Gelatin: Do you know this SUPERFOOD?

Gelatin Do You Know This Superfood  savorylotus.com

 

 

There was a time when the word GELATIN made me think of the hideous jello served in school cafeterias.  I wanted no part of it.  I have since learned, however, that gelatin is pretty much a SUPERFOOD.  It has so many amazing health benefits and uses.  We have incorporated it into out family’s REAL food diet and use it often.

In years past, people got plenty of gelatin in their diets.  Before the move towards processed foods, people consumed much more of an animal than just the muscle meats: chicken-foot soup as well as drumsticks, beef stew not just steaks.  As a result, they got a whole-animal balance of amino acids, which provides better support for all sorts of biological processes.  According to health researcher Ray Peat,

 

“When only the muscle meats are eaten, the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress, when cortisol excess causes our muscles to be broken down to provide energy and material for repair.”

 

 

What is gelatin?

 

GELATIN is flavorless, translucent substance derived from the processing of animal connective tissue and bones to extract collagen,  an insoluble fibrous protein.  It is derived by the selective hydrolysis of collagen from the skin, the connective tissue and/or bones of animals.  Once extracted and powdered, gelatin dissolves in hot liquids and becomes more solid as it cools.  Gelatin contains half of the 18 essential amino acids, needed for survival.

I know this may sound totally GROSS to some folks, but just think about it for a minute. In times past,  when an animal was used for the purpose of food, people used as much of the animal as possible.  The organ meats were consumed.  The bones were cooked down into broth.  Not only was this essential for survival for folks but also showed reverence and respect for the gift of food given to them.  It is only recently that we have moved to just eating the muscle meats, missing out on all the nourishment that the rest of the animal can provide.

Health benefits of gelatin:

 

  1. Gelatin is loaded with protein  ~ With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s a great way to add more protein to your diet.  Even though it is not a complete protein, it helps the body fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in.
  2. Gelatin improves digestion ~   It naturally binds to water and helps food move through the digestive tract more easily.
  3. Gelatin can help heal food allergies and intolerances ~  Adding gelatin to your diet can heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract.  And since food allergies/intolerances are thought to come from a “leaky gut,” the idea is that when you heal your digestive tract, you no longer have proteins and toxins that create health issues “leaching” into your body.
  4. Gelatin is good for bone and joint health ~ Gelatin contains lots of amino acids important in helping to prevent the weakness and degeneration of cartilage in joints.  Gelatin, with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, has  also been shown to reduce  the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
  5. Gelatin helps your body release toxins ~ Glycine, an amino acid found in gelatin, assists the liver to efficiently remove toxins from our system.
  6. Gelatin gives you better hair, nails, and teeth ~ Gelatin contains keratin, which is a very strong protein found in your hair, nails, teeth and skin.
  7. Gelatin improves the elasticity of your skin ~ Gelatin is essentially cooked down collagen.  Consuming it will help improve the look and feel of your skin much more effectively then hard- to- absorb collagen facial creams.  Gelatin actually stimulates your body to produce more collagen.
  8. Gelatin helps speed up wound healing ~ One of the amino acids found in gelatin is glycine, which is highly anti-inflammatory.
  9. Gelatin can improve your quality of sleepClinical studies have shown that not only do people sleep better when consuming the amino acid glycine, they report less daytime drowsiness and better cognitive function.
  10. Gelatin can help with weight loss ~ Gelatin is thought to increase the production of Human Growth Hormone and to boost metabolism.  And with it’s nutrient-dense content, it also helps with satiety (keeps you full.)

