What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a translucent, powdery substance, resembling the texture and appearance of white sand, and is full of amino acids.
As our bodies age, we sometimes experience higher levels of inflammation, sickness, compromised digestion, aches and pains.
While our bodies can make some of the amino acids on their own, the average person tends to have less gelatin as they age, resulting in depleted essential amino acid levels that the human body requires to function optimally.
Gelatin’s amino acid profile
- 4% Lysine
- 6% Aspartic acid
- 8% Arginine
- 9% Alanine
- 10% Glutamic acid
- 12% Hydroxyproline
- 12% Proline
- 21% Glycine
One of the most valuable amino acids found in gelatin is glycine, which helps to lower inflammation, improve mental alertness, joints and digestive health as well as helping to prevent and heal leaky gut.
In addition to this, gelatin has a number of other key benefits:
11 health benefits of gelatin
1. Skin health
Consuming more gelatin in our diets is a smart natural skin care approach. The reason for this is that gelatin has skin healing properties due to its rich source of collagen. Collagen is considered one of the building blocks for skin, it helps with skin elasticity, reduces skin roughness, aging, wrinkles, stretch marks and helps protect you from free radical damage.
2. Teeth, nails and hair
Gelatin provides abundant amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous which helps to build and maintain strong teeth, nails and hair.
3. Cellulite and stretch marks
Cellulite is caused by a breakdown or loss of collagen. Gelatin also helps prevent stretch marks by improving the skins strength, elasticity, tone and firmness.
4. Hormone balance
The glycine in gelatin helps the body to make glutathione which is crucial for helping to remove excess estrogen from the body.
Under stressful situations the body requires more minerals, nutrients and amino acids which can be provided to the body from gelatin. Gelatin has been found to help rejuvenate organs such as the adrenals as it helps the body to deal with stress easier.
6. Mood booster
Many people take amino acid supplements to naturally boost mental focus and clarity, ‘happy’ hormones and reduce nor-epinephrine (stress hormones). However, what they don’t know is that gelatin can aid in all of this as it contains many amino acids, one being glycine which acts similarly to an anti-anxiety and an anti-depressant, but without the negative side effects.
7. Boosts metabolism
Glycine also helps to boost metabolism and also helps to regulate insulin sensitivity keeping people from storing abdominal fat.
Gelatin is incredibly easy to digest. Some of the amino acids founds in gelatin helps to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is essential for digestion and nutrient assimilation.
9. Keeps you satiated
Taking gelatin increases satiety hormones and helps to control and lower hunger hormones.
10. Improves sleep
Gelatin has been found to not only aid sleep, but also improves sleep quality and reduces day time sleepiness.
11. Aids liver detoxification
Often in today’s toxic world the body can’t make enough glycine needed to keep up with the body’s detoxification needs. Taking gelatin provides additional glycine which supports the neutralisation of toxins in the liver and aids the body to naturally detox from heavy metals along with toxins and chemicals from our diet and environment.
How to add more gelatin to your diet
The best way to consume gelatin is to honour the whole animal and eat from ‘Head to Toe’, meaning you use the bones and connective tissues from healthy animals to make foods like stock or bone broth.
You can then use this stock or bone broth as the base of curries, soups, stews and to cook vegetables in. While eating bone broth is one of the best ways to get gelatin, collagen, nutrients, minerals and other important nutritional components, we do understand that this isn’t always easy or possible for some people.
Another alternative is to add gelatin powder to your diet, which can allow you to make it an easy and simple addition to many foods like smoothies, coffee, hot chocolates, gravies, panna cottas, cheesecakes, jelly and much more.
How much gelatin do I need?
Most people can start off with ½ – 1 Tbsp of gelatin (or 1 cup of bone broth) per day without any side effects and are able to slowly increase the amount every week or so as you body becomes used to the volume. As everyone is unique and has different requirements, the key here is to listen to your body and its needs.
It’s important not to get too carried away with consuming gelatin, especially if you are new to it. Taking too much gelatin too quickly can lead to some digestive distress, so start slowly and listen to your body’s signs and symptoms.
Here are 10 of our favourite recipes that use gelatin:
- Mango, Macadamia and Cultured Coconut Custard
- Choc, Cinnamon, Coconut Gummies
- Dairy Free Chocolate Panna Cotta
- Raspberry and Mango Jelly Squares
- Apple and Passion Fruit Jelly
- Summer Chia Pudding
- Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric and Mango Panna Cotta
- Supercharged Bulletproof Coffee
- Lemon and Ginger Jelly
- Gelatin Hair Mask
Changing Habits Gelatin
Gelatin is a product that Cyndi uses regularly because of its wonderful healing properties and natural source of amino acids which aids skin and bone health, hair and nail growth, recovery after exercise, immune function, digestion aid and weight regulation.
So add some gelatin into your diet so you too can reap the health benefits.
Happy changing habits.
Changing Habits Nutritionist