lot, have good friends and take life easy. Currently this way of life has changed in the Mediterranean and the diet and lifestyle are starting to look more like ours. In this article when we talk about the Mediterranean diet we are talking about the traditional diet, not about current practices.
What do they eat in the Mediterranean?
If I tell you in Italy, it is Italian food. Then you may think, “Oh, I
also love pizza” and I do too. They eat pizza or flat breads often but
it is part of the meal. The rest of the meal will include a lot of
vegetables and some animal protein.
In short they eat a wholesome diet including tons of veggies, fish, fats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, cheeses, wine, fruits, a little bit of meat and butter. They used to eat local, seasonal foods. They don’t call it healthy, they called it just regular food.
I find that there is an aspect that is rarely discussed, maybe because it can be obvious, but it is so important that I want to spell it out: In the past people in the Mediterranean (and everywhere else) used to cook at home from scratch.
I find that there is an aspect that is rarely discussed, maybe because it can be obvious, but it is so important that I want to spell it out: In the past people in the Mediterranean (and everywhere else) used to cook at home from scratch.
Their vegetables are not carrots and peas or bad looking broccoli, neither do they eat a ton of salads. The vegetables are cooked in many ways, and because they are so fresh and flavorful, they don’t need a lot of additives to taste great.
Oh yes, they drink wine. I will tell you something, women don’t drink as much, in fact some women don’t drink at all or just dessert wines once in a while. Wines are nothing special in most of the Mediterranean, they are everywhere. But yes, wine is part of the mixture.
Cheeses and milk
They don’t believe that milk is evil. They eat cheeses and drink milk. However, they didn’t get the propaganda of 5 servings of milk a day, they only have a couple of servings and probably mostly cheese. Traditionally their milk was of the highest quality, naturally organic, pasture raised, 100% grass fed from animals that were treated almost like pets.
Fish and meats
Fish is a common food in this region; after all they are on the Mediterranean Sea. Meat is also eaten, but in the past they didn’t eat much. They eat the whole animal, including internal organs and they eat seafood.
They eat a lot of gluten. They eat a lot of grains and wheat. They eat grains, breads and pastas. But if we compare this to our bread consumption, the calories from bread type foods is lower than ours and of higher quality.
Lots of fats. Mainly olive oil and some butter and lard. The original study that highlighted the Mediterranean diet as very healthy compared their consumption of fats to Americans.
That study found that they were eating less saturated fat than Americans and they had a lower incidence of heart attacks. The study concluded that high saturated fat consumption was the cause of heart attacks. This study ignored other aspects of their diet such as low level of sugar consumption, a lot of walking and manual labor and lower stress levels. That study was the one that demonized saturated fats and promoted high carbohydrate consumption.
They eat a lot less than us. They don’t eat:
Sugary cereals in the morning (this is an American invention)
Soups, sauces and salad dressings with sugar for lunch
A ton of calories from desserts
They don’t eat a lot of sweets such as chocolate and candies often
They don’t drink a lot of sugary drinks such as sodas and juices
Traditionally there were no processed foods. They purchased some foods such as cured meats, pickles, pastas, oils etc. but rarely sauces or prepared foods.
What they don’t eat?
They don’t have restrictions, they don’t eliminate food groups, they don’t demonize any foods. They don’t try to eat low fat or low carb or low calories, they don’t diet. They also don’t consume a lot of supplements. They don’t have super foods or fad diets.
They take the sun, but not to get tanned, they use hats and common sense to avoid it. They take the sun while out of the house. I mention this, because the sun is a source of vitamin D.
They drink coffee in moderation. The Venti size coffees (or very large) never were seen in the region until Starbucks arrived. Usually they drink coffee with milk in the morning and a cup of black coffee (no sugar) in the afternoon.
The cup size is small and in many places it is mostly espresso type coffee (no cream and mostly without sugar). The amount of sugar varies but it is seldom super sweet (looking at you Starbuck’s lattes).
No fast food
Normally people in the Mediterranean take their time to cook and to eat. Everything is slow. Eating while watching TV or worse while driving is unheard off. In fairs and now while out of the house, people have started to buy snacks and eat them while walking.
Things are changing
When we talk about the Mediterranean diet we are talking of the diet of the past. The study on the Mediterranean diet was done right after the Second World War. The current Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, as I said before, is starting to look more like ours. So we want to copy the previous diet and life not the current one.
Is it healthy?
Yes, the traditional Mediterranean diet has everything that we think in actuality to be healthy. It is a very balanced diet that includes all food groups in moderation and to that we have to add a lot of walking, laughing and communicating. Traditionally there was also respect for elders; being older didn’t mean being sick and useless.