 

How to get more gelatin in your diet:

 

  1. Homemade bone broths ~ Cooking down your bones from good quality pastured and grass-fed animals will provide you with a gelatin-rich broth to use in soups, stews, and to drink.  See recipe HERE and HERE
  2. Homemade fruit snacks ~ By just combining fruit juice and powdered gelatin, you can make tasty fruit snacks the whole family will love.  My favorite recipes HERE  HERE and HERE 
  3. Desserts ~  Powdered gelatin can be used in making tasty desserts of all sorts.  Homemade jellos, mousses,  and puddings with gelatin are the best. You can even make marshmallows.  Recipes HERE  HERE  HERE and HERE
  4. Gelatin drinks ~ Powdered gelatin can be added to water, juices, or teas for a healthy drink supplement.  You can add it to your smoothies as a protein powder.  I like THIS one because it dissolves easily in liquid without having to heat it.  It has a smaller molecular structure so it dissolves in cold water and will NOT gel.  Read more HERE
  5. Add it to your own soups and stews ~ Powdered gelatin is so versatile.  You can put it in just about anything.  Try adding a bit to the next soup or stew you make.

WHERE TO BUY GOOD QUALITY, GRASS FED GELATIN

Just like with all foods, quality matters….

I am not talking about the gelatin for JELLO that you buy at the store that is loaded with artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.  To get the health benefits of gelatin, please choose a good quality powder from a pastured and grass fed source. Mainstream factory farming practices can be cruel and are very detrimental to our environment.

Click HERE to PIN THIS!

Gelatin Do You Know This Superfood  - savorylotus.com

 

 

More on gelatin here:

Why I Love Gelatin (but not jello)

The Healing Powers of Gelatin

Top 20 Health Benefits of Gelatin

Need some gelatin recipe ideas?

One of my favorite gelatin recipe books is Easy Paleo Gelatin Treats by Caitlin from Grass Fed Girl.  I love everything that girl makes.  Caitlin’s book has 30 easy to make gelatin recipes for gummy snacks, smoothies and puddings, all with great photos.  All of the recipes use wholesome REAL food ingredients, are gluten and grain free, and are low in sugar (no refined sweeteners.)

I have made several of the recipes for my family.  Some favorites in our household are strawberry panna cotta pudding. creamy blueberry gummy bites, and the easy paleo creamsicle smoothie.

Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 1.51.40 PM

And the best part is that it’s on sale right now.  ONLY $5.99 for a limited time.

Click HERE to learn more about Easy Paleo Gelatin Treats

Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 1.45.52 PM

 

 

Sources:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

http://wellnessmama.com/7419/12-uses-for-gelatin/

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/food_news/gelatin.html

 

 

This post shared at Party Wave Wednesday , Real Food Wednesday , Thank Your Body Thursday , Simple Lives Thursday , Tasty Traditions, Fight Back Friday , and Allergy Free Wednesday

 
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Comments

  1. says

    I’m not sure if I just couldn’t find it, or maybe there is information outside of Amazon – but I didn’t see any reference to this being grass-fed. I’ll do my research, but I figured I’d ask to see if you could point me in the right direction. I’m very eager to experiment with this – I have always valued the home made bone broth!

  2. Diana says

    Hi, I was wodering what is actually the difference between the orange can (unflavored beef gelatin) and the green can (bovine). I did see on the green can that it says dissolves in cold liquids, but besides that, is there a benefit to one vs the other?
    Thanks

    • says

      It is my understanding that the only difference is that the hydrosolate dissolves in cold fluid and does not congeal, making it more convenient to use. This is what Great Lakes says about it: “Hydrolysate is either heated to a high temperature or enzymatically treated to reduce the “Molecular weight” which limits its ability to congeal. Hydrolysate is measured less than 5000 Dalton (mw) which makes it readily dissolvable in both cold and warm liquids.”

  3. MA says

    Great article! I’ve been interested in beginning to take gelatin daily to help with digestion issues. I’m still questioning the difference in the two types. Would you suggest the regular Great Lakes gelatin or the gelatin hydrolysate for this?

    • says

      I use them both. I use the regular for things that I cook. The hydrosolate gelatin dissolves without heat so if you just want to mix and go, that would be the best choice. It works well in smoothies, juices, or just plain water. Thanks so much for coming by….

