Collagen (Why I Put That Sh*& In Everything)

When I was first recommended Gelatin as a supplement, I had no idea what it was and of course, pictured Jell-O. Little did I realize, this stuff is my new addiction. While I don’t promote a lot of supplementation use (I’d rather suggest starting with whole foods first), this stuff has become a daily supplement for myself and my family.

Gelatin is an odorless, tasteless, colorless powder that has been derived from collagen found in animal bones. In my opinion, I would much rather source my protein from animals and animals bones vs. chemicals and man-made products in a lab (many of which have ingredients I cannot read). You probably already have ingested gelatin at some point in your life and not even realized it. It’s in most gummy candies, jell-o, marshmallows, etc. The type of Gelatin I’m referring to isn’t the kind that is typically associated with sugar-laden jiggly desserts, but grass-fed kosher beef gelatin. You can purchase it HERE online by the single can or in bulk. This gelatin is basically dehydrated broth from bones, cartilage, collagen and minerals. Have you ever made bone broth before? Broth also carries an amazing source of gelatin but many people don’t realize how easy it is to make! Learn how to make broth HERE.

Keep in mind when you are buying gelatin, please source it from a reputable company as posted above. Don’t purchase the lower quality at your super market because you have no way of knowing if it came from healthy animals. Stick to grass-fed (and skip the cheap stuff just because it’s more affordable).

As I mentioned, my family uses gelatin as a supplemental source of protein when I’m not able to source enough of my daily protein requirement from whole foods. (Sometimes eating 60oz of chicken and egg whites just isn’t realistic)! I’ve provided a plethora of other benefits (in addition to protein) below. Decide for yourself. The benefits are overwhelming.

According to Nourishing Traditions and much of the information I’ve read from the Weston A. Price foundation, there are various health benefits to gelatin, including:

– Supports skin, hair and nail growth

– Good for joints and can help joint recovery

– Can help tighten loose skin (like the kind you get after having four babies in five years…)

– Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track

– Rumored to help improve cellulite

– Great source of dietary collagen (side note: collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin, so those skin creams are pretty useless… get it internally and use coconut oil for lotion!)

Along with the benefits above, I have heard claims about aiding in digestion and improved gut function, metabolism boosting, hormone balancing and also that it lowers inflammation. That’s a whole lotta reason to start using gelatin!

I use gelatin 1-2 tablespoons at a time and it’s best introduced slowly into the system (don’t just dump a 1/2 cup of the good stuff in your coffee). I personally use gelatin in anything and everything I can! It’s like my protein version of Sriracha! I put it in my coffee (it dissolved beautifully), I add it to nearly all of my baked goods (muffins, breads, pancakes, etc), and afternoon snacks such as smoothies or yogurts. Adding a few tbsp here and there helps me to get my protein in and provides me  with many of the benefits mentioned above. Please keep in mind, before introducing any new supplement into your diet, it is best to consult with a doctor. As with any dietary change, there can be some stomach upset if you take too much too quickly. Start with a small serving and increase gradually over the course of a few weeks if your stomach tolerates it. There are multiple uses beyond protein that I am still discovering so I encourage you to try them as well!

NourishSara Nelson