Guys, gals, Zebras or not, everyone requires collagen. It is vital to many functions in our bodies, from healthy skin and hair, to optimal gut and bone health. The immune system doesn’t discriminate either- everyone requires it to be in tip top shape and on the ready for when we encounter little nasty bugs, infectious diseases, and even cancer. As we age, or are exposed to certain environmental factors, we lose integrity of these two things. Our ability to make collagen decreases, as does our ability to produce elements essential to the immune system. I don’t know about you, but in addition to this whole Ehlers business, I’m also coming to terms that I ain’t no spring chicken. So, what’s a gal to do? Make the Ultimate Collagen and Immune Boosting Smoothie, that’s what.
First off, if we truly want to make [any] change, we must remove any thing[s] that have (or can) prevented it thus far. Ditching things like processed foods, stents of extended sun exposure, maybe cutting down on the wine 😳, go a long way in general health and well-being improvements. This is pertinent to collagen production and the optimal functioning of the immune system as well. So that’s step one. To try to fix an issue without removing the offending agents is akin to brushing one’s teeth while eating Oreos. You must stop eating Oreos before you brush your teeth (you must remove the success-preventing agent).
This certainly doesn’t apply to the unchangeable such as aging, or a genetic collagen or immunodeficiency disorder. In those circumstances we can only work to mitigate the damages.
Secondly, we put in place the tools required for success. For example, that dental hygiene effort above would be vastly improved after swishing with some water wouldn’t it? A cup of water is the tool. Well, this smoothie is a perfect tool for collagen production and immune system functioning. The nutritional benefits of coconut water, bananas, and strawberries are pretty well known. It’s these extra value-added things I’ve put into my routine that have made a considerable difference in my life.
This one will get a bit more attention as it is one of the main components to the Ultimate Collagen and Immune Boosting Smoothie.
This is not an exhaustive list but studies have shown the following benefits for silica.
– An enabler of calcium mineralization which then leads to improving a condition of excessive calcium as in bone spurs or calcium deficiency as in osteoporosis.
– An enabler in bone composition leading to increased flexibility of the bone. Trees that bend in strong winds don’t break. Bones that have ‘flexibility’ are at less risk of fracture following an injury.
– An actor in increased nervous system signaling/firing of impulses.
– A major constituent in the heart, arteries, lungs in terms of maintaining healthy connective tissue and organs.
– A principle contributor the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Leads to skin growth and elasticity.
– A factor in the chain of development of cartilage.
– A binder with heavy metals (as in aluminum) to help extract them from the body.
– A decisive component of healthy and strong hair in the form of increasing hair shaft follicle thickness.
Silica has actually been used specifically in Ehlers Danlos patients, and has yielded positive results.
A deficiency of silica induces deformities in skull and peripheral bones, poorly formed joints, reduced contents of cartilage, collagen, and disruption of mineral balance in the femur and vertebrae. If you’re deficient, certainly don’t fall down…
Why do I take Silica?
Because it helps to detoxify my body, helps with the numbness/tingling associated with Ehlers, and honestly since EDS is still not very well understood, how could it hurt to take a collagen-promoting supplement? It could very well be that the animal-derived collagen is inflammatory, or any other circumstance regarding its composition or how it’s taken, as to why it’s not an effective means of producing or using collagen in Ehlers. It could very well be that taking collagen-promoting substances may be the missing link. That the body of a Zebra would benefit just by having the collagen’s necessary building blocks.
You can give a man a fish [take actual collagen] or you can teach him to fish [provide the tools to get the job done]. We don’t know, there are no studies on this one way or the other. A zebra girl can dream, and what could it hurt? 🙂
Horsetail is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent (an issue virtually every Zebra deals with, as well as 2/3 of the population). To dive into this topic further, check out my extensive literature review on inflammation in this post.
It is substantially healthy for bones, and it even has anti-bacterial capabilities.
This plant has also been demonstrated to be a notable pain reliever by itself, and in combination with other beneficial herbs.
Why do I take HorseTail?
Ehlers Danlos (much like many other conditions) is a disease of inflammation. It causes inflammation, and the inflammation it causes produces many other symptoms. My inflammatory markers on labs have remained within normal limits, so I’ll be keeping this supplement in my regimen. In lieu of this marked improvement, the Ultimate Collagen and Immune Boosting Smoothie was almost the Ultimate Inflammation-Fighting, Pain-Relieving, Collagen and Immune Boosting Smoothie but Google was yelling at me about the length of the title as it is 🤷
This plant derivative is noted to be a potent detoxifying agent.
