Today, I want to share my latest health addition, gelatin. Now please understand, this is not the hideous stuff I was forced to eat during my many hospital stays. This isn’t the artificially colored, sugar laden dessert, many of us grew up on. No, this is the real deal, and frankly a super food, that we simply do not get enough of.
Real gelatin is a flavorless, translucent substance derived from the processing of animal connective tissue and bones to extract collagen, an insoluble fibrous protein. Largely, composed of the amino acids glycine and proline. Now, before you get grossed out, hear me out. The more we examine our diets the more we have come to realize that our ancestors had it right. It used to be that people consumed a lot more natural gelatin in their diets. It was customary to have a cup of broth before dinner, what in the health community is now called bone broth.
In years past, our grandmothers would take full advantage of the entire animal when cooking. None of this throwing away of the bones and eating only the muscle parts of chicken or beef. No, they would use it all. Bones and were tossed into a large pot and cooked down for a gelatin rich broth. This lost art of cooking, has left a deficit in our diets. Our ancestors may have eaten this way mainly to be frugal. However, they understood the importance of taking advantage of the entire animal. In many ways it’s a more humane way to eat meat and appreciate the sacrifice made for us to enjoy a meal. Gelatin contains half of the 18 essential amino acids, needed for our survival. Eliminating gelatin from our diets just does not make sense.
You might be saying ok, I get it, gelatin is good for you, but who has time to cook like our grandmothers did? I understand, and frankly I would love to serve my family bone broth before every meal, but it’s just not practical for most of us. Yet, there is a way to add gelatin to your diet and very simply. When you purchase organic grass fed gelatin, they have extracted and put it in powder form for your ease of use. Gelatin dissolves in hot liquids easily, similar to the colored stuff many of us grew up on.
All I can tell you is that in the short time that I have added this to my diet, I have begun to reap immediate benefits. Now, perhaps not everyone will be like me, but my body must have been craving the . One of the first things I noticed, was the ability to sleep deeply and soundly. A sudden flood of calmness, all from a cup of gelatin? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s been my experience and apparently that of many others who include this in their diets. All I know is that for years my sleep has been very choppy and for the first time I am sleeping through the night like a baby. A huge plus when you are trying to bring healing to your body.
In case you need more convincing look at all the other benefits of gelatin.
- Gelatin is protein rich: With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to add more protein to your diet. Although not a complete protein, it helps the body properly utilize the complete proteins that we consume.
- Gelatin is good for bone and joint health: The amino acids in gelatin help to prevent the weakness of bones and the degeneration of cartilage in joints.
- Gelatin is great for your skin: Consuming gelatin is basically eating cooked down collagen. Including this in our diets will help with our skin’s elasticity and stimulate our bodies to produce more collagen. A more effective and cost efficient beauty treatment, especially since those fancy collagen creams do not work because the molecules are too large to penetrate our skin. For great skin you must consume the collagen, not apply it.
- Gelatin is great for digestion: By binding to water it helps food move through the digestive tract more easily, to be broken down by our stomach acids.
- Gelatin is good for allergies and food intolerances: Gelatin can help heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract. It’s widely known that many of our food allergies and intolerances may be due to a leaky gut. By healing our gut we can stop some proteins and toxins leaching into our bodies.
- Gelatin is full of anti-inflammatory properties: Gelatin can reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
- Gelatin helps in releasing body toxins: Glycine, the amino acid in gelatin, can assist our livers to work better at removing toxins efficiently.
- Gelatin can improve your quality of sleep: Studies show that not only do people sleep better when consuming the amino acid glycine, they report less daytime drowsiness and better cognitive function. A plus for anyone who suffers from insomnia. Get a good night’s sleep naturally and without the drowsiness of sleeping aids.
- Gelatin can help with weight loss: Gelatin is thought to increase the production of Human Growth Hormone and to boost metabolism. What’s more, this protein nutrient dense food can help with satiety.
- Gelatin for stronger hair, nails, and teeth: Gelatin is full of keratin, a building block of protein found in our hair, nails, and teeth.
Now for some practical, easy ways I include gelatin in our family’s diet. First thing in the morning, I add 1 teaspoon of quality grass-fed gelatin into our coffee mugs. It’s as easy as adding your sweetener of choice. Gelatin dissolves easily into any hot liquid.
I also make my healthy version of “Jello” by making a pot of herbal tea and adding gelatin and sugar substitute. I personally love using hibiscus tea, because of the added vitamin c it imparts, but any herbal tea would work. Once I let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours, I have a delicious and healthy gelatin, I am proud to serve my family. You can also easily add gelatin to your stews to thicken and add more nutrition, all staying within your carb limits.
I aim for three servings of gelatin in some form every day. Be sure to have a cup of hot tea with a teaspoon of gelatin right before going to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Hibiscus Tea Gelatin
- 3 cups hibiscus tea
- ½ cup on your favorite sugar substitute
- 3 Tablespoons gelatin
- Brew one cup hibiscus tea, and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Pour brewed tea into a ceramic container and add the 3 tablespoons of gelatin and mix until the gelatin dissolves.
- Next add 2 cups of cold water to the mix. Stir until well combined
- Place in fridge for at least 2 hours to cool and set.