As a certified doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist, Dr. Josh Axe is passionate about helping people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. That includes himself and those close to him. Through his experience supporting his mother through several battles with cancer, as well as working through his personal health issues including leaky gut, Axe discovered one thing that helped them both: collagen.
His latest book, The Collagen Diet (Hachette, 2019), includes Axe’s personal accounts, detailed research, 70 recipes, plus a diet plan—all explaining why collagen is vital for good health and outlining how we can get more of it in our diet. We caught up with him to learn more.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve seen firsthand the difference that collagen can make in health, and I believe that almost everyone can benefit from adding this incredible ingredient to their diet. Not only can it support the health of the skin and nails to help you look and feel your best, but it can also support gut and joint health as well.
You call collagen the true missing link to modern health. Tell us more about that.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it is involved in nearly every aspect of health. However, as we get older, the body starts losing collagen rapidly, which can contribute to signs and symptoms of aging, ranging from wrinkles to joint pain. More and more research is also showing that inflammation could be at the root of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Supporting gut health could help prevent leaky gut syndrome, which can lead to widespread inflammation throughout the body.
Unfortunately, the typical modern diet is pumped full of processed foods and lacking in essential nutrients, such as collagen. For this reason, I believe that collagen could be considered the missing link to modern health, and supplementation can be highly beneficial for most people to fill in any gaps in the diet.
Your book is a 21-day plan. What should readers do when they’ve completed that?
After completing the 21-day plan, I would recommend continuing to enjoy one serving of collagen daily as part of a well-rounded diet. Try adding collagen to coffee, smoothies or other healthy recipes, and be sure to consume a variety of vitamin C–rich fruits and veggies to boost collagen production as well.
To get more collagen through diet, we should eat meat and fish and drink bone broth. What advice can you give vegetarians and vegans to boost their collagen?
Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen synthesis, so I’d recommend increasing vitamin C consumption to help the body build more collagen naturally. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of healthy whole foods, including fruits and veggies like leafy greens, berries, apples and bananas.
Based on his research, Dr. Axe writes of collagen: “I believe it’s the unsung hero of anti-aging medicine.” It can help you:
• avoid the aches and pains of aging
• stave off wrinkles and sagging skin
• heal persistent gastrointestinal issues or food sensitivities
• build your immune system and strengthen your resistance to cold and flu bugs
• maintain healthy nails and hair
• bolster the strength of your bones and muscles.
Source: The Collagen Diet