Bamboo Extract is a serious immune booster, and it regulates the pH balance of the body. It’s a myth that all vegans run around in an alkaline state, despite all the rabbit food we eat. This helps to level things out when, say, you splurge on those vegan cupcakes and ice creams. Oh, and it is something like 70% silica, so there’s that again.
Why do I take Bamboo Extract?
We live in a world full of toxins and it’s often unavoidable whether or not we are exposed to, or consume them. Our water is tainted with fluorides, bleaches, and other terrible compounds. Our foods are sprayed with poisons that eat you alive from the inside out. The air… I would like to keep my body as free of these things as possible. The appealing immune system boost and amazing silica content are definitely valuable attributes to me as well.
It has been demonstrated that consuming Boswellia can significant increase blood HDL level (good cholesterol) and remarkably decrease LDL blood cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
This plant has also been demonstrated to be a substantial pain reliever by itself, and in combination with other beneficial herbs. This is a significant symptom among the Zebra population.
Bowel conditions, such as colitis, have had demonstrated success when treated with Boswellia. This study even showed that it had greater success than the traditional pharmacotherapy measures.
Why do I take Boswellia?
My cholesterols have always been perfect, but this vessel isn’t getting any younger. I personally, and notably, enjoy the pain relieving benefits, as well as the positive effects it has on my tummy.
Of all the types of Magnesium, the Glycinate variation seems to have the highest bioavailability. Leaky Gut is becoming an all too common and growing issue. I feel it is important that all nutrients are absorbed and used to their maximum capacity.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to decreased bone density, muscle and nerve dysfunction, and even serious medical conditions such as Heart Disease, Hypertension, and even Diabetes.
Why do I use Magnesium Glycinate?
I was looking for a natural way to treat symptoms of depression and truthfully find it be quite effective. Additionally, I had been struggling with significant muscle soreness. I combined this with Magnesium bath salts and saw some significant improvement with that. I feel as though it has contributed to resolving some of these tummy issues as well, in conjunction with some of these other supplements.
Truly can’t say enough about this one…
This herb has been highly demonstrated to have free radical scavenging capacity, as well as other chemical constituents that possess anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating properties. It’s a mega booster for the immune system.
Ashwagandha has organ protecting abilities (heart, liver, kidney, etc. all in different studies), anti-seizure properties, and even mediates diabetes, as shown in this exhaustive literature review.
Why do I use Ashwagandha?
I do not get cold sores, swollen/painful joints, or even a cold when I am taking it regularly. My liver enzymes (which have been high all of my life) have been normal for the two years I have been vegan, and taken Ashwagandha. I would say it lives up to the hype.
Beetroot is a crazy effective anti-inflammatory agent (can’t get enough of those..).
There seems to be a good deal of research suggesting Beetroot Powder gives a little boost when participating in endurance activities.
It is an antioxidant with an exceptionally high free radical-scavenging activity and is a modulator of oxidative stress. Beetroot fights cancer ✊
Why do I use Beetroot?
I can use all the inflammation-reducing assistance I can get, and I’m on this crazy long and difficult endurance ride; Life.
Ultimate Immune System and Collagen Production Smoothie
- 2 Frozen Bananas
- 2 cups Fresh Strawberries
- 16 oz Coconut Water
- Living Silica
- Horsetail Powder (per package inst.)
- Bamboo Extract Powder (per package inst.)
- Boswellia Powder (per package inst.)
- Magnesium Glycinate Powder (per package inst.)
- Ashgawanda Powder (per package inst.)
- Beetroot Powder (per package inst.)
- Extra Ice
- Place bananas, cut up strawberries, and coconut water into blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to add the beetroot powder last because it sticks to the spoon and the pink powder will come off of the spoon into another powder, if you don't do it this way. You don't want all of your supplements to have beetroot in them 🙂
- Blend well:Approximately 1 min for traditional blender, 30-45 seconds for a Ninja brand blender, or 20-30 seconds for a Vitamix brand blender.
- Pour into a cup to enjoy now, and pour the rest into a cup with a lid for later (though you may have a buddy who would love to have the other serving!). Place in fridge.
I am not a physician, nor am I prescribing a diet/supplements to follow for any condition you may/may not have. Certain supplements can provide certain benefits. This article’s purpose is to simply highlight some of those discovered in studies. Also, to provide you with a personal recipe of my own that I use when *I* take these supplements in my Collagen and Immune Boosting Smoothie. If you have any questions about what supplements or diet is right for you, seek the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or a licensed dietician. Please see the policies and disclaimers for any additional information you seek regarding this disclaimer.***