You may remember the commercial “J-E-LL-O, it’s aliiiiive!!!”
I was never too fond of that jiggly jello, and surely never thought “jello” could have any health benefits.
Well, store-bought jello or similar brand products have artificial sweeteners and colors, however, high quality gelatin can be a super healing addition to almost any diet, especially for those aiming to improve gut, mental, joint, or skin health.
Gelatin is simply cooked collagen and it contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline. Both of these amino acids are critical for collagen, a major structural protein found everywhere in the body. Collagen can be softer (cartilage) or more firm (tendons). Since collagen is a primary element of skin, gelatin is excellent for skin health, and often recommended for attaining a radiant “glow” to the skin. #BrothBeforeBotox
Gelatin is an excellent complement for most individuals, especially those practicing a primal/paleo diet. It complements meat quite nicely, as it contains beneficial amino acids not found in meat, most notably glycine.
Specifically, glycine aids in the metabolism of methionine, which is found in high amounts in meat. Too much methionine can lead to toxic levels of homocysteine, which has been associated as a high risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Glycine is also excellent for blood sugar support, reducing sugar cravings, improving cellular energy production, inhibiting muscle spasms, and for liver detoxification support.
It must also be highlighted that gelatin is super soothing to the gastrointestinal tract, which is why it’s often used by those with leaky gut. It helps to restore healthy mucosal lining in the stomach and enhance gastric acid secretion. Furthermore, gelatin helps to keep fluid in the digestive tract, allowing for nice-n-easy bowel movements.
Gelatin is also helpful for joint and musculoskeletal health. As mentioned, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons all contain high levels of structural protein collagen, and two of the central components of collagen are the amino acids glycine and proline.
I would recommend gelatin-rich foods for anyone recovering from surgery/injury, dealing with joint conditions like osteoarthritis, or for athletes/anyone who exercises frequently.
Last but not least, gelatin it can be a great dietary supplement for soothing the nervous system. Personally, I’ve found a warm mug of bone broth to be gently grounding and stress-relieving.
The best way to add gelatin-rich foods to the diet is in the form of slow cooked bone broths, or by way of supplemental gelatin. I realize I mention bone broth frequently in this post, and I’ll have to do another post about that, but I was just SO excited about the fact that I could make a little candy-like treat for myself that was actually health promoting! Plus, these little gummies are so easy to make and can be less intimidating to make than the broth.
The brand of gelatin I like is Great Lakes, and this is the one that gels nicely for gummies like the ones below. (Whole protein gelatin will gel, hydrolyzed collagen will not gel but can be used to easily add to smoothies, cold liquids, etc.)
Simple Raspberry Mango Gelatin Gummies
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1 whole mango, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup filtered water
- 3 tbsp high quality gelatin
- 1-2 tbsp honey (optional)
1. Blend the raspberries, mango, and water until smooth. *Note: For the raspberries, I just buy frozen ones from Trader Joe's, then let them defrost before blending.
2. Strain the blended mixture through a fine mesh sieve, or using a nut milk bag. Strain it into a medium pot. If you don't mind the tiny seeds from the raspberries, you can skip this step.
3. Gently warm the pot stovetop. Do not let it get to a boil. Once warm, whisk in the gelatin 1 tbsp at a time. Make sure the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved before adding the next tablespoon.
4. Pour the gelatin mixture into an 8x8 inch glass pan, or pour the mixture into silicone molds. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once solidified, cover tightly and keep stored in the refrigerator. Gummies will last 3-5 days.
There are so many variations you can do with this recipe. Try adding in lime, lemon, or ginger juice. Or, use different fruits like orange and pineapple.
This recipe is also excellent for kids!