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GELATIN: What is it & why it should be incorporated into your health routine

So most people associate Gelatin with jelly, kids parties, frog in the pond and slices. But did you know that gelatine can be very therapeutic if used in the right way.

Geelong Naturopath Karah McLaren

So what is it?

Gelatin can be derived from beef hide, pork skin and sometimes bone.

It contains the essential amino acids – glycine, lysine and proline which have been found to be necessary to accelerate cell growth. These amino acids aren’t commonly consumed in high amounts as they are found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals, which now days aren’t a staple in the western diet. These amino acids are needed for proper skin, hair and nail growth, but for optimal immune function and even weight regulation.

Glycine, which makes up a large portion of the gelatine has anti-inflammatory actions, as well as improving sleep quality.

Gelatin comes in a powdered form, it is tasteless and will appear slightly yellow in colour. In health food stores you will normally find 2 types of gelatine, plain beef gelatine or hydrolysed gelatine.

The plain gelatine is what will turn substances solid, into a jelly like consistency, while the hydrolysed form will not ‘set’ food. So you can put it in a smoothie and by the end of the day the smoothie will still be liquid, and not jelly.

So why is gelatine beneficial?

  • Supports intestinal integrity (healing the gut) and improves overall digestive function.

  • A great source of protein, allowing optimal muscle repair and growth

  • Improves immune function

  • Helps to support joint health by stabilising the connective tissue around the joint capsule

  • May improve hair, skin and nail health

How do I consume it?

Plain gelatine:

Make into little jelly squares, ideal for kids as you can add some honey and make it a yummy treat!

Hydrolysed gelatin:

Add a tablespoon to a glass of water, or mix it into a smoothie, or include in any food really. There is no taste to this function food so it can easily be mixed through soups, porridge etc!

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