Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gelatine - my new favourite superfood!

Gelatine (or gelatin as my American friends would spell it), is good for a lot more than just making jelly (or again, jello if you're American!)!  Did you know that it is an amazing superfood for your digestive system, that it strengthens nails and hair, improves and tightens loose skin, lubricates joints and reduces arthritic pain and inflammation.  It can also help you sleep better!

Gelatine is a great (but not complete) source of protein (3g per tsp)

Gelatine contains half of the 18 essential amino acids (hence it not being a 'complete' protein). Glycine (one of the amino acids found in gelatine), helps the liver to remove toxins from our system. Lysine (another important amino acid) is easily absorbed from gelatine and helps us to better absorb calcium and build muscle. 

About digestion...
I am always on the look out for things to improve my digestive health as I suffer from IBS and have a long list of food intolerance's, so learning about the benefits of gelatine has been an amazing discovery for me!

Did you know...

  • Gelatine soothes and heals the gut by repairing the mucosal lining of your digestive tract, and can also help your body break down fats and proteins making them easier to digest.  When your body is able to effectively break down and absorb your food properly, the result is less inflammation in the gut, and a higher level of nutrients absorbed from your food.
  • Gelatine binds with water and helps food to move smoothly through the digestive system. 
  • According to some experts, gelatine can heal the stomach and intestines and reduce food allergies and intolerance's, which are some-times thought to be caused by a leaky gut. 

Joint health:
  • Gelatine can improve joint cartilage and reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. 

Skin health:
  • Gelatine is an excellent source of dietary collagen (which increases the bodies natural production of collagen) and can improve skin and strengthen nails and hair.  It is even rumoured to improve cellulite!!  Three cheers for gelatine!!
  • Having a gelatine rich drink or dessert before bed can dramatically improve your quality of sleep, I personally have stopped taking my valerian root (I have been struggling with insomnia) and have found gelatine to be even better.  I get to sleep faster and don't wake during the night (hooray for a good nights sleep!)
"Although I pointed out a long time ago the antithyroid effects of excessive cysteine and tryptophan from eating only the muscle meats, and have been recommending gelatinous broth at bedtime to stop nocturnal stress, it took me many years to begin to experiment with large amounts of gelatin in my diet. Focusing on the various toxic effects of tryptophan and cysteine, I decided that using commercial gelatin, instead of broth, would be helpful for the experiment. For years I hadn't slept through a whole night without waking, and I was in the habit of having some juice or a little thyroid to help me go back to sleep. The first time I had several grams of gelatin just before bedtime, I slept without interruption for about 9 hours. I mentioned this effect to some friends, and later they told me that friends and relatives of theirs had recovered from long-standing pain problems (arthritic and rheumatic and possibly neurological) in just a few days after taking 10 or 15 grams of gelatin each day."
    Above excerpt from Ray Peat's article which as more detailed information about the scientific benefits of gelatine, read the full article here: Gelatin, stress, longevity.

What kind of gelatine do you want to use?
What you want to get is natural BEEF GELATINE.  The regular kind you find in NZ supermarkets (Davis brand) is fine, but my new favourite is instant gelatine (I haven't found this yet in NZ) because you can stir it straight into cold drinks, eliminating the need to stir in hot water for several minutes. 

How much?
Well, this is going to depend on you...personally, I am aiming for as much as possible, because I am trying to heal my gut...I read in Ray Peat's article that up to 100g a day is optimal for healing benefits (but, boy, that's a lot!!).  10 - 15g per day has helped people with arthritis.  So basically, start with 10 - 15g and see how you go.  I am taking about 3+TBS a day at the moment.

Yummy ways to include more gelatine in your diet:

Home-made bone broth, cooked for a minimum of 6 hours, is an excellent source of natural gelatine (along with loads of other minerals from the bones), but soup is not always what I feel like eating, and realistically, there is only so much of this I can consume every day (I always try and add some to casseroles and stir-fry's and I even replace some the water with broth when cooking rice using the absorption method), so how else can I get more gelatine into my diet? 

Sugar-free Vanilla Marshmellows or Peppermint Marshmellows

Jelly (Jello) Whip or Frappe - many flavour options, my favourite is matcha green tea & raspberries!

French Vanilla Panna Cotta 
1 Litre (Quart) Unsweetened Almond Milk
4 Egg yolks
4 tsp Vanilla essence or extract
Stevia to taste
 4 - 6 tsp Beef gelatine (depending on the texture you want)
Tiny pinch of salt
Optional: 30g (2 scoops) of Whey or Egg White Protein Powder
Put almond milk into a pan and heat until very warm, nearly hot.  Turn off element. Sprinkle in gelatine and leave for 5 minutes.  Whisk well until the gelatine has fully dissolved.  Add the rest of the ingredients whisking the egg yolks in one at a time.  Pour into container and allow to fully cool in the fridge before eating (this will take HOURS so I suggest making it in the morning, or at night for the next day). 

If you stir it several times in the first few hours, it shouldn't separate, however I don't mind the taste and texture if it does, so I often don't bother (or forget!).  If anyone knows how to stop this happening, please comment!!  I think it's because of using almond milk instead of the traditional cream.
Makes 5 servings (approx 1 cup)
Nutritional info per cup: 
Fat: 5.6g (this will be very low fat if you make the FP, egg free version)
Carbs: 1.5g (+ .2g carb with added egg white powder)
Protein: 6g (10.9g if egg white powder used, less if no eggs used)
Calories: 90 (if you care!) or 114 with optional egg white powder added.

I hope you are able to find some yummy ways to include gelatine in your diet!!  It's my new BFF (sorry to sound 12!  I really am 34!), along with my favourite metabolic boosting matcha green tea!  This probably explains why I keep having yummy green tea jelly whip frappes every single day!! ;-)

Blessings x


  1. I am so trying this SOON! It looks wonderful :)

  2. Hello

    where do you buy the davis brand of gelatin.

  3. Hello

    where do you buy the davis brand of gelatin.