  4. says

    I am learning more and more about the usage of gelatin. I wold LOVE to make my kids their own fruit snacks and jello type desserts, etc. I clicked on the amazon link but like so many awesome products there…they don’t ship this to Canada :( I’ll have to search further to find an appropriate product. Do you have any other brand suggestions?

    • says

      I’ve been doing a bit of research but haven’t found one that ships to Canada. I put the word out and will let you know if I find one. :)

    • says

      Jessica-
      Someone just told me they order gelatin straight from Bernard Jensen website (another grass fed gelatin company.) She said the website would not let her complete the order but she called and they shipped it to her in Canada. If that doesn’t work, maybe you can have someone you know in the States order it for you and send it to you. Good luck!!

  5. Sarah says

    I find the great lakes gelatin to have a definite flavor, and it actually upset my stomach when I put a tablespoon in a smoothie. I’m going to try making gelatin treats and see if I can get it down that way.

    • says

      Do you use the hydrolysate gelatin in smoothies? That’s the one I use and don’t even notice the flavor. It’s made to not gel and to not need heat to dissolve. Let me know if the gelatin treats are better for you…. :) this is the one that I use—-> http://amzn.to/17nqYIp

    • says

      I have been told that if you call Bernard Jensen directly they will ship to Canada….so maybe they will ship to Ireland as well??? check them out here——-> http://www.bernardjensen.com/
      If not, maybe you know someone in the US that can order it and send it to you??? Good luck. Let me know if you figure it out. :)

  6. Deidra Murphy says

    I am wondering, is there a difference between gelatin and the hydrosylate gelatin and the one Sarah posted about. And, since it could upset the stomach until the body gets used to it…what is the recommended serving for introducing gelatin? Oh, and how much gelatin a day gives the most benefit? If I am using it, I would like to know if I am drinking/eating enough of it. Thanks! My natural doctor, Dr. Dan Martin posted this link.

    • says

      I’m not sure what gelatin Sarah posted??? But the difference between regular gelatin and the hydrosylate is that the hydrosylate dissolves in cold water and does not gel. It doesn’t require hot water like regular. It’s best for cold drinks and smoothies. Recommended dose is a TBS or 2 a day per seller. So if your belly is sensitive, go slow. Start with a tsp and see what happens and then work your way up. Don’t know if there is an exact amount to be eaten each day. Just good to add rich bone broths into your diet along with some gelatin supplement. Hope that helps…..

  7. T Frank says

    There is clam chowder I eat at a local restaurant that is so gelatinous. You can turn it upside down and it doesn’t even come out of the bowl! Glad to know this is healthy for me.

    • Janet says

      I would guess your soup is not made with gelatin (it only thickens when cold), but more likely contains cornstarch or flour as thickener and not so healthy. Ask them what they put into it before you celebrate.

  8. andrea says

    hi katja :O) I have tried to make homemade finger jello 2 or 3 times with a gelatin from Great Lakes (the green can) but it doesn’t set. Do you know if there’s a difference between the gelatins? I was successful with Knox, but I don’t want to use that brand.

    thank you!

    • says

      The green kind is the collagen hydrolysate, and it is made for cold beverages like smoothies. It is a smaller molecular structure so it doesn’t need hot water to dissolve, but it also doesn’t gel because of that. The RED can is the regular gelatin and will make wonderful gummy treats. Hope that helps. :)

  9. rickdog says

    You are inconsistent with your recommendations. You don’t like protein powders because they are highly processed, but not differently from highly processed gelatine powder.

    • says

      Rick~ Everything that I post here is my humble opinion. And it is my opinion that protein powders do more harm than good. 95% of them are toxic and loaded with harmful chemicals. And I find them unnecessary. Gelatin, however, in my opinion, has nutritional value. Grass fed gelatin, that is. For all the reasons listed above. The brand that I recommend is from a clean source with NOTHING added to it. :)

  10. Cara says

    Hi. Thx for the info.

