Here’s a superfood that’s worth the buzz: gelatin! Yep, it’s the secret ingredient in the rainbow of artificially flavored Jell-O products at the supermarket. It lends its texture to liquid which solidifies when it’s cooled.
This simple culinary component has potential far beyond the kids’ lunch boxes or grandma’s oddly shaped, fruit-filled molds. When you take out all of the preconceived notions of not-so-healthy, processed grocery staples, you’re left with a true nutritional powerhouse.
The health benefits of gelatin are truly endless. Even better is that this ingredient is SO easy to use and make a part of your daily routine. The product itself is comprised of boiled bones, skin, and tissue from cows. Okay, the inside scoop isn’t exactly glamorous, but we eat weird things for our health sometimes! It may go without saying that it’s best to use a grass-fed brand like Great Lakes for the most quality source of nutrition.
Tons of people suffer from anxiety. The luckier bunch of us generally experience a mild anxiety, while others may rely on daily medication to tame the worst of it. Regardless of the intensity of the anxiety we experience, it can be incredibly helpful to have natural remedies to alleviate our symptoms. The consumption of grass-fed gelatin has been shown to improve conditions.
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid found in gelatin. Since it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it slows down the production of norepinephrine which tends to induce feelings of anxiety. This can either decrease specific instances of anxiety, or lessen the intensity of the feelings when they do come on.
Getting a good night’s rest is often at the top of our priority list, yet suffers the most often. There are tons of known remedies ranging from food to supplements to prescription sleep aids, but there is no “one size fits all” solution. Some individuals have trouble falling asleep while others have trouble staying asleep; it’s just not linear. If it seems like you’ve tried everything, it may be worthwhile to experiment with gelatin.
Glycine – that amino acid that also alleviates anxiety – can improve the quality of your sleep as well. Who knew something deemed “non-essential” could be so beneficial? It can help reduce the core body temperature which is especially helpful to those who have trouble staying asleep. In essence, glycine has potential to improve sleep hygiene. Lastly, one of the most positive aspects of using gelatin as a sleep-aid is the lack of side effects – no more weird dreams or groggy mornings.
Skin, Hair, and Nails
Let’s face it; we all want to feel better, but we also want to look better! Having healthy, glowing skin, strong hair, and strong nails are added bonuses of a real food diet. By incorporating grass-fed gelatin into a balanced diet, you can truly reap all the beauty benefits.
Glycine and proline – both amino acids – protect collagen. Collagen is one of the most prominent pieces to the puzzle of our skin, so consuming gelatin which is rich in both aforementioned compounds can help keep it healthy. It can also fight the effects of sun damage and improve elasticity (less wrinkles, yay!) Keratin will help both nails and hair grow faster and stay strong so you’ll be less prone to thinning hair and brittle nails.
When we go paleo, digestion quickly becomes a main focus. The reason? A paleo diet is inherently anti-inflammatory, high in fiber from vegetables, and lower in carbohydrates which all tend to reduce bloating and keep us regular. One of the most useful ways to supplement digestion outside of overall diet and lifestyle is with gelatin.
Gelatin helps to produce stomach acid. Gelatin is also a binding agent. This combination means that the stomach acid will move more quickly to the food that needs to be digested which will overall lead to a more efficient process. In the meantime, you can expect to experience less gas, bloating, and discomfort after your meals.
Calcium is often thought to be the main attributor to better bone health, but think again! Gelatin is one of the building blocks to a super strong skeleton. Supplementing with collagen can even drastically improve or eliminate joint pain. Take note, athletes!
Since the bones are made up mostly of collagen, supplementing with collagen (gelatin that doesn’t gel) helps to build them up. In turn, your bones will be more dense and less prone to loss over time. Gelatin also helps manage inflammation which in turn helps to manage discomfort in the joints. People who suffer from arthritis can use this supplement to reduce pain.
- ‘Gelatin for Anxiety, Sleep, and Appetite Suppression’ from Judy Tsafrir
- 5 Reasons Why Even Vegetarians Need Gelatin from Chris Kresser
- The Many Health Benefits of Gelatin from The Crunchy Moose
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