You may have come across gelatin, when learning about the importance of gut health. Gelatin health benefits are varied with both healing and cooking benefits. Above all, it’s great for gut health.
Here in this article, we explain the Gelatin health benefits, Including simple ways to incorporate more in your own diet.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a translucent and flavourless food ingredient, derived from collagen. Collagen is the most important protein in connective tissue, skin and bones. It is found in the odd bits and tougher cuts of meat such as tendons, cartilage and certain bones of animals. Usually cows, pigs and marine animals. It is brittle when dry and gummy when moist. Nutritionally, gelatin is a pure source of up to 18 amino acids. It is loaded with three amino acids (glycine, proline, and alanine). They have hydrophilic (hydrating), anti-inflammatory, healing properties.
Gelatin – The forgotten healing food
Traditionally, diets included a more nose to tail approach to food. Therefore, we used to get more gelatin because this came from different parts of the animal like skin, tendons and gelatinous cuts of meats. These days gelatin isnt as common in our diets.
For these reasons:
– the introduction and popularity of leaner cuts of meat.
– an increase in processed and packaged foods
– the introduction of vegetarian and vegan diets, and therefore no meat products.
Gelatin Health Benefits:
Gelatin has varying benefits. Some of the key benefits:
- Natural source of protein and essential amino acids
- Natural food ingredient
- Free from genetically or chemically modified
- Low allergy product (unless marine derived)
Properties and functions:
- Unique texture, elasticity and purity
- High bioavailability
- Can extend the shelf life of products
- Cholesterol, purine and fat free
- Has the ability to gel, thicken, bind and form layers
Gelatin health benefits
digestive and gut health
Gelatin can help with digesting food. Gelatin is hydro-phillic. This means that it can attract or hold water. This allows it to draw in digestive juices, which helps break down the food. The more digestive juices, bile and stomach acid, the more the food gets broken down. This means we absorb the nutrients in those foods better. More nutrients equals better overall health. On the other hand, if we aren’t digesting our food properly, that slows digestion and may cause inflammation of the gut. As we know, inflammation of the gut impacts immunity, mood, skin issues and hormonal health. Gelatin can also improve gut intregrity and is one of the key inclusions in the GAPS diet, designed to heal the gut.
Gelatin can also help with skin health. It provides two of the amino acids, glycine and proline that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin. Providing these amino acids ensures that the building blocks to collagen are in the diet.
Gelatin can also help with joint health, reducing stiffness and aid in reducing inflammation. It provides the amino acids used in the production of collagen.
Gelatin is also high in the amino acid glycine. Glycine is an inhibitory neurostransmitter, which may decrease anxiety and promote calmness.
What’s the difference between collagen and gelatin?
It’s common for people to get confused between collagen and gelatin.
They provide the same health benefits as described above. The main differences are the form they come in and their usage.
Collagen comes in a powder, liquid or capsules form, dissolves in both hot and cold water and is used as a nutritional supplement.
Gelatin comes in a powder or granulated sheet, depending on the type either dissolves in hot or cold water and is used as a gelling agent in cooking.
Gelatin comes in 2 forms:
Hydrolysed Gelatin – In this form, the protein is broken down into individual amino acids. This makes it easier to absorb. It can be mixed into hot or cold liquid, so is great for cold smoothies or juices.
Whole protein gelatin – This form is better for gut health. It helps carry fluid through the intestines and can coat the lining of the digestive tract. This has a smoothing and protective effect. This type of gelatin must be mixed into hot liquids and is great for gummies or jelly type snacks.
Both collagen and gelatin promote joint, skin, bone and gut health.
One of the huge benefits of gelatin is that it can be used as a food source. Therefore you get the benefits of gelatin without taking a supplement. This is especially good for children, as they are a lot less likely to take powders, liquids or capsule forms of collagen.
How to incorporate more Gelatin in your diet
Naturally, gelatin is abundant in bone broths. Sipping on a cup of homemade bone broth is an easy way to include more gelatin in your diet.
Gelatin powder or sheets are also easily dissolved in water, making it easy to incorporate it in a variety of recipes.
Different ways to get it in to your diet:
- Make Gummies
- Add it into smoothies
- Bone Broth
- Gelatinous meats
- Gravy & sauces
- Add to bulletproof coffee or hot chocolate
- Make a collagen energy bar
- Homemade jelly cups
- Demi-glace is one of the rich brown sauces from classic French cuisine.
- Glace for fruit
- Make a panna cotta, mousse, custard, pudding
In other words, it’s very versatile and so many yummy recipes can be made by using gelatin.
How to choose a good quality Gelatin
The most important factor when choosing a gelatin is the source. You want to ensure that the quality is good and also that it isnt farmed in an unsustainable way or pumped full of hormones or chemicals.
Unless it specifies, where it comes from and what animal, then its likely that it is simply a bi-product of the farming industry and usually pig parts with cow hide mixed in.
In other words, look for brands that are organic and/or at the very least pasture raised.
There are 3 main types of Gelatin sources:
- Porcine. This form is generally cheaper than bovine
- Kosher. (Bovine).
- Fish Gelatin
My fave picks of Gelatin:
Here are some of my favourite brands of gelatin:
Gelpro Australia – Certified Organic Gelatin
Gelatin is a great addition to you and your family’s meal planning. Gelatin is especially a great way for children as it can be made into gummies which they love making and eating. Above all, it’s great for gut health. Need more inspiration then check out our Ebook.
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