This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins; all opinions are my own.
As you probably know, we focus on whole-food sources of nutrients in our house. If you’ve read our story, you know that nutrition is really important to our overall health, and sourcing quality foods is high on our priority list. We eat lots of free-range meat, raw and cultured dairy, and organic fruits and veggies, as well as homemade soups and broth, which is an excellent food source of collagen. There are also a few key, high-quality supplements we take on a regular basis, including this amazing gelatin, another whole foods source of collagen. But first, why the need for collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a key constituent of all connective tissues. Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility.
- improves the appearance and texture of hair, skin and nails
- strengthens the bones and joints
- helps with weight maintenance
- assists with muscle building and recovery
- helps to rebuild the digestive tract
Because collagen has such a well-rounded amino acid profile, it provides key nutrients our diet might otherwise be lacking. Amino acids are important because they help regenerate tissue, promote healthy digestion, support and stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, regulate the nervous system, plus more!
Why collagen is important for our family’s health
Because collagen protein (also known as gelatin) offers so many benefits, it’s clear why anyone would want to incorporate it into their daily routine. There are a few specific reasons we make sure we get it in every day.
It contains amino acids. I originally bought our first container of Vital Proteins after learning about its high amino acid content because Mr. Incredible had started having pain in his wrist from all of the time he has to spend on his phone (sending texts and email) and computer for work.
He eats well, but inflammation was starting to get the better of him. So, I did what every warrior wife and momma does: I took to the internet to research what I could do for him, and came across research that the regeneration and support of connective tissues offered by gelatin should help with his wrist inflammation.
I immediately ordered a 32 oz container and the Mr. has put it into his raw milk smoothie nearly every day before work since. He has reported a vast reduction in symptoms!
Amino acids support brain health and the nervous system. Glycine, which makes up 20% of collagen protein, is a major component in collagen protein’s healing properties. It regulates nervous system function by hindering excitatory neurotransmitters with its inhibition properties, promoting restful sleep and stress reduction.
For our big guy that struggles with hyperactivity, this is huge. Any whole-food supplement that inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters is a hit at our house. And the stress reduction factor is huge for us parents.
Gelatin is high in protein. 17 grams per serving, in fact. It packs quite the satiating punch when added to smoothies, ice cream, jello and pudding, making it an easy part of a quick breakfast or snack in our house of busy boys. Fast protein is a must around here.
Banana Protein Pudding
Banana Protein Pudding
- 1 cup raw or coconut milk (raw milk provides a big protein boost!), divided
- 1/4 cup ghee (for additional satiating fat and rich flavor)
- 1 large banana with brown spots, plus an additional, optional banana for slicing
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup honey (optional)
- 2 scoops (approximately 2 T.) Vital Proteins Collagen Protein
- 1 t. vanilla
- Pour 1/4 cup of the milk in a saucepan and sprinkle the collagen protein over the top. Turn the heat on low and monitor carefully, particularly if you're using raw milk, so as to just warm the milk but avoid boiling.
- Place the banana, avocado, optional honey, remaining milk, ghee and vanilla into a blender and combine on high, until smooth and creamy.
- With the blender running, add the dissolved collagen protein in warm milk, combining until completely incorporated.
- Serve immediately to enjoy a creamy pudding texture. Placing the pudding in the fridge will result in the gelatin setting up and will give you a jello texture, which is also enjoyable.
*Note, if you use raw cow's milk, the protein content is 25 grams. With coconut milk, it's about 19.
For another high-protein, kid-friendly breakfast, check out these homemade protein bars.