    I recently started using gelatin and it is helping with muscle stiffness and sore joints. Hope to soon see more benefits too. Husband is noticing a difference as well, knees don’t hurt as much and he can exercise more comfortably.

    I am in Canada and have been in touch with both Great Lakes and Bernard Jensen, both will ship here. Of note, the bovine/beef products from Great Lakes are very costly to ship across the border since there is the cost of a health certificate as well as shipping and customs. The do offer the porcine hydrolysate as an option (no health certificate required), it isn’t on the website so use their “contact us” form to request it. I found both companies very helpful and easy to deal with.

    As well, there is a product called GoBio Organic Gelatin Powder (porcine) that is sold in Canada, typically available in natural health food stores.

    Hope that helps any other Canadians looking for quality gelatin products.

    Cheers.

    • Sheena says

      Thanks, Cara, for your information. I live in Canada, and have been looking for Great Lakes. Had looked at their website, but was not sure how to go about it. Your information was very helpful.

  11. Barney says

    Katja, do you have any thoughts about the benefits being better if you take gelatin on an empty stomach? I just read an article making that claim. The rationale is that it is reverse-metabolized back into collagen if taken on empty stomach, whereas it is processed and metabolized liked food if taken with food……and lets face it, we often take it in smoothies or treats, etc. Your thoughts?

    • says

      I have heard that it is absorbed easier on an empty stomach but don’t have any solid research to back it up. I wouldn’t trip on it too much. The point is to get it into your system. You could experiment and see if taking it with an empty stomach gives you more benefits. Let me know if you do. :)

  12. Paul says

    How much gelatin should i take a day currently i am having 3 tbs a day, also iare the amino acids in gelatin damaged if i put it in a hot drink like coffee? Thanks!

    • says

      Paul,
      The company that makes the gelatin that I use recommend—-> “We recommend one to two tablespoons per day depending on your diet, activity level and need. One tablespoon in the morning and one later in the day is best. Any excess protein will simply flush out of the body without any issues to you.” The regular gelatin is made to go in hot liquid so do not worry about damaging the amino acids. :)

  13. Danielle says

    I’m curious if people noticed any taste with either the gelatin or the hydrolysate? Do certain way of preparing/serving hide a taste better than others? Thanks!

    • says

      With the hydrolysate, I don not even notice it in my smoothie. With the regular, there is a slight taste but not too strong. I have had a few readers say that it is very strong. I think that we are all different. If you don’t like the taste, you could add more citrus to gummy treats. If using in soup, use fresh ginger or any other herb or spice that you may like. Does that answer your question?

  14. Bee says

    I don’t yet eat animal proteins (trying to heal my gut a bit first in order to digest them better) but have recently started to use collagen. Is this ok to use without eating meat/eggs or will this case an amino acid imbalance?

    For someone not eating meat, do I need to eat more or less collagen?

    Are there any side effects for someone in my scenario?

    • says

      I think gelatin is an easily digested protein. You would have to see for yourself if it is a problem. I haven’t heard of anyone who has had issues, even if they do not eat meat. I think the best way to digest gelatin is in homemade bone broth. And gelatin powder (from a grass fed source) is good too. Just start slow. See how you feel. And remember that it is only a supplement to a balanced, REAL food diet. Food is our real medicine. :)

  15. Jake says

    Hi, I workout at the gym and want to find alternative to protein powder that I use, I heard it contains metals and don’t want to take it, would taking gelatin with water after my workout a good protein shake to build muscles?

  16. Lauren says

    So just to make sure. I can use the gelatin in the green canister in my coffee and it won’t destroy or alter the amino acids or benefits?

  17. Cory says

    Gelatin is the byproduct of animal slaughter… anyway, in regards to amino acids, the article reads: “Gelatin contains half of the 18 essential amino acids”… HEMP and QUINOA are both complete proteins, they have ALL the required essential amino acids, and HEMP in particular has the proper balance of your Omega oils your body needs.

