Five Health Benefits of Gelatin

gelatin blox

source: Alta Mantsch

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:

Do you use gelatin in your kitchen?

profile-photo-BW1Alta 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.

13 Responses to Five Health Benefits of Gelatin

  • Thank you for the good information, we hardly ever eat gelatin unless I make jello! I definitely need to incorporate it more into our diet. I’m off to look at your recipes with gelatin :)

    Thanks again,
    Cassidy

    [Reply]

    Alta Mantsch Reply:

    @Cassidy @ Cassidy’s Craveable Creations, Cassidy, I hope you try a few and enjoy them!

    [Reply]

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have been stirring it into drinks, trying to get 2T per day, but would like to know more about using it in breads and ice cream. Do you just add some to a recipe, say 1T?

    [Reply]

    Alta Reply:

    @Elizabeth, I’ve added a teaspoon or so to ice cream. For breads, I have only experimented, adding a tablespoon or so, but the link above for a pizza crust uses gelatin – that might be a good place to start. :) I’ve found that stirring that hydrolyzed version into my coffee is undetectable – even a full tablespoon.

    [Reply]

  • I’ve used gelatin most often in some bread recipes — besides the occasional sweetened fruit-flavored Jell-O when someone has an upset stomach. I need to try some of those ideas you list that sound so interesting! Banana Blueberry Whipped Gelatin?? Wow! Gluten-free Grilled Pizza?? Must do! Thanks for listing all these for me :-)

    [Reply]

    Alta Reply:

    @Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free, Pat – You’re welcome! I hope you try those recipes and enjoy them.

    [Reply]

  • Laurel says:

    I just ordered some yesterday while making bone broth, hoping to reverse an overly stressed body. You are SO smart! I love the idea of putting it in smoothies when you’re tired of broth but for some reason I totally spaced on it being a protein powder rather than the collection of nasty tasting ones I’ve got. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  • Suzanne says:

    You know, I knew all this but had completely forgotten about gelatin. Thanks so much for the reminder!!!

    [Reply]

  • Gelatin is so important! Living outside the US, I can’t easily get gelatin supplements, but I do make lots of broth with chicken feet and fish heads. It’s silly how happy I get when I see that my bone broth has gelled! Thanks for sharing the great recipes – I will remember the tip of using it as protein powder to help my younger brothers!

    [Reply]

  • I’m confused about the gelatin. The links are swapped, but it’s easy enough to understand that. I guess what I don’t get is on the regular gelatin that makes things gel, why are there so many reviews talking about how bad it tastes? I’m a bit worried about getting it, as it doesn’t seem like it would be “unflavored” from what some of these people are saying. Are they using it wrong?

    [Reply]

    Amy Green Reply:

    @Lisa (GF Idiot), Which links are swapped?

    [Reply]

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