When thinking about healthy food and gut health, jello may not be the first thing one thinks about. But this jello is different. The main ingredient in it is gelatin (I know so obvious). Not many people think of gelatin as a super food but in my opinion it is that and more.
It's no surprise that when talking about gut health, inevitably gelatin and collagen come up. Collagen is a broken down version of gelatin though retaining the same amino acids but containing different chemical components. Since collagen is not a thickening agent, I wanted to focus on gelatin today for making a quick healthy treat that's sure to help your skin and much more.
I find this to be excellent for little ones as it provides them important amino acids. The only caveat with gelatin is that in order to reap the health benefits, it has to come from 100% grass fed cows. If you want additional information on why when possible to use grass fed - a brief overview in this post.
Gelatin is not a food that's commonly used in the standard American diet and some have said that this may be a missing piece in our diet. In older times, people used to eat the entire animal (skin tendons, etc), so obtaining crucial amino acids was not a problem. In today's world everything seems to be skinless and boneless with very little fat, therefore most of us miss out on these key nutrients.
Essential amino acids found in gelatin:
- glycine - promotes healthy sleep, improves digestion, assists with muscle growth
- proline - keeps muscles and joints flexible
- glutamic acid - a contributor to digestive and immune system
- arginine - promotes healthy blood flow and may have an anti aging effect
- lysine - helps with calcium absorption and reduces anxiety
- aspartic acid - generates cellular energy, fights chronic fatigue, improves mental focus
- alanine - preserves a balance of glucose and nitrogen in the body
- hydroxyproline - primary component of collagen and is often used in anti-aging products
There are numerous ways for using gelatin and the most popular include using it in soups, stews, smoothies, making jellies or even mixing it with your drink of choice. Though again, if you're going to go the drink route, I'd recommend collagen, because gelatin coffee does not sound appealing. But I digress...
I've noticed an improvement shortly after using gelatin on a regular basis. The most visible sign for me has been in the elasticity of my skin. I do think it has made a significant difference. In addition to my skin, I've also noticed other major improvements as listed below.
Additional benefits of gelatin:
- it improves digestive and gut health by repairing the mucous lining of the stomach
- it helps to ease bowel movements, hindering excess water to be absorbed by the colon
- protects and greatly improves joint function
- improves sleep - glycine has been shown to improve the quality of sleep
- promoter of healthy skin by stimulating collagen production
For this jello recipe I'm also using frozen blueberries (fresh work perfectly well) which contain a powerhouse of nutrients and deliver additional anti-cancerous and anti-iflammatory benefits to the body and skin: "
Research on blueberries finds:
- "Vitamin C protects cells’ DNA by trapping free radicals and inhibiting formation of carcinogens.
- In cell studies, blueberry extract and anthocyanins, as well as ellagic acid and the urolithins that form from it, decrease free radical damage to DNA that can lead to cancer. They also decrease growth and stimulate self-destruction of mouth, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.
- In animal studies, blueberries decrease inflammatory cytokines, esophageal cancer and pre-cancerous changes in the colon, although impact on colon cancer is less clear. In other animal studies, blueberries decrease estrogen-induced mammary cancer and DNA damage.
- Pterostilbene increases self-destruction of lung, stomach, pancreatic and breast cancer cells. In an animal study, it also decreased formation of pre-cancerous colon polyps and reduced markers of inflammation.
- Dietary fiber reduces cells’ exposure to cancer-causing substances, and healthful gut bacteria use it to produce short-chain fatty acids that protect colon cells"
Paleo glowing skin blueberry jello:
- 1 bag frozen blueberries (12oz)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp gelatin
- 2 cups water
- submersion blender
- large bowl
- medium sauce pan
- silicone spatula
- cheese cloth (if you want it smooth)
- any storage container of your choosing. I used a pyrex baking dish
Bring blueberries and water to a boil for about 2-3 minutes. With a submersion blender, blend blueberries and water until well incorporated. Strain the mixture into a bowl using the spatula to help press the liquid through. I do this twice. once through just the strainer, then I strain again, layering the cheese cloth on top of the strainer to get a smooth liquid and remove any pulp. If the liquid has cooled too much, put it back on the stove and warm it back up. Add the lime juice, vanilla and honey and lastly incorporate the gelatin. At this point, it's best to use the submersion blender and give it another whirl. Pour it into the storage container and let it set in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or best overnight.