Cutting to the chase: The search for Vegan sources of collagen is over. Vegan collagen that is completely plant based can be found in some species of seaweed. Particularly sea moss.

With more and more people moving towards making diet and lifestyle choices that resonate with them based on a combination of vales and health, there has been an obvious increases in the demand for products to cater to their needs. One such need is being seen in the Vegan community with cafes and restaurants planning their menus more effectively. In that, the use of seaweed as a Vegan source of collagen in raw food is something that is impressing the crowds.

This is becoming more of a movement in our part of the world, where people are frequenting bulk wholefoods stores and farmer’s markets to source nutritious food and ingredients. People are becoming increasingly conscious about what they consume, and the market is beginning to respond more than ever.

Plant Collagen vs Animal Collagen

To maintain a healthy diet the need for key minerals and vitamins is right on the top of the list. When you are transitioning from a diet that is a combination of plant and animal based to purely plant based, the can be some challenges. One such challenge is finding plant based sources of collagen instead of animal based sources of collagen.

But what about the conflicting arguments around plant collagen vs animal collagen? Isn’t there a basis to support the consumption of animal based collagen over plant based collagen? Let’s look at this objectively without the often expected ‘cruelty’ angle to the plant based food sources discussion.

Most of the marketing around would have you believe that the only form of collagen that the human body can absorb is animal based. This is not the case. Plants can offer an amazing Vegan source of collagen. One plant in particular that does this extremely well is our previously mentioned seaweed. Specifically Irish Sea Moss. Packed with collagen, this abundant resource has been used in supplements, as a raw food, and in topical applications such as serums.

As a source of collagen, without it needing to be labelled a Vegan source of collagen, Irish Sea Moss gives us one of the most responsive types of collagen in a form that makes it highly beneficial for our health. You don’t need to be Vegan to enjoy the benefits of Irish Sea Moss, you can simply choose to use it in any range of ways to get a higher collagen dose than you would from other, non-plant based sources. This is great news for those looking for a Vegan source of collagen, but you need to be aware of a few other factors before you rush out to buy any old Irish Sea Moss.

What is the Best Type of Irish Sea Moss?

There are many different types of Irish Sea Moss on the market, but not all of them are equally matched when you look at them side by side. If you are after a higher grade of seaweed with a collagen content that you can actually use, then go for an Irish Sea Moss that has been naturally dried and not oven baked.

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Natural Irish Sea Moss which has been air dried and not oven dried or baked looks like this

When Irish Sea Moss, or any other seaweed for that matter, has been baked, it is effectively dead. All of the nutritional value in it is pretty much destroyed. Collagen powders are often in the same category, but what is more troubling is that some claim to be from ‘marine sources’ which they imply are not animal based, but they are made from shell fish and the guts, gills, heads and fins of fish.

What is even more troubling is that some fish are able to produce higher collagen content if they are malnourished. That leave me asking about the ethics of the business that knows they will get more collagen per fish if they don’t properly feed the fish. Saving money on the food expense, and making more money on the higher collagen yield per fish. Ok, that was a little off topic, but still relevant.

So, the best type of Irish Sea Moss as a Vegan source of collagen, or even non-Vegan, is when the Irish Sea Moss has been air dried and preserved in natural sea salt. Any other ingredients will interfere with the purity, and therefore the effectiveness of the seaweed in my opinion – keep things as pure as possible. To find out how you can make an Irish Sea Moss gel that is an amazing plant based substitute for gelatin, see the article Collagen for Vegans – Can You Get Collagen From Seaweed?

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