Eating gelatin has many very important benefits, including improving gut health, skin health, and even mental health. Also, gelatin can be used to prepare delicious desserts that are completely natural and good for our well-being. However, most of the time we do not consume enough gelatin.
Traditional diets are typically higher in gelatin than today's modern diets, as ancient cultures practiced consumption "from nose to tail" and ate animal parts that were very rich in gelatin.
Reasons to eat more gelatin
Today the practice of eating the whole animal has been lost, and vegetarians commonly consume little or no animal products. This means that compared to our ancestors, we receive very little amounts of gelatin.
However, there are 5 big reasons why anyone, even vegetarians, should increase the amount of gelatin they consume right now.
1. Gelatin balances meat intake
Muscle meats and eggs are high in methionine, an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood. And that increases our need for homocysteine-neutralizing nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline.
You do not want to have a high level of homocysteine in your blood since homocysteine is a significant risk factor for serious diseases. Such as heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures.
People who eat a lot of animal protein need an adequate amount of glycine to balance the methionine in meat, and this can be obtained from gelatin.
2. It can improve your gut health
Gelatin can also improve intestinal integrity and digestive function by promoting gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucous lining in the stomach. Low levels of stomach acid and the deterioration of the intestinal barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society.
Gelatin also absorbs water and helps maintain fluids in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements. Gelatin-rich soups and broths are also one of the key components of the GAPS diet, which is designed to heal the gut and promote healthy digestion.
In turn, healthy gut cells prevent leaky gut, which is often the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.
3. Gelatin promotes healthy skin
Gelatin is a known promoter of skin health. It provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of the skin, so providing the building blocks of this important protein can ensure that your body can create enough of it.
A diet rich in gelatin can also protect against the aging effects of sunlight, preventing future wrinkles. Therefore, if you eat it, you will feel less guilty about exposing yourself to the sun regularly and without protection to increase your vitamin D, as your skin will be more resistant to damage!
4. Protect your joints
Bodybuilders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve their joint health and reduce inflammation. Research has shown that athletes taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements experience less joint pain, which may help improve their performance.
If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain free.
Also, if you have inflammatory diseases of the joints or bones, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, consuming the right amount can help you control inflammation and pain in your joints and build stronger bones.
5. Gelatin helps you sleep
The glycine in gelatin has been found to help you fall asleep. One study found that when participants were given 3 grams of glycine before bedtime, there were measurable improvements in sleep quality.
Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which can decrease anxiety and promote mental calm. This is because glycine antagonizes norepinephrine, a stress hormone that causes feelings of anxiety and panic. Gelatin can help you stay calm and sleepy at night.
How to eat more jelly?
The traditional way to obtain gelatin is from skin, jelly-like meats and bone broths. People who eat a Paleo or Ancestral diet can easily include these foods in their diet. But vegetarians and vegans will have a harder time getting these health benefits from a mostly plant-based diet.
Gelatin is only found in foods of animal origin that come from the animal's own body.
1. Gelatin powder
For vegetarians (and even omnivores), it's best to get high-quality powdered gelatin to add to food or to create delicious, healthy jelly-like desserts. It is also somewhat more environmentally friendly than lean meat, since it uses parts of the animal that would not otherwise be used.
And it's much easier to digest than meat, so it can be a good starter for vegetarians branching out to a more ancient diet. You can get gelatin both in hydrolyzed and whole form; each type has its own health benefits.
2. Hydrolyzed gelatin
Being hydrolyzed means that the protein breaks down into individual amino acids, making them easier to absorb. Use this type of gelatin to improve skin and joint health or to sleep better.
Hydrolyzed gelatin can be mixed with any type of liquid, including cold liquids, so it can be easily added to cold smoothies or juices.
3. Whole Protein Gelatin
The gelatin whole protein is very good for improving gut health. It helps transport fluid through the intestines and can even coat the lining of the digestive tract as a protective and relaxing layer. This is the type used to make jelly beans or jelly desserts, and should be mixed with warm liquids.
Fish gelatin is also available for those who prefer not to consume land animals.
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