Geez, this post on gelatin took me a long time to finish! I fully intended to get it up on the blog after my post on homemade bone broth but I have no idea where the last month went! I started writing this at the beginning of February and then my attention was taken over by sugar cookies for Valentine’s and cakes for my Mum’s birthday….Side note: I’m so excited to get the post up on my latest cake creation. It was really simple and looked awesome. Wait until you see it! First, however, let’s get back to talking gelatin and why I think everyone should include it in their diet!
When you hear gelatin you’ll likely think of good old J-E-L-L-O but I’m not talking gigglers here. Does Jell-O even advertise Jell-O jiggler’s anymore or did I just age myself with that one? Anyway, I‘m talking gelatin that comes from the skin and cartilaginous parts of the animals we eat.
Back when we, as humans, used to eat ALL of the animals we consumed, you know like ‘nose-to-tail’, we consumed A LOT more gelatin. Unfortunately, we now waste a lot of the good stuff while simply eating things like popular low fat chicken breasts and perfectly cut steaks.
The Benefit of Gelatin
So why is gelatin actually good for you? Lots of reasons!
- Improves Digestion
- increases the amount of stomach acid to help digest food
- absorbs and keeps water in the intestines to support healthy bowel movements
- Supports a Healthy Gut Lining
- heals and helps protect against a ‘leaky gut’ where large improperly digested food particles ‘leak’ from the intestines and essentially into your blood stream which can cause pain, inflammation and allergic reactions
- Balances out the Homocysteine
- high homocysteine levels are a risk for cardiovascular disease
- Supports Joint Health
- contains glucosamine and chondroitin and other components that support the joints
- Supports Healthy Skin
- contains proline and glycine which are both used to produce collagen
How to Include More Gelatin in the Diet
To get a good source of gelatin, eating skin and cartilaginous components should be a regular part of your diet. However sitting down to a plate of skin and cartilage isn’t really my cup of tea so I have found more palatable options. I do know a few people who love crunching on the ends of chicken bones and ribs (…and part of me is oddly jealous of their ability to tolerate and enjoy it) but let’s be honest it’s really not for me!
So how do you get gelatin in your diet if you’re not a bone cruncher? Well, one way is to use bone broth as often as possible in your cooking. Check out my post on homemade bone broth for tips there. The other way I like to get gelatin in my diet is through a more processed form; hydrolyzed and whole gelatin powders!
I joked at the beginning of this post that I wasn’t talking about Jell-O but I actually do make a homemade form of Jell-O and gummy bears. Making it yourself you know exactly what’s in it and you can cut the sugar by half, especially if you’re using fresh juices! That said you can add gelatin, especially the hydrolyzed form, to pretty much anything. For my kids, I’ll sprinkle it into mashed up avocado, apple sauce, pasta sauce, smoothies and pretty much anything else I can mix up for them! I’ve even sprinkled a little in my eldest’s ketchup…but let’s keep that one to ourselves ?
Gummy Bear Recipe
Gummy bears are a favourite in our house. Check out the simple recipe below and give it a try! If you need a gummy bear mold, I use and recommend this one!
My next experiment with gelatin is marshmallows! Stay tuned for that yummy outcome!