Is it a good diet in midlife?
Most of the principles of the Mediterranean diet are healthful, delicious and easy to incorporate in our lives.
Something to keep in mind is that epigenetics is now pinpointing to the importance of our genetic makeup in nutrition. An example of this is:
People from countries like France and Germany traditionally have eaten a lot of saturated fats and they “might” process that type of fats better than someone from Mediterranean ancestry.
Epigenetics and the relation to nutrition is still being studied so we don’t have anything conclusive yet.
How to follow the Mediterranean diet at home?
Remember that is not only a matter of a diet, it is a lifestyle. It matters how you eat, slow, relax, calm and hopefully in good company.
The main principle of the Mediterranean diet is variety. Eat different foods, specially veggies and whole grains and seeds.
Low consumption of high quality red meats
Olive oil or other cold pressed oils
Natural foods, preferably local
Eat vegetables in season and lots of them. Add flavor
Eat delicious food. Learn Mediterranean recipes, they can be Italian, Greek, Spaniard, Middle Eastern, Portuguese etc. In the Mediterranean food is truly to enjoy it.
Eat slowly, preferably at the table, without stress
Low sugar. Don’t drink your calories and avoid added sugar. In the Mediterranean a lot of people tend to eat a little bit of sweet bread every day, but the portion is small and it does not have trans fats. They also have a small piece of seasonal fruit after a meal.
Don’t get full with bread and pasta and eat nutrient dense foods
Drink water instead of other drinks
Drink herbal teas
Some myths of the Mediterranean diet
One of the main myths is that it is low fat. It is lower saturated fat, but they use a lot of oil.
Olive and canola oil. Not true, they used only cold pressed oils, mainly olive. You may also use other oils if they are cold extracted. Canola oil is not cold extracted.
They don’t eat butter. Yes they do, not in high amounts because it is expensive there, but they use it. It is natural and from healthy animals. Here we have to look for pasture raised, grass fed, organic butter.
Wine. If you don’t drink don’t start because it is healthy, this is debatable. If you drink choose red wine and in moderation. For women max one glass a day, for men max 2 glasses a day (I recommend only one).
Low fat milk. The Mayo clinic, in their article about the Mediterranean diet, recommends low fat milk. The Mediterranean people don’t drink anything low fat. They drink full fat or 2% (they take some of the fat to make cream).
Can you lose weight with the Mediterranean diet?
Yes, but how much depends on how much you eat and where you are at. If you eat in moderation and you are currently eating a standard American diet you will probably lose weight and gain energy. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you will lose weight. If you are skinny and already eating “healthy,” you may not lose more weight, because your body is already in harmony.
Mediterranean diet and hot flashes
The Mediterranean diet and lifestyle can be very good to manage hot flashes (or flushes) and other peri-menopausal symptoms. A lot of the perimenopause and menopausal symptoms are aggravated or caused by stress, excessive sugar, lack of some nutrients (this affect the hormones) and some bad foods. A Mediterranean lifestyle can address some of those causes.
In Italy and other places in the Mediterranean women report less dryness and less hot flashes (or flushes) than in the USA.
After menopause the Mediterranean diet can be very healthy because it includes a lot of nutrients that will strengthen your organs and bones.
This diet has the very important bonus that it eliminates a lot of processed foods and excess sugar in other words toxins. With this we are eliminating health risks.
The dreaded menopause belly? As menopause approaches most of us start to gain weight or gain weight easier and faster than before. “But I am eating the same and I am gaining weight.” This is a very common experience among women approaching menopause or right after this. That was my case and intermittent fasting was a big part of my solution. Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose hormonal weight during menopause and perimenopause.
The most disturbing thing when we gain weight in perimenopause or menopause is the changes in our body’s shape. The good news is that it is possible to lose weight during this time and you don’t have to follow a strict diet or become a gym rat, intermittent fasting can help you.
My weight loss story
Let me tell you a little bit of my weight story. I was skinny and started to gain a little bit of weight in my forties, some weight accumulated, but I was still skinny. As I was closer to 50 the weight and the tummy skyrocketed and for first time in my life I was very close to the overweight level. My clothes didn’t fit and the type of clothes I used to wear were not flattering for my body anymore, because the tummy was growing very fast.
I tried to lose weight by cutting calories and working out more, but the weight continued to go up. After trying a couple of diets I was frustrated because the result was that I gained less weight than without the diet, but I still gained weight.
Suspecting that I may have hormonal problems I went to the doctor and he told me everything was fine. My hormones and health were fine, and that it was normal to gain weight at my age. I was not happy with the answer and I did a lot of research and even got certifications.
