This important nutrient is what makes Jello-O wiggle when you touch it, but gelatin's health benefits go beyond making desserts do a funny dance! Gelatin can support beautiful skin, help maintain a healthy heart and ease joint pain.
What Is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a type of protein found in collagen, and it contains several beneficial amino acids. It's made by boiling the bones, tendons and ligaments of animals such as cows. It may sound unpleasant, but gelatin itself is mostly tasteless. More importantly, it provides a multitude of health benefits for the human body.
Prevent Leaky Gut
Believe it or not, the gastrointestinal tract is actually outside of your body. Confusing as that may sound, the GI tract is open to external elements at both ends, starting at the mouth and ending, well at your other "end." So the intestinal lining of the gut actually becomes the first line of defense against foreign invaders entering your body. However, a poor diet can cause the gut lining to develop "leaks" or small openings where bad bacteria or food particles can squeeze through. The good news is that gelatin has the ability to repair those permeable holes and restore the gut's integrity!
Gelatin can help improve your gastric acid secretions, which are needed for good digestion and nutrient absorption. According to Dr. Axe, gelatin contains the amino acid glycine, which can help restore the mucosal lining of the gut by balancing stomach acids and digestive enzymes. This in turn can help improve conditions such as acid reflux, indigestion and bloating.
Registered Dietitian Laura Shoenfeld, staff nutritionist at ChrisKresser.com, notes that gelatin contains abundant amounts of glycine and proline. These amino acids are important building blocks in the production of collagen. As you may be aware, collagen is the primary structural element that creates firm and youthful looking skin. Adding gelatin into your diet can improve skin elasticity and reduce the collagen damage that leads to the appearance of fine lines.
Good Night's Sleep
According to Dr. Oz, if you're having problems tossing and turning at night, it may be because your body's temperature hasn't cooled off enough to signal the start of the natural sleep cycle. Thankfully, the glycine in gelatin has been found to promote restful sleep by helping to lower body temps. Try eating a bowl of Jell-O before bed to help you cool off and fall asleep faster!
Improve Joint Health
Due to its high proline and glycine content, gelatin plays a crucial role in the formation of collagen, which is found in joint cartilage. Per Livestrong, a study conducted by Ball State University found that athletes who consumed a gelatin supplement had a marked reduction in joint pain. So if you're suffering from stiff or painful joints, it might be prudent to include a bit of gelatin in your diet.
Animal products such as meat and eggs lead to an increase in the production of the amino acid homocysteine. Dr. Andrew Weil states that elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood has been strongly linked to increased heart attack and stroke risk. However, it's not necessary to cut meat out of the diet entirely. A reduction in meat consumption along with the addition of gelatin, which offers a broad range of amino acids, can reduce the amounts of homocysteine in your blood. This simple change in eating habits can go a long ways towards making sure your heart remains happy and healthy!
Gelatin has a very high ratio of the amino acid glycine, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that works as a natural anti-anxiety "medication." Inhibitory neurotransmitters are exactly like they sound - they "inhibit" the stimulation of the central nervous system and provide a sense of calm and relaxation. So if you're wired up after a long day, consider adding gelatin to your diet as a natural way to help wind down.
Watch this video for a quick and tasty recipe for bone broth, which is packed full of gelatin!
For Great Health
Gelatin is a definitely a powerhouse of good health! You can use it to help you fall asleep fast, or even promote a state of ultimate relaxation. There are many easy ways to incorporate gelatin into your life. Try making a tasty bone broth soup or adding gelatin to meatloaf. Yes, you could even just make plain old Jell-O. Your health will thank you!