If you’re wondering why I eat gelatin daily, there are several reasons why! Learn more about the benefits of gelatin here.
I just re-read one of my favorites books, The Gelatin Secret by Sylvie McCracken of Hollywood Homestead. I was so inspired by this book, I decided to write a post for you outlining the 9 reasons why I eat gelatin daily.
This post is a broad overview of what I learned from The Gelatin Secret. Sylvie’s book dives much deeper into each one of these categories. And she provides tons of delicious, everyday recipes, so you can easily incorporate gelatin into your daily life!
How I incorporate gelatin daily
I include gelatin in my diet daily. I either eat soup, drink broth or supplement with gelatin powder. You can get my recipe for slow cooker chicken broth HERE and slow cooker beef broth HERE. Don’t want to make your own? Buy pasture-raised broth HERE.
We also use gelatin to make homemade jello, gummy treats, and desserts, like pannacotta. I use THIS gelatin for these types of recipes because it is made from healthy, pasture-raised animals.
I also supplement with collagen peptides on most days. Just add a tablespoon of it to my tea or coffee, it doesn’t have any flavor. We also use it in smoothies in the place of protein powder. The difference between this one and the one I mentioned above, is that this one does not gel. So you can add it to hot and cold drinks. I use THIS collagen because it is made from healthy, pasture-raised animals.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen, the major component of the connective tissue of animals. It is made by cooking down the parts of the animal that are rich in collagen – bones, connective tissues, and hides of animals.
Collagen is important because it gives our skin its elasticity (i.e. fewer wrinkles 😉 ). Collagen actually makes up about 1/3 of the protein in the human body. So yeah, it’s important stuff!
Gelatin Balances Out A Diet Heavy in Muscle Meat
According to The Gelatin Secret,
“Today, most people just consume the muscle meat of the animals they eat. While collagen makes up about 50% of the protein in animals, only about 6% of muscle tissue is collagen. Muscle meat also consists of different amino acid combinations than found in collagen.
As Dr. Ray Peat explains, the switch towards a muscle-meat only diet has caused a change in the amino acid profiles of our diets. We get too much of the amino acids tryptophan or cysteine (found in muscle meat), which can result in metabolic problems. By adding gelatin back into our diets, we can get back to the diet nature intended for us.”
The two main amino acids which make up collagen are glycine and proline. They are both found in real gelatin. With real gelatin, I am referring to broth made from healthy animal parts, as well as gelatin powder from pasture-raised animals. So, not the J-E-L-L-O stuff that we most often associate with gelatin.
Unfortunately, the store-bought broth does not offer these same benefits, as it is usually not made with real gelatin, but uses emulsifiers instead, and many use artificial flavors.
GELATIN IS GOOD FOR BONE HEALTH
Calcium is often touted as the key nutrient for healthy bones. But, did you know that bones are mostly made up of collagen? Most American diets are very low in collagen and high in calcium. And rates of osteoporosis are quite high here. So maybe calcium isn’t the only nutrient we need to keep our bones healthy and strong.
Gelatin is one of the most effective ways to get more collagen into our bodies. Bone broth is a great way to get gelatin and it has additional minerals that are necessary for maintaining healthy bones, such as calcium and magnesium. In addition to gelatin and minerals, bone broth also offers high amounts of other amino acids.
In The Gelatin Secret, Sylvie McCracken writes, “For example, bone broth contains the amino acid lysine which helps calcium absorb into bones and aids in tissue regeneration.”
GELATIN IS GOOD FOR JOINT HEALTH
Sylvie McCracken writes,
“The evidence shows that consuming gelatin can increase the amount of cartilage in the joints of animals. Rebuilding cartilage is a slow process though as only some of the consumed gelatin gets added to collagen tissues. So, you can’t just take a shot of gelatin and expect to heal your joints overnight. But, gelatin can produce relief from joint pain almost immediately.”
Most of the time when we experience joint pain, chronic inflammation is present. Gelatin can help arthritis and joint pain because it can help reduce inflammation. Glycine, one of the basic components of collagen has a very strong immunosuppressive effects. In other words, it is capable of stopping inflammation.
GELATIN SUPPORTS THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
70,000,000 people every day suffer from some form of digestive issues. These are just the ones that have symptoms. Digestive issues can be the culprit of many other symptoms that we don’t often associate with the gut, such as headaches, lethargy and even many modern day diseases.
Having a healthy digestive system is key to maintaining overall health. Our digestive system has to be working properly, so we can break down food and absorb the nutrients.