How I lost the weight during perimenopause?
Since the low calorie and low fat diet was not working I needed to change something else. So, I tried intermittent fasting and I started to eat more fats, and added more flavor and proteins. I was already eating a lot of vegetables and consumed low sugar. Now (and during my weight loss period) I eat more calories and more fat than before. How is that possible? Two words “Intermittent Fasting” or three “Time Restricted Feeding (TRF);” if you want you can also say time restrictive eating (I think it sounds better, but TRF is more common). TRF is a form of intermittent fasting (IF). There are more strict and complicated forms of intermittent fasting such as the 5:2 diet or the 800 calorie diet.
I do TRF 6 times a week; Saturday I don’t follow it. Time restrictive feeding or eating have worked for me and for my clients. Many people love intermittent fasting because it isn’t a diet, they have freedom to eat their favorite foods, and they can eat bread, pasta, pizza, ice cream and desserts.
Why intermittent fasting (or TRF) works?
Time restricted feeding helps to balance our hormones and accelerates our metabolism.
By only eating in a shorter time window, we allow our internal organs to do their job more efficiently. This is especially true for the liver, kidneys, pancreas and adrenal glands.
Energy levels go up
It reduces hunger. This doesn’t happen immediately, but after a couple of months your hunger level goes down.
Cravings go down. Especially craving for sweets.
It may produce autophagy. Autophagy is a Nobel Prize winning discovery about cell regeneration. Some people will tell you “it will” produce autophagy I am saying “it may” because the scientists are still trying to prove this. If this holds true, TRF may also help to keep us healthier and younger. .
How do you do time restrictive eating during peri menopause?
For intermittent fasting to be effective during perimenopause and around menopause we need to start slow. TRF simply means that you eat in a specific time window.
That eating time window can be anywhere from 14 to 7 hours even 6. Some people do it in a shorter window, but I don’t recommend that during peri and menopause. Let’s say that you start with a 12 hour time window. That means that you can eat your breakfast at 7 AM and your last bite or drink of food will end at 7 PM. After 7 PM you will not eat or drink anything with calories until the next day at 7 AM.
The ideal time window should be 8-7 hours. But during perimenopause / menopause or if the person has prediabetes it is better to start with 12 to 10 hour window. For example you can eat your breakfast at 7 AM, have your lunch at your convenience and dinner or after dinner snack at 7 PM for a 12 hours fasting, or at 5 PM for an 8 hours fasting.
Every week or every two weeks, you will reduce the window by 15 or 30 minutes to reach 8 to 6 hours. That will mean that you can have a very late breakfast or skip it as most people on this diet do, or have a very early dinner or skip it. For me and my clients the easiest way is to skip breakfast.
Wait, isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?
Considering the source of that statement no, it isn’t. It was created by Dr. Kellogg (yes, the one from the cereal company). There have been many studies proving that Dr. Kellogg was right, but at a closer look those studies don’t compare apples to apples so their findings are wrong. The studies compare people who eat breakfast to people who don’t (the ones who rush in the morning) but then they drink sugary, creamy coffee, and right after, go and eat a snack.
In TRF we consciously don’t eat breakfast, but we have proper meals. During fasting time anything with calories will break the fast and it isn’t allowed. Diet soda although doesn’t have calories is also not recommended.
There is some debate as to whether black coffee/tea without sugar is acceptable, and while some strict believers drink only water and nothing else, a large number of people, including myself, do have a small cup of black coffee without sugar in the morning. It is said that if you want autophagy only drink water.
The weight comes down slowly
Unless in addition to the TRF you also follow a healthier lifestyle or another diet the weight will come down slowly. This is usually not a big problem for most people. One of the most popular combinations is intermittent fasting and Ketogenic diet; with this combination the weight comes down super-fast.
What can you eat?
In theory you can eat what you eat normally. However, during perimenopause and menopause I recommend that you lower your sugar consumption, watch for sugary drinks and breads. Try to eat natural foods preferably made at home. Include veggies in your food because we need those nutrients and drink plenty of water or herbal or green teas.
I believe not all diets and lifestyles are for everybody, so TRF or intermittent fasting may not be the best for some people. The reasons I picked TRF for myself and for most of my clients are that it is easy, effective and healthy.
In addition to weight management Time Restrictive Feeding has other benefits such as:
Intermittent fasting helps to management blood sugar levels.
