Gelatin: The Secret Superfood you should be taking

8:15 PM

When someone mentions gelatin, two things typically come to mind, orange Jell-o and cow hooves.. that's as much exposure as I had had up until recently.

It started with a recipe for bone broth. Everyone raving about how the stuff is so great, so good for you.. etc. I just wanted to know why, so here's the scoop.

First, there are several types of gelatin and different ways to get it into your system. There's regular gelatin, such as this one. This is for 'gelling', making desserts, healthy gummies and the like. It's harder to digest, not recommended as a supplement.

Collagen Hydrolysate is another form. It's comes in powder or capsule form and is easier to digest. This one is cold water soluble, does not gel and can be used in place of or with protein powders and shakes.

Another great source of gelatin in Bone Broth, the easiest and best two recipes are here and some great information can be found here. You can also buy it in the frozen food section in most health food stores, but be sure to check the label for quality ingredients and no fillers/preservatives.  Grass-fed, hormone and anti-biotic free bone broth is a great way to take in many vitamins, minerals, collagen and protein, but that's another post.

Gelatin powder is just dehydrated broth powder sourced from bones, cartilage and collagen.

Now, here's the part you've been waiting for, all the reasons you need to start add this to your diet starting now:

1. Anti-aging/Wrinkles, Cellulite, Wound Repair & Stretchmark Prevention:  

I decided to condense these into number one for several reasons. Part of what makes gelatin so amazing is that is actually makes up the connective tissues of skin, providing its strength, firmness and elasticity.

The collagen found in gelatin is vital for tone and cell renewal/turnover which is key for anti-aging and stretchmark prevention.  The loss of collagen is the cause of wrinkles and cellulite, and the breakdown and lack of elasticity is responsible for stretchmarks.

This also equals longer, healthier hair and nails for all those ladies taking biotin supplements, just start taking gelatin and your results will be tenfold.

2. Protein: 

Incredibly protein dense, for powdered gelatin 1TBSP = 6g of quality protein! This source can make up to 30% of your protein intake (about 3-6 TBSP per day).  Protein makes up your hair, skin, nails, bones, muscles and cells. It contributes to muscle recovery and maintenance, keeps you feeling 'full' longer, which can assist in weight-loss or muscle gain (depending on what your goals are) improves brain function, blood pressure and sleep quality. Wow, and that's only a few of the perks.

3. Digestion & Metabolism

Glycine (an amino acid), which makes up roughly 30% of gelatin's structure "helps digestion by enhancing gastric acid secretion. Research published in 1976 established that only proteins stimulate gastric acid secretion, but apparently not all amino acids do so. Glycine is one of those that do, a fact that was known in 1925"

"Robert Atkins, M.D. contends that the inability to properly digest protein contributes to asthma, diabetes, food allergies, intestinal infections, eczema and acne.." which is where the release of gastric acid comes into play. It allows for better use of all that protein you are taking in. 

Russian researchers studying mice who had had their stomachs damaged by chemicals (poor mice), who were then given gelatin, found that the stomach linings in the mice had completely healed. Similar research suggests that gelatin supplementation contributes to healing a 'leaky gut' and the associated symptoms. 

Those are just some of the benefits of gelatin, Incredible huh? I think so. A couple general notes of caution: 

A) Start with only one 1/2 to 1 tsp per day of the powdered gelatin, and see how you feel.  Eating too much can cause digestive upset (bloating, gas, loss of appetite and constipation). 

B) Be sure to eat and/or drink with good complex carbs and healthy, 'good' fats. Treat this like a mini meal to ensure that it is well utilized. 

We've added the 'green can' to our diet, it's great in protein shakes and tea.  I also have started making bone broth, I can just throw everything in to a crockpot and let it do all the work. It's easy to freeze in ice cube trays and heat whenever. 

As always, do your research and consult a doctor if you wish before adding any supplements to your diet. Make sure it's right for you. 

Sources & More information:

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