What is gelatin? Gelatin (1) is a clear, flavorless substance that comes from combining various parts of an animal, including connective tissue and bones.
It’s currently being touted as a new superfood. There are several benefits of gelatin and gelatin uses are ample, so unless you’re a vegetarian (because gelatin is derived from animals, typically cattle), why not add it to your diet?
When creating gelatin, the aim is to remove as much collagen as possible. Once extracted, it’s made into a gelatinous powder that dissolves in hot liquid and becomes more solid during the cooling process (think of gelatin desserts and gravies when they congeal). Eighteen essential amino acids are found in gelatin; beef gelatin is the most nutritious type.
It’s only recently that we haven’t been using all the parts of an animal for nourishment. Back in the old days they didn’t let one part go to waste, right down to the bones, which have a tremendous amount of nutrition. This is why beef bone broth is a time-honored healing food for very sick people who cannot eat more than that.
Health Benefits of Gelatin
What is gelatin good for? Well for a start, gelatin is good for you because of its protein and amino acid content. There are many gelatin benefits; this simple, innocuous ingredient can be a workhorse in providing us with optimal health. Have a look at the list below!
1. Slashes Your Food Budget
Gelatin is an excellent way to cut back on meat consumption yet preserve protein intake.
First of all, meat can be expensive. Gelatin is an excellent way to cut back on meat consumption yet preserve protein intake. Add it to other foods to substitute for what might be cut out. Food budget saved!
2. Gelatin for Joints
Gelatin supplements can help with joint pain and health by reducing inflammation. Bodybuilders have been using gelatin for this purpose for decades. If you suffer from arthritis and other joint pain issues, or exercise a lot, gelatin can ease some of the discomfort associated with inflammation.
3. Anti-Aging Effect
Have a smoothie with gelatin in it every day to help combat age-related collagen loss.
Gelatin has lots of collagen, and we need collagen for beautiful, plump skin that doesn’t thin out as we get older. Have a smoothie with gelatin in it every day to help combat age-related collagen loss.
4. Balances Hormones
Gelatin can help regulate insulin and prevent hypoglycemia thanks to glycine. Glycine (2) helps the body produce glutathione, which helps remove excess estrogen from the body that enters the body from toxic body care products, environmental pollution, processed foods, and hormonal birth control. Excessive amounts of estrogen have been linked to cancer in women.
5. Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
When our bodies are under extreme stress they need more minerals and amino acids, and gelatin is an excellent source.
Adrenal fatigue can happen to anyone, but is especially common in periods of high stress and burnout. When our bodies are under extreme stress they need more minerals and amino acids, and gelatin is an excellent source. It may actually help invigorate the kidneys, adrenals, and bladder, which all help us deal with stress and manage cortisol levels properly.
6. Weight Loss
Gelatin can potentially increase how much human growth hormone is produced in the body and can also boost metabolism. Better yet, gelatin is so nutrient-dense that it makes you feel full longer. Try ending dinner with a gelatin-rich dessert so you have no chance of snacking later on the evening.
7. Improves the Look of Cellulite
When collagen breaks down in the body we get cellulite. Many people take collagen supplements to combat this effect.
When collagen breaks down in the body we get cellulite. Many people take collagen supplements to combat this effect, but why do that when gelatin powder is a more affordable food source of collagen?
8. Helps Heal Wounds
Glycine, an amino acid found in gelatin, is highly anti-inflammatory, and can help speed up recovery of wounds, including scrapes, cuts, burns, and gashes.
9. Beautiful Skin
Gelatin has skin healing properties.
Finding products that can make skin look radiant is like searching for the Holy Grail. Well, look no further because gelatin has skin healing properties. Gelatin is a form of collagen, a key protein in the body. About a quarter of body mass is collagen, and we need it for skin elasticity and tone, two key factors that contribute to youthful looking skin.
10. Balances High Meat Intake
Meat and eggs are high in methionine, an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures. Those who eat lots of animal protein need adequate glycine to balance out the methionine from meat, and you’ll get that from gelatin.
11. Helps You Sleep Better
The amino acid glycine content in gelatin powder can help you sleep better.
Gelatin powder can help you sleep better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (3), 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from a sleep disorder, so we could all use a little sleep dust: gelatin! The amino acid glycine is responsible for this effect.
12. Improves Bone Health
Collagen is a major element of bone composition. Some studies suggest that taking collagen can increase bone mass density; gelatin is an excellent source of collagen.
13. Helps the Liver
Gelatin is rich in glycine, and our bodies need glycine for detoxification.
Gelatin is rich in glycine, and our bodies need glycine for detoxification. Without enough glycine the body won’t make enough glutathione, an important step in liver detoxification.
14. Fights Inflammation
Glycine also helps fight inflammation, which can cause many illnesses, so keeping it down is essential. Bone broth is a nutritious and easy way to keep inflammation at bay. And it tastes good, too!
15. Calms Nerves and Anxiety
Gelatin can help soothe nerves and anxiety due to glycine.
Gelatin can help soothe nerves and anxiety due to glycine. If this is a concern for you, find a way to get gelatin into your daily diet. Smoothies are a simple and tasty way to accomplish this; just add a bit of powder to the smoothie before blending.
16. Improves Digestion
Edible gelatin can help with digestion by binding to water in the stomach and helping food move through the digestive tract with more ease. Gelatin improves gastric acid secretion and restores the mucus lining in the stomach to a healthier state.
17. Heals Food Allergies
A simple bone broth soup is enough to reap the benefits of gelatin.
It’s believed that gelatin can contribute to helping with food allergies and intolerances by healing the lining of the stomach, making it harder for toxins and other allergens to get into the body. A simple bone broth soup is enough to reap the benefits of gelatin.
18. Preserves Muscle Mass
People can lose muscle mass during a long illness, but it can be preserved by adding gelatin to the diet. Athletes who over-train can benefit from gelatin as well its amino acid content can speed up recovery times.
19. Helps Strengthen Hair and Nails
Gelatin contains keratin, which can help strengthen hair, nails and teeth.
Who doesn’t want lush, strong, and vibrant locks, and nails that aren’t brittle? Eat gelatin and you can have both thanks to keratin, a protein that can help strengthen hair, nails, and teeth (gelatin contains keratin proteins).
How to Eat Gelatin
The best way to eat gelatin is to combine it with other foods—on its own, it won’t taste good. Commercial gelatins made as fun desserts aren’t ideal because they’re loaded with artificial colors and sweeteners, and are not sourced from organic gelatin. The best type of gelatin to use is grass fed gelatin from healthy cows. Your local health food store should carry it; if not, there are online vendors.
Try adding gelatin to smoothies or oatmeal; it can also be used creatively with chicken, seafood and, salads.
You can add gelatin to smoothies or oatmeal, and it can be used creatively with chicken, seafood and, salads. A classic gelatin salad recipe is tomato aspic, which was a huge party treat in the ’70s. You can also add gelatin to coffee and tea, but you’ll need to drink it quickly before it congeals. Sauces and gravies are ideal spots to slip in some gelatin because they need to be thick anyway.
And of course you can make your own homemade gelatin dessert with Knox gelatin using flavors you won’t find in the supermarket, such as watermelon. When you add gelatin to other foods, it allows for better absorption of the nutrients and adds more value to a meal. As you can see, the benefits of gelatin are numerous, so why not find a way incorporate it into your diet? Your body will thank you!