It helps to eliminate toxins from the body (this makes estrogen more available)
Intermittent fasting helps to control leptin and ghrelin (these hormones control hunger levels)
It promotes heart health
TRF and IT lowers inflammation levels
It promotes lean muscle
In addition to those benefits some of my clients report better sleep, more energy and more concentration. To my clients I also recommend supplements and the diet includes nutrient rich foods, so the effects maybe the results of everything combined.
And working out?
What we eat will have a larger effect on weight than working out, but working out is super important for our health. I do 30 minutes 5 times a week. I recommend my clients to do at least 30 minutes 4 times a week. It doesn’t need to be heavy exercise. It can be walking, trampoline (I do this), yoga etc. The best would be twice a week weight training and 3 days some light aerobic with some flexibility exercises (to keep nimble and avoid falling down).
Should you try Intermittent Fasting with Time Restrictive Feeding?
If you don’t have any medical conditions to preclude you from it, it is super easy; it’s a well-studied diet with lots of research and it has worked for a lot of us. You can start doing it 3 times a week and increase it to 4 or 5.
I will try to publish a free ebook or mini-course in the next few weeks; if you are interested please join the mailing list. If you have questions comment below. You may read the first part of this series: Why do we gain weight during menopause
No doubt gaining weight is easy, but during menopause even the skinniest people add on some pounds, especially around the tummy. In the past everything was blamed on hormones, but that has changed. The reasons for menopausal weight gain are complex. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Calories add up
Through the decades of our lives most of us gain a little weight every year. Little by little it becomes more noticeable.
Many drugs cause weight gain. Some of the worst are anti-depressants and antibiotics. Antibiotics are now part of our normal food; they are fed to animals so they become fatter. Even some vegetables contain tiny amounts of antibiotics because animal manure or feces get in contract with the vegetables.
Our gut bacteria is affected
Our gut bacteria is fundamental to controlling weight. During midlife the gut bacteria is under a lot of pressure caused by antibiotics, stress, hormonal changes, and others. (Read gut bacteria during menopause).
Lack of muscle
As we age and don’t work out, we lose muscle. With muscle loss we need less calories to maintain our body so the extra calories go to our fat reserves. In other words, our metabolism slows down.
By midlife some of our vital organs are tired or overwhelmed. We are surrounded by toxins and have not-so-healthy eating habits that affect our liver and thyroid. We have a ton of stress that affects our adrenal glands and some mindset habits affect the whole body. If the liver and/or adrenals are not working properly that will further affect our thyroid. This will have a direct negative effect on our weight, energy levels, mental clarity, happiness, hot flashes, etc.
Combination factors for weight gain
Some menopausal symptoms such as insomnia alter our gut bacteria and this causes weight gain. On top of that we don’t have enough energy during the day and move less. Some people suffer from depression during menopause and tend to eat a poor diet. This and other causes create the perfect storm for weight gain.
Stress at midlife
Stress causes weigh gain in most people. Many people resort to calorie-rich foods such as sweets, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol during stressful periods. For many women these are years of changes or personal dissatisfaction that result in stress, sadness, and worrying a lot. Stress creates many hormonal issues that contribute to weight gain. (Read stress in menopause)
Menopausal weight gain is different than previous weight gains
This is something that shocks many women. During perimenopause and menopause we don’t only gain weight, our body shape changes. We accumulate weight around our tummy and in the back. Belly fat is the main characteristic of menopausal weigh gain. In some women the breast may also grow, in others the contrary happens.
The worse type of weight gain
Belly fat is not good news. Belly fat is associated with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses.
Menopausal weight loss is totally possible
Weight loss is always challenging because it requires habit changes. Menopausal weight loss can be more challenging because there is no one size fits all diet, or no calories-in-calories-out. Our hormones and gut bacteria are different and are stopping us from losing weight. And as always there are a lot of diet options and misinformation and selecting the right choice is not easy. Totally not fair, but do not worry menopausal weight loss is possible.
How to lose weight in midlife?
The first thing that many women (including myself) find out is that the diets that used to work so well, do not work anymore. It is important to understand the causes of weight gain in midlife, because this makes it clear that it is not only a matter of a diet; we also need to:
Control stress, eat healthy, eat nutritious food, be happy, sleep well, etc. And the hormones? We also need to balance our hormones. Fortunately the same things that help us balance the hormones and strengthen our organs help to lose weight and to have a happier life. If we see the whole picture:
During midlife, our bodies are calling us to live a fuller, more meaningful life, to live every moment and protect our bodies.
That is the gift of menopause, an invitation to live a better life during our second half, or as it’s called in Chinese medicine “second spring.” Spring is a time of re-birth and awakening.
To lose weight during perimenopause and post menopause we need a gentle reset. Good news, it is possible, more good news, it will improve your total health.
