Talk Sexy To Me …
by Benedict Freudenmann
If I asked you to think of a food item that makes you sexy, healthy, attractive, youthful and energetic I can almost guarantee that you didn’t think of gelatin.
Yet gelatin is a protein powerhouse that has more health benefits than you could imagine. Gelatin improves skin health, improves gut health and digestion, lifts your mood and improves cognitive abilities, protects joints and lowers joint pain, helps improve sleep quality, helps maintain heart health, maintains strong bones and helps you feel full.
Let me first clarify that I’m not talking about the wiggly and wobbly, brightly coloured desert. Instead I’m talking about gelatin in its natural form.
So what makes gelatin sexy?
Gelatin is partially hydrolyzed collagen protein found in the skin, bones and tissue of animals. If this sounds gross to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that gelatin is virtually colourless and tasteless. The presence of gelatin in our diet has reduced dramatically as most people no longer consume parts of the animal where gelatin is more prevalent like skin, marrow and tendons. Gelatin is made up of about 98-99 percent protein and the specific amino acid (building blocks of protein) profile of gelatin is what makes it so special. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin. As we age, we naturally lose collagen, causing our skin to sag and wrinkle. Gelatin provides the building blocks for collagen, and can help your body create enough of this important protein to improve your skin’s health and appearance. A recent UK study showed that eight weeks of daily gelatin intake counteracts signs of aging by increasing skin firmness and reducing wrinkles and dryness.
Looks aside, does it help anything else?
Besides the skin, gelatin is massively beneficial for preventing intestinal damage and improving the lining of the digestive tract. In the brain, glycine, one of the amino acids in gelatin, is considered an “inhibitory neurotransmitter,” which means it can have anti-anxiety or antidepressant effects. That means gelatin has the ability to lift your mood and increase mental clarity.
“Gelatin provides the building blocks for collagen, and can help your body create enough of this important protein to improve your skin’s health and appearance.”
Pass the gelatin please…
Thankfully we can consume gelatin by eating a lot more than just processed desserts. You might have noticed an increase of popularity of bone broth in the past few years. Bone broth is a delicious source of naturally occurring gelatin. Better yet there’s an abundance of dried bone broth powders and pastes that are more convenient. Simply add one teaspoon to some hot water for a cup of wholesome goodness or use it as a base for soups, stews, sauces or even gravies. When it comes to getting the most health benefits from your bone broth, it’s important to choose a high-quality product. But don’t be fooled – beef or chicken stock is not bone broth. Likewise not all bone broths are equal. Look for a bone broth product that uses pasture-raised, grass-fed or organic raised animals that have not been given steroids or antibiotics. Or better yet make your own from scratch! ■
Benedict is a clinical nutritionist who practices at www.learntonourish.com in Hobart.