Gelatin and Collagen
The Benefits You Need to Know About
Almost everyone is aware of the health benefits of eating healthy, exercising and even laughter in helping to keep us well. However we know much about the benefits of gelatin and collagen.
Good health requires numerous factors, such as the right foods, restful sleep and helpful information. Among the information that might be helpful is learning about the benefits of gelatin and collagen.
What is gelatin and collagen?
Collagen is a protein found in animal bones. The chief power of collagen comes from its exceptionally high levels of two amino acids: hydroxyproline and proline.
Essentially, gelatin consists of dehydrated beef broth powder made from the bones, cartilage, and collagen of animals. It is a clear, tasteless, delicate, firm material that is found in collagen. Although they come from the same sources, they have differences and one should not use them interchangeably.
Since collagen, which consists of bones and tissue, is too tough to eat by itself, it is usually cooked down to make it digestible. This process of cooking down collagen and making gelatin powder is hydrolysis. Therefore, gelatin is basically cooked collagen.
All vertebrates have collagen.
The differences depend on how they are processed. This is what gives each its own unique texture, taste and health benefits. Gelatin receives a rank according to its strength using a system called the Bloom test. A high Bloom number means a better gelling ability and, typically, a higher price.
Gelatin does not exist inherently in nature so we must make it. Commercially, the primary sources of it are cowhides, bones, and fish and pig skins.
Uses for gelatin exist in photography, makeup production and medicines. Most often, people use it as a thickening agent in many foods. This includes yogurt, marshmallows, dips, candies and, of course, desserts. In addition, companies use it to reduce the naturally cloudy appearance of wines and fruit juices.
Because of its use in sweet desserts and candy, gelatin has recently developed a poor reputation. People automatically tend to associate anything with sugar to obesity, artificial ingredients and bad diets. People also think it has no nutritional value, but this is wrong. In addition, other than dessert products, most people don’t know about other ways to use it.
For instance, pet companies often use gelatin in the production of both wet and dry foods for pets. You can also find it used in art and restoration processes for paintings and books.
By the same token, society has also frowned upon beef lately. Excess red meat and fat has links to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
What does gelatin and collagen do for your body and health?
- Gelatin and collagen are excellent source of amino acids. As such, adding it to your diet will help to improve your mood, increase bone strength and enhance the look of your skin. You also need it for muscle production.
- Your teeth, nails and hair require it. Since many of us eat a diet rich in highly processed foods, we may be missing the minerals that make resilient teeth, hair and nails. This includes things like calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.
- Muscles need gelatin and collagen. It is very helpful for athletes in training because it aids in muscle restoration and recovery. This also makes it ideal for those who are ill and on bed rest.
- Collagen is easy to digest, so it quickly gives us the tools we need for bone health. Experts recommend getting approximately 2-3 tablespoons of gelatin in meals each day.
- Joint, cartilage and tissue health is supported by gelatin. You can find a substance called chondroitin in gelatin, which is helpful for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating joint conditions.
- Gelatin and collagen help you maintain a more balanced diet. As people try to eat less fat and leaner proteins, they are missing out on key healthy fats. Adding gelatin will help to lower inflammation and make small portions of meat feel very filling because gelatin works to break down the protein more thoroughly.
- They help your skin. Gelatin is responsible for more than 25 percent of the proteins in the human body, which is critical for skin suppleness and cell renewal. It is essential for the condition of the connective tissues in your skin. This makes you less likely to develop stretch marks and cellulite. Additionally, it helps with wound repair because it contains both glycine and arginine, two vital amino acids.
- Gelatin and collagen are rich sources of glycine. This is an amino acid that is important for liver detoxification, which is essential for helping your body get rid of all the chemicals you come in contact with every day. Bone broth and gelatin can also revitalize other adrenal organs like the kidneys and bladder. Glycine also aids in digestion and helping your body to use the protein and nutrients you consume. It also heightens your fat burning ability and metabolism, which can help you lose weight. Another benefit of glycine is that it helps to regulate insulin, avoid hypoglycemia and eliminate excess estrogen.
- You will age more gracefully. Research shows that our skin begins to lose collagen when we are in our 20s and 30s. This has a significant effect on the aging process. Gelatin contains proline, which is an amino acid that will help you maintain a youthful appearance. It also boosts the production of collagen, which makes skin less susceptible to wrinkles.
- Brain function and mental health are improved. Recent studies have linked gelatin and glycine with enhanced memory and attention. It also has an effect on certain mental disorders, like schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What are the best sources of gelatin and collagen?
One can actually make your own gelatin by making homemade bone broth. You can accomplish this more easily with a crock pot or slow cooker. However, the bones and tissue must simmer for at least 20 hours. With today’s busy lifestyles, most people just don’t have the time. That’s what makes quality supplements so important.
While beef and animal products are the best source for gelatin and collagen, there are risks. For example, it’s difficult to learn where your beef is actually coming from. Some farmers and manufacturers use dangerous pesticides and hormones. There could even be substantial contamination from metals.
It’s better to get meat from animals that are grass fed and producers that use the proper pasteurization processes. However, tracing meat back to its source is problematic and even when you do find meat with all the correct components, it is typically very expensive.
All the more so, the gelatin in your local supermarket may be inexpensive and readily accessible, but it could still come from unhealthy sources. Cows can contract bad bacteria from eating grains and then often receive treatment with antibiotics to combat unhealthy living conditions. This creates animals that carry food generated illnesses like e coli, which is no good for human health.
Using supplements or powdered gelatin is a great way to add the healing benefits of this vital nutrient to your diet without the risks and side effects. Look for pasture-raised products. Also, make sure the products you choose dissolve easily in water so you can readily add it to soups, smoothies and stews.