At this time more than a diet we need some lifestyle changes. I lost weight doing just that and you can do it too.
That is our motivation during midlife. Weight control is not about vanity, it is about health and quality of life. We are improving and protecting our current and future health, both physical and emotional, by learning to control our weight.
Bone broth is having is a kale moment. It is in fashion, just like acai berry, pomegranate, cauliflower and so many other super foods were. Among the claims: healthier bones, teeth and nails. At 50 years of age, that sounds really good. We all need help with our bones, skin, hair, etc.
Are the bone broth claims real?
Is bone broth full of absorbable or bio-available calcium? Absorbable or bio-available being the key attributes here. Calcium, as you know, is a very important mineral, and although we take supplements, it is a difficult mineral to get, to get it in the right places and to avoid it in the wrong places. There are many reasons for this:
There are many types of calcium and if we take the wrong type it can go to the wrong places and instead of helping us, it can cause problems.
In addition, calcium is not easy to absorb, and other nutrients can take it out of the body. The calcium from bone broth is supposed to be easy to absorb. The claim is that bone broth is not the only good source of calcium, but it is a very good one. Everything sounds good but … one recent study says that bone broth does not have much calcium, but wait, there is another reason it can make you younger.
Why does bone broth make you look younger?
One word: collagen. Bone broth may lack in calcium, but it has great collagen. Although there is controversy about the role of ingested collagen, many people (including myself) think it has helped us and there is some promising science behind the claims, but not everyone believes this. In my case I feel it has helped me to eliminate a funny pain I was having in my lower back. Many people in the natural medicine community think that collagen is good for bone, skin, hair, nails, teeth, and cartilage health.
We have been putting collagen on our skin and hair for years. However, it is believed that it does not help to use collagen externally, the molecules do not penetrate the skin. Most doctors think that eating collagen is also not effective, but there are not many studies to prove if collagen can help or not.
Should you take collagen or have bone broth?
Collagen is a connective tissue, abundant in our bodies. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Self magazine that, “Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, giving it strength and shape….
Collagen is like the frame of your mattress, while elastin is the springs and hyaluronic acid is the padding.
Like most things in the skin, collagen diminishes as we age, which is why skin can start to sag. Around 30, natural collagen production starts to slow down. Many people take collagen supplements to help the skin and hair. But we have to remember that in most cases beauty supplements do not live up to the hype.
Our face and body get smaller as we age. This is one of the reasons for wrinkles and flaccidity, we lose volume in muscle mass as well as in bone mass. If we keep the right level of calcium, our teeth and face bones will retain their original shape and size for longer time. This is very important, and it is something that no surgery or cosmetic product can give you, it has to come from your food and supplements.
However, our bodies do not absorb collagen as collagen, either from bone broth or in any another form. Collagen is broken down in the stomach and the body absorbs the components, in this case amino acids.
Those amino acids can come from a great variety of food not necessarily from collagen or bone broth. If you eat a diet rich in nutrients you will get the necessary amino acids and you do not need to eat collagen. Some people say that bone broth provides amino acids that meat does not, and due to this it helps to balance our intake of amino acids, the medical community mostly disagree with this claim.
Bone broth supporters say that it has many other minerals. The studies have found that it is not the case. The minerals in bone broth come mostly from the vegetables added to it.
My own experience with collagen and bone broth
I take collagen, and sometimes I drink bone broth. I love broths, but somehow I do not like bone broth. However, I have concluded that if I am going to have bone broth I have to make it myself. Commercials broths do not specify the collagen contents and it is easy to add more water and dilute the nutrients. If you want to buy already made bone broth you need to buy a respected brand.
To make bone broth at home is not difficult. But the whole house will smell of the broth, because you need to cook it for several hours especially if you make it from large bones. If you do not have a problem with this, I think it is a good idea to make it yourself. Natural gelatin is another good source of collagen and you can buy it online.
Bone broth is a good thing, but I prefer the powdered collagen, because it is easier to use. I put it in pancakes and other recipes. I take it only once or twice a week.
With or without bone broth?
There are no guidelines on how much bone broth you may need. Bone broth sadly does not live up to the hype. The calcium content is not there, but the collagen components are good for you. But remember that you can get the same nutrients from your regular meals. However collagen is good, and after 50 it is something worth trying. You can pick if you want collagen from bone broth or from another source. I am not sure if bone broth is worth the effort, it is not bad for you if it made from the bones of healthy animals, it may have nutrients, but it is not a wonder food.
Do you take collagen supplements or bone broth? Do you think it is helping you?