Gelatin… the stuff that jello is made of. Of course, jello is hardly natural if you are thinking about that bright red, full of sugar stuff. Don’t let that fool you into thinking gelatin isn’t good for you though! Gelatin without the sugars and dyes is actually quite beneficial.
What IS Gelatin
If you are a vegetarian or vegan then odds are you will not like gelatin. It is an animal product through and through. Gelatin is a flavorless, colorless product which is made from the collagen of animal; namely their skin, connective tissue, and bones. Not a pretty image I know… but most animal foods are hardly pretty.
Why do we need Gelatin
Back in the day, humans consumed all parts of an animal. We ate all sorts of meats and we made bone broth. When we did this it was not only an economical way of stretching meals but it also gave us many nutrients.
What are the benefits of Gelatin
It seems a better question would be to ask what aren’t the benefits? But instead I’ll indulge you and list just some of the benefits. Gelatin is great for:
- Protein – Gelatin packs an amazing 6 grams of protein in just 1 tablespoon!
- Skin – Gelatin is rich in collagen. Collagen is what our skin elasticity, tone, and keeps those wrinkles away.
- Hair, Teeth, and Nails – Gelatin is a great source of nutrients that our hair, teeth, and nails crave. Adding gelatin to your diet can increase their strength.
- Weight loss – Since gelatin is packed with protein, it can help you feel full longer. It’s also said to boost metabolism.
- Digestion – Gelatin can help ease digestion and it can even help with leaky gut issues.
- Bones and Joints – It makes sense that a substance made from bones and joints will benefit bones and joints. Gelatin can help bones and joints stay strong. It can also help with joint issues like inflammation due to arthritis.
- Sleep – Gelatin can help you sleep better! I’ve heard that adding gelatin to chamomile tea is a great way to increase relaxation and sleep.
Not all Gelatin is created equal
If you are into eating healthy, then you already know that not all food has the same quality. Gelatin is no different. Since gelatin is an animal product, then it’s important to get the good stuff. Animals that are stuck in dirty spaces, eating unnatural-for-them food, and pumped with antibiotics will not provide a good source of gelatin. What you want is gelatin from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed cows are healthier and can pass on more nutrients to use in the form of meat and of course, gelatin! One of the most popular brands of grass-fed gelatin and the one that I use is Great Lakes.
How to use Gelatin
We’ve established that gelatin is amazing but just how to we add it to our diet? Since it’s flavorless and colorless, you can actually do a lot with gelatin!
- Jello – the healthy, homemade version is a great fun way to consume gelatin.
- Smoothies – I love to add a bit of gelatin to our smoothies!
- Soups/Stews – Gelatin can be easily added to soups/broths and nobody will even notice.
- Mouses, puddings, marshmallows – Desserts might not be the healthiest way of adding gelatin to your life but hey if you are going to have a dessert, you might as well have it with gelatin!
- Drinks – You can mix gelatin into your water, tea, coffee, or juice.