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
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 skins 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.
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)
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…..
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