Why you should be eating more Gelatin.
Have you been hearing a lot about gelatin lately? I have. It’s hard to ignore. Gelatin simply ticks all the boxes to be considered an essential ingredient from a gut health perspective. Incorporating a premium powdered gelatin into your home cooking regime or cooking meals from scratch to produce it naturally is something you can’t put off any longer.
There was a time when the word ‘Gelatin’ made me cringe. As a kid, I was always weirded out by the wobbly stuff congealed around slow-cooked meat dishes. Little did I know, how beneficial this was.
I’m sure you’ve heard of collagen? The stuff women pay big bucks to have injected into their faces to keep skin plump and youthful? Here’s why: “Collagen is a protein contained in the skin of animals and contains the essential amino acids – glycine, lysine and proline which have been found to be necessary to accelerate cell growth”. (source)
The best, powdered gelatin is made from cooked collagen that is produced from the hides, ligaments, tendons and cartilage of pigs and cattle. “Yuk,” you’re thinking? Hear me out, I don’t want to lose you. Stomaching the details could see your gut health turn around. Your skin improves as a bonus too! Read more about Collagen and Gelatin here
Then there is, of course, the other more famous form of gelatin – the brightly coloured, sweet version – Jelly, or Jello as many know it. Full of sugar, artificial colouring and flavouring, (despite containing gelatin) this is certainly no health food!
Previous generations got plenty of gelatin in their diets from eating ordinary home cooked meals.
In the past, before processed foods took over our supermarket aisles and altered long-standing food traditions, people consumed all these odd bits of an animal regularly. No one got squeamish about bones or worried about fat on the skin. The whole animal was consumed not just muscle-meat cuts, like porterhouse steak and chicken breast.
People ate the tougher cuts, the connective tissue, the skin, the feet, even the organ meats. Gristly, fatty cuts were cooked for long hours until they were tender and bones were simmered down into nourishing broths. As a result, our diets got a balance of amino acids and minerals in one meal, which supported all sorts of body processes. Gut health was just one of the benefits!
Broth & slow cooking
Gelatin-rich soups and broths are the corner stone of the GAPS diet, which has been designed to heal the gut and promote healthier digestion through diet. Gelatinous foods keep our intestinal cells healthy and prevent leaky gut, which is often the root cause of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases. This is a great article if you’re up for learning more.
So, don’t throw away the bones and be sure to eat the skin because that’s precisely where gelatin is found. Cook up slow stews and simmer bones into broth for the sake of gelatin. Healing my gut is an ongoing challenge; I drink a cup of bone broth every day.
It needn’t end with savoury meals and soups. You can open up a whole new culinary world with a quality gelatin powder. Unlike homemade broth, gelatin powder has a neutral taste and can be flavoured and coloured with all sorts of healthy and nutritious food.
Just like with all foods, quality matters.
First thing’s first. The most important consideration when choosing a powdered gelatin is the source. A product produced with ethical, drug and hormone free farming practises is paramount. I can’t stress this enough. A cheap, low-grade product may be doing your gut more harm than good.
Avoid using any old supermarket variety. In fact, it may be impossible to find a premium product anywhere, other than online. Lucky I have done all the searching for you. On the plus side, Australia produces quite possibly the best quality in the world. I recommend this brand.
How to get more in your diet.
Homemade bone broths:
Cooking down your bones from good quality organic, pasture raised animals will provide you with a nutrient rich broth to use in soups, as a flavoursome stock for all kinds of home cooked meals and to drink daily for gut repair. Click over to a chicken broth recipe or beef broth with healing spices.
Homemade fruit jubes & gummies:
Combine with fruit juice to make tasty fruit snacks the whole family will love. Try this berry smoothie jelly slice, these cold and flu fighting elderberry gummies or these probiotic berry gummies.
Make amazing desserts like this GAPS friendly cheesecake. Plus homemade jelly and marshmallows are just the beginning!
Add it to coconut yoghurt and nut milk yoghurt so they set just like the dairy variety. In fact, any homemade jelly or jube can be teaming with home cultured lacto-fermented goodness. Experiment, try this coconut yoghurt smoothie slice or these probiotic berry gummies.
Gelatin Australia also make a non-gelling form of gelatin (collagen powder) which is soluble in cold water. Add it to smoothies for a quick healthy meal in a glass. I’ve even put it in homemade chocolate!
Apart from gut health, the health bonuses are many!
- sleep better (1)
- have less anxiety and be mentally more calm (2)
- have healthy skin, (wrinkle-free and ageless even) – we all want that! (3)
- enjoy pain free joints, strong bones & less inflammation (4) (5)
- detoxify your body (6)
- regulate your hormones (7)
- save money – you don’t need to eat a lot of meat to get loads of protein.
Whether from gelatin powder or homemade bone broth, I encourage everyone to get into it. Take it slowly at first though. Eating too much too quickly can be a bit of a shock to your body.
Why broth is beautiful and an essential role for proline, glycine and gelatin
Anti-ageing: Get some gelatin
5 reasons why even vegetarians need gelatin
All about Gelatin and Collagen
What you don’t know about Gelatin may hurt you: 5 things you need to know