    The article says: “With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s a great way to add more protein to your diet.”

    HEMP has 5.3 grams of complete protein per tablespoon, along with:

    8 percent of your daily vitamin A,
    2.6 grams of fiber,
    and various minerals including zinc, magnesium and iron.

    HEMP kicks gelatin’s butt to the curb!

    • says

      Hi, Cory! I totally agree with you that hemp is great. I love it in my smoothies. I can’t say that I agree with you about quinoa as I am not big on grains in general. The issues happening in Bolivia also make quinoa not the best food source for us. I do, however, stand by my opinion on gelatin. Without getting into a full-blown debate about the ethics of eating meat, I am of the opinion that totally plant-based diets are not anymore sustainable or environmentally friendly than eating meat. Transporting non-local plant foods has a much higher carbon foot print than locally raised meats/eggs, for sure. You can raise meat anywhere. In the words of Joel Salatin: “There’s no system in nature that does not have an animal component as a recycling agent. Doesn’t exist. Fruits and vegetables do best if there is some animal component with them – chickens or a side shed with rabbits. Manure is magic.” Thanks for coming by and taking the time to respond. Check this out as well—-> http://chriskresser.com/5-reasons-why-even-vegetarians-need-gelatin

    • says

      Thanks so much, Tessa! I love your site! I have been checking it out lately. I love that you do nut free. I am trying to be more conscious of folks with nut allergies. Lots of experimentation happening in the kitchen right now. Your recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins looks outrageously good! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Originally, I was planning on making a simple coconut whip cream to go on top of the roasted apricots.  Then then I saw am amazing recipe from Courtney at Polivka Family for Banana Pudding.  I was in love.  I decided to get a little fancier and made a coconut pudding with real vanilla bean to compliment the luscious baked fruit.  I used grassfed gelatinand fresh pastured eggs, and the result was an amazingly decadent dessert that is actually good for you.  This recipe would work perfectly for peaches as well.  Read more about why I like to use grassfed gelatin HERE. [...]

  2. [...] 1. Gelatin is loaded with protein ~ With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s a great way to add more protein to your diet. Even though it is not a complete protein, it helps the body fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in. 2. Gelatin improves digestion ~ It naturally binds to water and helps food move through the digestive tract more easily. 3. Gelatin can help heal food allergies and intolerances ~ Adding gelatin to your diet can heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract. And since food allergies/intolerances are thought to come from a “leaky gut,” the idea is that when you heal your digestive tract, you no longer have proteins and toxins that create health issues “leaching” into your body. 4. Gelatin is good for bone and joint health ~ Gelatin contains lots of amino acids important in helping to prevent the weakness and degeneration of cartilage in joints. Gelatin, with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, has also been shown to reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis. 5. Gelatin helps your body release toxins ~ Glycine, an amino acid found in gelatin, assists the liver to efficiently remove toxins from our system. 6. Gelatin gives you better hair, nails, and teeth ~ Gelatin contains keratin, which is a very strong protein found in your hair, nails, teeth and skin. 7. Gelatin improves the elasticity of your skin ~ Gelatin is essentially cooked down collagen. Consuming it will help improve the look and feel of your skin much more effectively then hard- to- absorb collagen facial creams. Gelatin actually stimulates your body to produce more collagen. 8. Gelatin helps speed up wound healing ~ One of the amino acids found in gelatin is glycine, which is highly anti-inflammatory. 9. Gelatin can improve your quality of sleep ~ Clinical studies have shown that not only do people sleep better when consuming the amino acid glycine, they report less daytime drowsiness and better cognitive function. 10. Gelatin can help with weight loss ~ Gelatin is thought to increase the production of Human Growth Hormone and to boost metabolism. And with it’s nutrient-dense content, it also helps with satiety (keeps you full.) (http://www.savorylotus.com/2013/05/22/gelatin-do-you-know-this-superfood/) [...]

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