To develop a really healthy digestive system, we need to eat a diet void of toxins and loaded with nutrient-dense foods. The Gelatin Secret dives deep into how to repair and maintain a healthy digestive system.
In addition, gelatin is one of the best foods for digestive health. Sylvie writes, “It basically acts like spackle and fills in holes in the gut lining.”
GELATIN FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Gelatin is not some magic weight loss pill. However, it has properties that can help regulate blood sugar levels. If you are struggling with weight loss, blood sugar issues or sugar cravings, gelatin is definitely worth a shot.
Sylvie dives deep into how gelatin can support the body with weight loss and I found that section of her book particularly fascinating!
GELATIN FOR THE BRAIN
Gelatin can help calm the body and balance cortisol levels. Sylvie writes, “The research shows that the glycine in gelatin has a calming effect on our nerves which can promote sleep and reduce stress.”
Drinking broth or taking gelatin before bed, can help improve sleep quality and can even improve daytime sleepiness. Unlike medications that mask symptoms, real food solutions actually balance and align the body!
This is a complex topic, but although muscle meats are nutritious, a diet that consists of only muscle meats will be deficient in other important amino acids, such as glycine. As we talked about earlier, glycine is an important amino acid found in gelatin. This imbalance of amino acids can eventually lead to an imbalance of cortisol levels.
GELATIN FOR SKIN, WRINKLES, AND CELLULITE
Most skin issues are connected to the digestive system. As your gut heals, you will also notice improvements in your skin. In addition, collagen is what gives our skin its elasticity. As the collagen breaks down, the skin becomes thinner and wrinkles start to form.
We can help slow this process, by consuming collagen and increasing the collagen levels available to be absorbed by our bodies. In other words, consuming collagen helps reduce the breakdown of collagen.
The following is an over-simplified explanation, and Sylvie explains it in much greater detail in her book. Cellulite is caused by inadequate amounts of collagen in the body. By boosting the levels of collagen in our bodies, we should be able to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
GELATIN FOR HAIR AND NAILS
“Hair growth starts inside follicles that are within the skin. Follicles are basically a sheath of collagen which holds and nurtures the hair from the root. At the very base of the follicle is something called the papilla which is also made from collagen.”
Collagen is necessary for keeping each strand of our hair, healthy, strong and thick. You won’t see immediate results with your hair, as the increased collagen in your diet will impact the fresh healthy hair that is growing. With time, you should notice a nice difference.
The nutrients, Zinc, Biotin and Iron play a crucial role in healthy finger nails. Since, gelatin helps heal the digestive system, it will in turn help us more effectively absorb these nutrients. My nails have gotten so much healthier, stronger and shinier since following a Paleo diet rich in collagen.
GELATIN FOR TEETH HEALTH
If you made it this far, you are probably noticing a theme around a healthy gut. Did you know that tooth health is directly related to diet and proper nutrition?
To really cure tooth decay, you’ve got to heal all parts of the teeth, not just clean the enamel like we do with brushing and flossing. The tooth is really healed from the inside out. Gelatin helps us absorb more nutrients by healing our guts. In addition, some components of collagen have been shown to repair gum tissue.
Are you ready to get your gelatin on?
Download The Gelatin Secret now to learn all about the health benefits of gelatin and find, easy, everyday recipes to help you incorporate gelatin in your life daily!
How much of the Vital Proteins would you need a day to get the benefits you mentioned?
Arsy Vartanian says
Hi Kathleen! I personally use 1 tablespoon a day and it works well for me.
Carrie A Groff says
Great article! I love collagen! I also use Vital Proteins because it’s the best. I’m curious though why you use the gelatin over the collagen peptides? Can you use both? Is one better than the other? I just finished up a container of Collagen Peptides and I want to order more but now reading your article I’m not sure which one to get.
Arsy Vartanian says
Hi Carrie! I actually use both. One gels, so I can use it in gummies and desserts. While the other doesn’t, so I can add it to tea, smoothies, water.
Carrie A Groff says
Great! Thanks so much for explaining!
I’m just curious why all my favorite bloggers seem to have switched from Great Lakes gelatin and collagen powders to Vital Proteins brand? I can get the Great Lakes brand at my local health food store, which I prefer to support when possible. Is there a difference in quality or effectiveness?
Yes i would like to know too, I’m in london and prices are very different from the usa
Arsy Vartanian says
I personally like and use both. Some people think that Vital proteins has a milder flavor. The flavor of Great Lakes has never bothered me.