Hey, come in close. I’ve got a secret to tell you.
- Do you want rock hard nails and beautiful hair?
- Do you want to increase the elasticity in your skin?
- Do you want strong bones and joints?
- Do you want a natural digestive aid?
Well, I’ve got something that will give you all that and more. All you have to do is eat more gelatin. That’s right, you read right – gelatin!
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a natural protein collagen that is derived from the bones, skin, joints, and collagen (fibrous protein) of animals. It is usually found in a flavorless granulated, powder form and is used in desserts and to thicken various liquids.
Gelatin is utilized in many industries; most commonly in food, medicine, and beauty products. It is used to stabilize, clarify, emulsify, and thicken foods and other products. Gelatin is found in a multitude of items, such as: yogurt, gummy bears, jelly, marshmallows, soups, sausages, lozenges, creams, pills, photographic film, sand paper, and playing cards (just to name a few!).
Besides being able to buy gelatin at the store, it is also found in rich, homemade bone broth which is prepared by taking the bones (from animals like beef and chicken) and placing them in a large stock pot with water and apple cider vinegar. You can find a full tutorial here on how to make homemade bone broth.
Gelatin Quality Matters
Keep in mind, the gelatin I am talking about doesn’t come in a small box with many different “flavors” to choose from. Here is an example on how conventionally made gelatin is made:
“Collagen doesn’t dissolve in water in its natural form, so it must be modified to make gelatin. Manufacturers grind the body parts and treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to dissolve the collagen. Then the pre-treated material is boiled. Controls at every step of the process ensure purity and safety. The materials are washed and filtered repeatedly. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down; the resulting product is a gelatin solution. That solution is chilled into a jelly-like material, cut and dried in a special chamber. At this point, the dried gelatin — about 10 percent water — is ground. If it’s going to make Jell-O, it will be ground into a fine powder.” (source)
This is why I buy 100% grass-fed gelatin (like this), so I know it’s coming to me in its purest, nutrient dense, minimally processed form; since most commercial gelatin can come from a mystery concoction of discarded animal parts. Buying a high-quality gelatin also ensures you are getting gelatin from healthy animals who haven’t been treated with artificial hormones and antibiotics.
Why Gelatin is Great for You
There are many reasons gelatin is an amazing superfood! Here are just a few reasons why I make sure it’s a staple in my everyday diet:
- Gelatin can strengthen the bones and joints, treating such conditions of the musculoskeletal system as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.
- Gelatin can strengthen your nails and improve your hair quality (thicker, shinier hair? Yes, please!)
- Gelatin can also speed up recover time after exercise and any sports-related injury. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can protect the muscles from being broken down for energy.
- Gelatin can help the body fight off infections, regulate the hormones progesterone and estrogen, regulate insulin levels, improve liver health, and help the immune system run optimally.
- Gelatin promotes relaxation and a good night’s sleep.
- Gelatin can help replenish the collagen in your body (especially as you age, which means less wrinkles, stiff joints, and cellulite!). The protein found in the human body is made up of about 1/3 collagen. Collagen is what gives the body elasticity in the skin and in the connective tissue.
- Gelatin has been shown to benefit the treatment of many chronic aliments such as diabetes, anemia, cancer, and muscular dystrophy.
- Gelatin can heal the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, help the body assimilate nutrients easily, and help with the digestion of meat proteins, beans, milk, and certain grains.
- Gelatin supports a healthy metabolism and promotes a healthy thyroid by aiding in the balance of tryptophan, cysteine, methionine, and histidine – amino acids that can hinder proper thyroid function. It also combats the common stress hormones cortisol, serotonin, and adrenaline which can put strain on the metabolism.
How to Get More Gelatin in Your Diet
1. Drink It!
You can drink gelatin by mixing it into hot liquids such as tea or coffee, you can also add the powder to smoothies. Since it is flavorless, I bet you won’t even know it’s there.
2. Make Gelatin-Rich Desserts & Snacks
3. Consume More Homemade Bone Broth
Eat lots of soups, stews, and sauces made from your own homemade bone broth; you can even cook your grains in broth to pack a gelatin-rich punch or just drink a nice, warm cup with each meal.
4. Make Pancakes!
Such as in this amazing coconut flour pancake recipe!
Easy Homemade Grape Jello
1 quart of 100% organic grape juice, fresh pressed if possible
2 1/2 tablespoons of grass-fed gelatin (like this)
1. Take half of the grape juice and place it in a mug with the gelatin, allow to sit for one minute.
2. In the mean time, gently heat the other half of the grape juice on the stove until steam rises from the top. Turn off the heat and add the cold grape juice/gelatin mixture. Stir well until the gelatin is dissolved.
3. Place in a glass dish (I went with an 8×8 dish) and allow to chill completely in the fridge for two hours.
4. Cut into squares, desired shapes, or just scoop into bowls – enjoy the gelatin goodness!