The Hidden Power of Gelatin

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Most of us have heard about Gelatin- its probably what comes to mind when you think of either baking or gummy bears. What not many people know about Gelatin is that is can actually be a very good addition to your diet, with a host of health benefits:
  • Improving Hair, Skin and Joint/tendon health
  • Soothes the Digestive tract
  • Contains many essential and non-essential amino acids including Arginine and Glycine
  • A natural Anti-Inflamatory
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Regulates Hormones

So what is Gelatin? Gelatin is the an animal product found naturally in the hoofs, bones, skin etc basically the collagen of animals. I know this sounds disgusting but what we forget is that in the old days gelatin was a key part of our diet and was used in a load of recipes when baking and it even comes off the bones naturally in things like Bone Broths. Sadly we do not each many of these dishes anymore leaving gelatin sorely lacking from our diet.

One of the first and most substantial things Gelatin can do is improve your skin and hair health. Our skin is made of Collagen and this requires Vitamin C for our bodies to produce. Alternativly we have the option of eating more gelatin rich foods or gelatin which will help your skin become smoother, firmer and clearer over time. This benefit also transfers over to your hair which will start to look shinier and stronger within weeks of eating gelatin on a regular basis.

As mentioned earlier Gelatin contains Arginine and Glycine. This is important as it is one of the few protein sources to contain large amounts of these amino acids.

Arginine can have a metabolism boosting effect, more importantly though is the benefit of Glycine which has two main functions – Firstly it helps build muscle and secondly it converts glucose to energy rather than fat. This is key as the more things in our diet that prevent lipolysis and promote fat oxidation the better. Glycine is especially good at soothing and rebuilding the digestive tract therefore I highly recommend it to anyone with things like ulcers or a leaky gut. It even helps absorb calcium in the gut and has been shown to have a calming effect soon after ingestion.

Basically Gelatin is packed with benefits some of which I have explained above but the list goes on and on. I found a great video which does a superb job at explaining more about Gelatin.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQtqP7ShwVQ  I decided to write this post as I have started integrating Gelatin into my diet recently and have noticed some great results. For one my joints have definitely gotten a lot more supple and my digestion feels a lot better, so the stuff has definitely done some healing. The dry skin I normally have on my elbows has also gone. On top of this it is and easy to integrate into the diet……

You only need around 1-2TBSP’s per day or a few times a week. This is pretty easy to mix into stuff as it has no flavour and just adds a slight gooey gelatinous texture to whatever you are eating, which definitely isnt a bad thing. Here are a few ideas:

  • Smoothies (this is really easy and goes unnoticed)
  • Oatmeal (Again due to the naturally gooey texture goes unnoticed)
  • Soups and Stews
  • Vegetable Curries (adds a nice protein boost)
  • Yoghurt

You can get creative though and try it with a host of things. It is a pretty safe to experiment with as it holds no flavour…….

Which type? Go for the powdered type which you can find pretty easily in the baking section of most food stores. If you go to an organic/health food shop you will be able to find some kind of Organic non-hydrolyzed version which is the best type to go for. I haven’t seen it myself but have heard there is also a vegetarian version you can get which is made from seaweed gelatin, rather than from animal source (obviously this would not hold the same benefits).

So if you see an opportunity to use gelatin then give it a try - in smoothies, soups or your morning oatmeal…..

Comments

  1. Elizabeth says

    Don’t forget if you make your own stock from the bones of pastured animals it’s naturally very high in gelatin (as well as many other nutrients). I try to use stock regularly, but I also supplement with powdered gelatin since I don’t use stock nearly as much as I should. I’ll mix it in coffee or gravy or even my mashed potatoes. At first I had no clue how to incorporate gelatin into my regular diet and it ended up sitting in my cabinet untouched for a while. As time goes on I’m finding more ways to use it. It’s definitely great for the skin and hair. And taken before bed, it’ll put you right to sleep (you’re not kidding about glycine’s calming effect!).

    @ Elizabeth: Thanks for chiming in. Good recommendations on the mashed potatoes and gravy. Just had a look at nutritional info and saw that 1TBSP of Gelatin has 9 grams of protein, pretty impressed. I was also wondering what gelatin you use and where you get it from?

  2. Elizabeth says

    So far I’ve tried NOW foods gelatin and Great Lakes brand. They seem about the same to me. I believe the NOW foods gelatin has more protein than Great Lakes (which, for some reason, only has 6 grams per tablespoon??). I buy from either Amazon or a bulk vitamin site like Lucky Vitamin or iHerb. I haven’t tried organic gelatin yet because of the cost, but I imagine that’s a better choice.

    Cool, I am currently looking for a non hydrolysed version, probably more important than organic. MSG and neurotoxins scare me. Would love to try the great lakes stuff…

  3. jem says

    I’ve been using Great Lakes kosher. I think that I got it from the e bay site.
    I was unable to get any more than knox packages locally and our HFS really sticks to vegetarian products.
    My daughter is a manager at a food coop, which has a meat dept, and I will see what’s available or can be special ordered.
    The organic, pig product, is from Canada…expensive. But the site has some good info on the various types.

  4. Jane says

    I just read an article the other day and it also explained the benefits of eating gelatin every other day as a dessert (JellO, jelly) for example.

    Just put some gelatin in warm water, mix it, let it cool a bit and add some fruits of your liking. Maybe add some stevia, raw honey or agave. Makes a nice jello.

    Gelatin is also supposed to help with assimilation of nutrients in the body.

    I haven’t researched it myself yet, but there must be an American health guru called Edgar Cayce. And he suggested to eat gelatin with every raw meal. The body absorbs the minerals, vitamins and nutrients much better that way.

    Thanks Chris for bringing this to our attention.

  5. cjl201 says

    Thanks for the article. Up to now my only source of gelatin was an occasional fruit jelly. Now I will definitely incorporate more gelatin in my diet.

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