As I wrote recently, it’s interesting to see how we are turning our attention to old remedies or eating habits to find the answer to better health. Traditional diets included what is known as ‘nose to tail’ eating. This meant cultures ate parts of the animal such as tendons, skin, bones and other gelatinous cuts of meat which just happened to contain high amounts of gelatin. Now of course many of us eat very little meat – some no meat at all, which means we are missing out on gelatin and this may well be a problem, as gelatin has been found to very beneficial for our health.
One of the most important benefits of gelatin is its ability to heal the gut. I’ve often written about the problems caused by leaky gut syndrome which can arise when large spaces occur between cells which make up the gut wall. This then allows food, toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream which in turn can cause many health issues from food intolerances, skin allergies, inflammatory diseases, depression, auto immune diseases and of course the obvious such as poor digestion and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Amino acids are necessary for cell development and maintenance, particularly those cells in the intestinal wall. Fortuitously, the gelatin contained in collagen contains those necessary amino acids, in particular glutamine, which may help repair and maintain the cells in the intestinal wall. The amino acid, glycine contained in gelatin is believed to assist in increasing the production of gastric acids as well as promoting a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach. To enable good digestion, we need these gastric acids. Heartburn and acid reflux can also be reduced by increasing these gastric acids.
Collagen is derived from gelatin which we know helps maintain and improve our skin’s elasticity. Many however wouldn’t be aware, the collagen derived from gelatin also helps strengthen and tone our digestive tract.
Many may have heard of the GAPS diet. Integral to this diet is gelatin-rich soups, particularly bone broths which have been found to help heal the gut. These broths are so important because these animal bones are jam-packed with collagen which then turns to gelatin when simmered in hot water.
When I was researching the benefits of gelatin for gut health several years ago, a customer related a wonderful story to me. She had suffered from IBS for many years and tried many different solutions with little success. She came across some research on gelatin and decided it was worth a try, although she was somewhat sceptical. When she began taking the premium grade collagen gelatin powder, she wasn’t terribly diligent and didn’t take it every day. She realised however on the days she did take the gelatin, she didn’t suffer from her irritable bowel symptoms. She decided then to take the premium grade collagen gelatin powder every day, with great results and said she’d never felt better.
As I have mentioned making bone broth is one way of supplementing your diet with gelatin. If you don’t have the time or desire to make bone broth we do sell bone broth in our store. I would also suggest supplementing your diet with gelatin powder. Not all gelatin powder is the same. We stock a premium grade collagen gelatin.
For more information on the benefits of gelatin or any other health issue call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita your health shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Tune into Bev and Marianne on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm on Go Get Healthy.
Gut-Loving Lemon Jellies
250 ml water (1 cup)
2 cm ginger root -peeled and roughly sliced
1 cm turmeric root -peeled and roughly sliced
1-4 tbsp honey *(depending upon the level of sweetness you like)
250 ml coconut water (1 cup) or kombucha or water kefir
1 large lemon -juice
1 tsp Camu powder (optional)
2-3 tbsp grass-fed or organic gelatin
Place the water, ginger and turmeric root into a small pot and bring to the boil, reducing to a simmer for approx. 5 minutes. Take off the heat off, mix in the honey or rice malt syrup and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so, remove the solids and stir in the coconut water, kombucha or water kefir, lemon and optional Camu powder. Taste to check that you are happy with the flavour (sour/sweet balance). I should be luke warm before adding your gelatin. Now sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid, allow it to sit and bloom (go wrinkly) for a few minutes. For a traditional jelly set use 2 tablespoons, for a firmer, more gummy-lolly-like consistency, add 3 tablespoons.
If the gelatin doesn't completely dissolve, you can pop your pot back on the heat for only 1 minute (only heat to luke warm), stirring well. Pour into a lined slice tray or moulds, and set in the fridge.