Gelatin comes from the soft protein that connects skin, bones, muscles, and tendons known as collagen and no, it is not made from animal feet or horns as many would have you believe. It’s actually extracted from cattle hide, bones and pigskins through a process called hydrolyzation. This process involves soaking already clean, degreased, and roasted animal parts in a strong acid solution to release the protein and once dried, the gelatin is formed.
Gelatin, especially one derived from grass-fed animals, provide quite a handful of health benefits because it contains more than 90% protein, 18 amino acids, as well as two beneficial amino acids: glycine and proline.
Edible gelatin is used as a thickener, a gelling agent, a stabilizer and an emulsifier in many food products such as marshmallows, gummy candy, yogurt, pudding, frosting, etc. It is also used in pharmaceutical products such as throat lozenges and as a coating for tablets and the making of capsules. But why should you start using gelatin? Consider the following reasons:
Gelatin contains protein
While you can’t live on gelatin only in order to get your recommended protein intake, consuming gelatin-enriched foods like yogurt will help you beef up your protein requirements. Protein is an important micronutrient that the body uses to build and repair tissues and it is a necessary building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, nails, hair, and skin.
Gelatin is rich in amino acid glycine
Glycine is a very unique amino acid that plays an important role in muscle, cognitive and metabolic functions because it transports glycogen and fats that cells use for energy, it also supports a strong immune, nervous and digestive system. Glycine is also used to treat sleep disorders, diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, and even some types of cancers! The best source of glycine is pure bone broth including vegetables like spinach, kale, cauliflower and fruits such as banana and kiwi.
Gelatin contains proline
Proline was the second amino acid and an essential component of collagen that helps maintain and strengthen heart muscles. A deficiency of this amino acid can lead to multiple strains or even tears in the soft tissues and cause a slower than normal healing process in the body. Including gelatin, the best sources of proline are liver, grass-fed chicken and beef, as well as wild-caught fish.
In conclusion, consuming gelatin-rich foods will:
- Improve joint and bone health
- Improve skin and hair
- Improve cognitive function and brain health
- A high-protein diet consisting of gelatin will boost weight loss
- As a result of boosting weight loss, gelatin can help with type II diabetes
- It will significantly improve sleep quality
- The amino acids in gelatin known as the glutamic acid can help improve common gut conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ulcers
- The glycine present in gelatin can reduce liver damage
- Gelatin may slow the growth of stomach cancer, colon cancer as well as leukemia