Gelatin has long since been studied and used for its therapeutic effects. Have you heard the craze over gelatin? Have you been wondering if you should give it a try? You’re in luck. I’m going to tell you exactly why you should incorporate gelatin into your diet. I’m even going to give you my favorite gelatin gummy recipe to try at home.
What is gelatin?
Gelatin is an incredibly healing food that has a positive impact on health. Most of us have eaten gelatin at some point since it is commonly used as a gelling agent in food and medications. Gelatin is a colorless, flavorless substance made from the collagen found in animal bones, skin, and tissues. Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. It makes up about half of the protein found in animals.
Gelatin serves as a pure source of up to 18 amino acids. Gelatin contains no tryptophan and only minimal amounts of cysteine, methionine, and histidine, which isn’t a bad thing. Gelatin is, however, loaded with three amino acids (glycine, proline, and alanine) that have hydrophilic (hydrating), anti-inflammatory, healing properties.
What does gelatin do for hormone health?
The thyroid and metabolism work together to support each other. A healthy thyroid will reduce metabolic stress caused by excess cortisol, and gelatin increases metabolism by improving thyroid function. The amino acid glycine (present in gelatin) favors progesterone production and opposes estrogen. Gelatin is best known for its improvement in digestion, decreases in joint inflammation, support of good sleep, increases in insulin sensitivity, healing of the gut lining, and improved digestive capacity (how well we break down our food). Gelatin is so beneficial because it is low in the amino acids that trigger inflammatory responses, disrupt thyroid function, depress the immune system, decrease the body’s ability to handle stress, and inhibit energy production.
One of the main reasons I choose to eat gelatin regularly is how it improves our ability to digest food. I have several blogs about the effects of digestion on hormone health. One particularly fascinating thing about gelatin is that it can attract and hold liquids. This allows it to draw in digestive juices, which help us break down our food to the foods we eat with the gelatin. The more digestive juices present (mostly bile and stomach acid), the better that food gets broken down, which means we absorb the nutrients in those foods better. More nutrients equal better overall and hormone health. When foods aren’t broken down properly, we are left with large food particles that slow digestion and lead to inflammation in the gut. Another fun fact about gelatin is its ability to spare protein, meaning it reduces how much of our muscle is broken down for protein. Eating enough protein, fat, and carbs also does this, but it is fascinating how gelatin is even more proficient at this action than fat and carbs are. Check out the book Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine to learn more.
How can I incorporate gelatin into my diet?
Gelatin is used in a variety of ways. When we eat animal proteins, we are consuming gelatin. However, by only consuming muscle meats, the unbalanced amino acids mimic extreme stress signals in our bodies, causing the release of cortisol. To balance this out, sip on homemade bone broth. Gelatin powder is easily dissolved in hot water, making it super easy to incorporate in a variety of dishes like
Gelatin Gummy Bites:
Gelatin is a food that I intentionally prioritize in my diet and encourage my clients to do the same. One of my favorite ways to do this is via these pineapple gummies! Try the recipe for yourself.
2 cups Organic Cold Pressed Pineapple Juice
30g gelatin (Great Lakes is a quality brand)
2 Tbsp Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
1. Heat pineapple juice over medium-high heat until it starts to boil. You have to boil pineapple juice because it contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps us break down protein. If we don’t break down the bromelain, it breaks down the gelatin, and the mixture doesn’t gel.
2. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the honey and gelatin. Mix thoroughly until it is all completely blended.
3. Pour mix into a silicone holder and place in the fridge. Allow it to set for a couple of hours in the fridge.
4. Remove the gummies and enjoy!
Adding gelatin to your diet could be beneficial for your hormone and overall health. The physical properties of gelatin powder make it easy to incorporate into many dishes. Give these gummies a try and see for yourself the impact it has on your digestion. Check out my Nutrition Strategies for Better Periods Course for more ways to help heal your hormones.