Five Health Benefits of Gelatin
Do you get a lot of gelatin in your diet? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you might think of gelatin when you’re eating Jell-O or occasionally when you’re baking, but otherwise, using or eating gelatin is not something that ever crosses your mind. Thing is, gelatin can provide some excellent health benefits.
In traditional diets, gelatin was something that was consumed just about every day, as most people ate all parts of an animal. This meant not just eating muscle, but also making collagen-rich stocks with things like chicken feet, fish heads, and beef knuckle bones, and eating sinewy parts and organ meats. Gelatin is simply the processed version of collagen, and is rich in amino acids arginine and glycine. These amino acids are important for the protection of cells and a generous supply of glycine in particular has a host of anti-stress actions.
Health Benefits of Gelatin Can Include:
Personally, I’m a fan of all of these benefits, but I’ve experienced the digestive health benefit. For years, I’ve struggled with digestive woes, and in spite of taking tons of various supplements and trying various “treatments” to alleviate my issues, the only thing that really seemed to help with regularity was eating gelatin-rich foods, such as bone broths.
Bone broths are easy to make. Routinely we buy whole chickens for consumption, and I often “spatchcock” them for speed in cooking. I save the backs and wing tips from the chickens and freeze them. When I have a good amount, I toss them into a stockpot along with some veggies – onion, carrots, celery, parsley, a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, some peppercorns, and enough water to cover. (It’s never an exact science, nor does it need to be. No need for a recipe here – just dump and go!) I simmer it for hours, strain, and freeze my broth for use in soups, to cook rice, in stews, or if I’m feeling under the weather, I drink it straight. It’s soothing and healing.
But what if you can’t get yourself to drink a ton of bone broth all day, every day? I certainly can’t manage it, especially not in summer. So I turn to using gelatin in recipes. I like this brand of commercial gelatin, as it’s a higher quality. (They also make a hydrolyzed version that can be stirred straight into drinks.) I make all sorts of things – fruit juice gelatin blocks, panna cotta, and I even use it in smoothies as a protein powder. I’ve also found that it adds elasticity to gluten-free breads, and creaminess to dairy-free ice creams. It’s undetectable in smoothies, so it’s a sneaky way to get added protein in your diet.
Some more great recipes that use gelatin:
- Banana Blueberry Whipped Gelatin
- Homemade Striped Fruit Snacks
- Maple-Sweetened Marshmallows
- Dairy-Free Panna Cotta with Peach Thyme Gelee
- Gluten-Free Grilled Pizza
- Sugar-Free Marshmallows
- Dairy-Free Coffee Panna Cotta
Do you use gelatin in your kitchen?
Alta is the founder of the gluten-free, dairy-free blog, Tasty Eats At Home. Even without gluten and dairy, Alta can show you that meals can be simple and healthy, and treats such as cake, bread, and cookies can be mouth-watering! Her goal is to share with you delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free food that can bring your heart joy and nourish your body, one recipe at a time.
Read all of Alta’s posts here.