Friday Favorites: Gelatin! Health Benefits and 6 Ways To Use Gelatin
A few months ago I posted an easy homemade jello recipe that included gelatin. I sung the praises of gelatin back then and I’m raving even more about the wonders of gelatin now. Just wait until I tell you how I’ve been using my gelatin with really incredible results – you might be surprised at some of it’s uses!
Before I was mainly using my gelatin to make yummy jello, but since then I’ve discovered all sorts of amazing uses and health benefits of gelatin and wanted to share them with you so you could reap these benefits, too 🙂
My current favorite uses for gelatin:
Making my homemade, easy Jello. This is so yummy and you can feel great about eating it or giving it to your kids because there’s no weird ingredients, no artificial flavors or colors and no refined sugars. Yet, it tastes just like regular jello! And you can have fun creating different flavors from all sorts of different fruit juices. Gelatin is especially great for kids because it helps build their growing bodies and strengthens their immune system.
Using it in a workout recovery shake. I realize protein powder isn’t a real food and therefore it’s under a lot of criticism by many real food advocates. I am always an advocate of eating real food whenever you have that option, but I still used protein shakes after an especially grueling or long workout. I could never stomach real food right after an exceptionally hard workout so I relied on high quality, natural ingredient protein shakes to get the needed nutrients to my muscles. However, I’ve since ditched my protein powder and replaced it with gelatin. The specific amino acids in gelatin (mainly glycine and proline) are just the type of amino acids you need to build muscle, repair tissue and lessen inflammation. Several claims have been made that gelatin even boosts the human growth hormone and boosts metabolism (thus helping you lose weight and build muscle!), making it a great option for a workout recovery shake or as supplement to real food workout recovery options. I add at least 2 tablespoons to my workout recovery shake (see my recipe HERE) and have noticed the same recovery effects as my protein powder. In my opinion, gelatin from grass-fed animals is a much healthier, natural option than many of the protein powders on the market. I’ve bid farewell to my protein powder and have had tremendous results with my gelatin.
Adding it to my shampoo. This is the option I’m probably most giddy about because the results were immediate and downright amazing. I’ve been adding about a teaspoon of gelatin to each shampoo and shampooing my hair as normal (use less if you have shorter hair). I leave it in for a minute or two and then rinse out and condition as normal. Talk about major body and volume! Wow! I have fine hair and this did wonders for my limp locks. Actually buying some gelatin is worth it alone just for the wonders it did for my hair. I noticed a difference from the very first use. The amino acids in gelatin are incredible for strengthening the hair and giving it some really nice body and volume. If you have fine hair, you’ll love this little secret.
Making a bedtime sleep tonic. Research has shown that consuming gelatin before bed helps induce sleep because of the glycine. Glycine plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. So not only will ingesting gelatin improve sleep quality, but it will also help reduce daytime sleepiness and help improve your memory during waking hours. I’ve been making a gelatin chamomile tea tonic before bed with great results. I first mix 1 tablespoon of gelatin with a small amount of cold water in a tea mug (this helps dissolve any clumps). Then I add my hot water to the mug with some chamomile tea. Chamomile further helps sleep and relaxation, so this bedtime tonic works extremely well!
Using it as a digestive aid. Gelatin is soothing to the digestive track and actually helps repair the mucousal lining. It also helps break down the protein and fat from foods, making them easier to digest. If you have digestion problems, adding 1 tablespoon of gelatin daily to a shake or tea/coffee will really help with digestion and heal the digestive track.
Using it as an anti-inflammatory. The latest studies have shown that taking gelatin provides almost immediate relief to joint pain. The glycine in gelatin speeds wound healing, helps stiff joints and promotes recovery. It’s even said to provide relief just like taking an anti-inflammatory pill or cortisol. Instead of reaching for the Advil, my husband and I have been reaching for some gelatin. I mix it in tea (again, mix with a small amount of cold water first, then add your hot water) with wonderful results.
I’ve been buying my gelatin online here because it’s the only brand that I can confirm from the company that they source from grass-fed, hormone free animals.
I’ll continue to keep you posted if I try any new ways to use my gelatin and if it’s helped me or not. Do you take gelatin for any of these things, too? Do you know any new ways I should know about? Leave me a comment!
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